EIFF 2001: Day 11

Celebration of American film and FilmFour labs head on cybercinema.

by Trinity

The Edinburgh International Film Festival started off as a showcase for documentaries, and it returned to its roots today with the BAFTA lecture given by Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker entitled "Documentary Filmmakers, USA". This years programme has featured some excellent examples (of the films I've seen, "Southern Comfort" and "Raw Deal" stand out). Pennebaker is one of the pioneers of the two man crew films which were shot in the 50s and 60s, and since then documentary makers have been able to get closer to their subjects, making us feel like we know them. Long may this continue.

Sticking with the American theme, at the Dominion Cinema treated us to "a day of cinema devoted to American filmmakers who challenged and forsook the Hollywood Machine" aka "Pioneers of the American Fringe". The Dominion is the last true example of a community-based cinema and, despite being out of the centre, draws a loyal audience from the neighbouring areas of Morningside and Bruntsfield. The three films screened represented three themes: exile (James Ivory's Shakespeare Wallah); black list (Joseph Losey's The Servant); and underground (Andy Warhol's Heat). As well as the films there were discussions, chaired by Michael Eaton, with Ismail Merchant, patricia Losey and Sylvia Miles (who was recently featured in the Guardian).

Robin Gutch, head of FilmFour Labs (the low budget part of FilmFour production) embraced this fine medium called the internet with a live online chat in the afternoon. He defended Edinburgh's right to drink alcohol, talked about the production process, and disappointed us when he said there were no plans to produce streaming web only films. He finished off by describing his idea of a good short film: immediate, visual, and able to tell a story with emotional resonance. Hopefully we'll see a few more of these discussions in future festivals - whilst not ideal, it does allow people not at Edinburgh to participate.

Tomorrow look out for another maverick American as Sean Penn brings The Pledge to Edinburgh.

Share this with others on...

Immerse yourself Alla Kovgan on Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Rei Kawakubo and the 3D for Cunningham

Surreal road to redemption Dathaí Keane talks about the balancing act at the heart of his debut Finky

Rooted in reality Marco Bellocchio on the true characters and events in The Traitor

Sharing memories Alba Rohrwacher on Marco Bellocchio, Daughter Of Mine, Lucia's Grace, and storytelling with her sister

Cage-a-rama returns Attendees include Cage's stand-in Marco Kyris

Marriage Story tops Golden Globe nominations Critics ask "Where are the women?"

More news and features

We're bringing you coverage of the French Film Festival.

We've recently been at Tallinn Black Nights, Welsh horror spectacular Abertoir, the London Korean Film Festival and DOC NYC, the Valencia Film Festival, New York's NewFest, the Cambridge Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and the London Film Festival.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


Win a copy of Clockwise in our latest competition.