Edinburgh announces retrospectives

Festival celebrates Cinema Du Look and early comic strip adaptations in 70th edition

by Amber Wilkinson

Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced this year’s two retrospectives will be Look Again: A Celebration of Cinéma Du Look, exploring the wave of 1980s and early 1990s French filmmaking, and POW!!! Live Action Comic Strip Adaptations: The First Generation, delving into the evolution of the live-action comic strip adaptation in cinema.

Artistic director Mark Adams said: “The Cinéma du Look retrospective marks 30 years since EIFF opened with the UK premiere of Jean Jaques Beineix’s iconic Betty Blue, so it is a real thrill to be able to screen this selection of iconic films.”

Focusing on the work of Jean Jaques Beineix, Luc Besson, and Leos Carax, the directors around whom the Cinéma Du Look revolved, titles will include Betty Blue and Beineix’s Diva (1981), Besson’s Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1988) and La Femme Nikita (1990) and Carax’s Mauvais Sang (1986) and Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf (1991).

POW!!! Live Action Comic Strip Adaptations: The First Generation will offer 2016 festival-goers the chance to explore the cinematic roots of the current tidal wave of superhero blockbusters, taking an international retrospective journey through the colourful evolution of the live-action comic strip adaptation in cinema. The retrospective explores the best of the genre from explosive martial arts to chic ‘60s espionage via funky blaxploitation and far-out science fiction.

Titles will include Jean Jaques Vierne’s TinTin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece (France/Belgium 1961), Joseph Losey’s Modesty Blaise (UK 1966), Leslie H. Martinson’s Batman: The Movie (USA 1966), Mario Bava’s Danger Diabolik (Italy 1968), Roger Vadim’s Barbarella (France/Italy 1968), Jun'ya Satô’s Golgo 13 (Japan 1973), Kenji Misumi’s Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (Japan 1972), Corrado Farina’s Baba Yaga (Italy/France 1973), Arthur Marks’ Friday Foster (USA 1975) and Robert Altman’s Popeye (USA 1980).

An Origin Story event will also trace the birth of the live action comic strip adaptation in cinema from the 1960s back to the silent era and detail the earliest attempts to translate the frames on the page into frames on the big screen.

Senior Programmer Niall Fulton said: "With superhero cinema dominating the international box office, the time is right for EIFF to take an affectionate look back at the weird, wild, and wonderful world of the big screen comic strip adaptation. It's a unique and exciting opportunity to see a selection of rare, iconic cult classics the way they should be seen, and provides a highly entertaining insight into the provenance of this current global phenomenon."

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