Sean Penn arrived in town today with his wife Robin Wright Penn, and their two children after holidaying in Scotland. The actor-turned-director is here for a retrospective of his directorial work (although this only includes three films) in particular his latest film, The Pledge.
The press in Edinburgh - always hungry for celebrity - were out in full force. Penn, looking a little groggy, and his actor wife, looking as fresh as a daisy, shared insights into their working relationship and his motivation for making this latest film with Jack Nicholson.
Penn, renowned for his candour, admitted that acting was "a financial decision" although "directing has always been what I got into this [movies] for".
"She says, 'Look outside.' And you see the pool level going down, and all the old waterlines and dust gathering. Then it's time to go and act in a movie," said Penn, joking that he wanted his wife to do lots of "selling out."
"I want her to go out and do big commerial Hollywood pictures. I want her to do lots of them...!"
At the same time, both Penn and Wright Penn lamented the lack of quality, original filmmaking in the US industry today, saying that some of "the best moviemakers in the US are now living in Disneyland." At one point Penn wished upon those filmmakers that are "raping society" by producing empty films, that leave you "more alone and more alienated", that they should go "screaming home with rectal cancer".
The celebrated bad boy of film suggested that there were probably more than half the people in the room who could do a better job than some of the directors that he had worked with. That, naturally, went down well with every attending. "If you're willing to put two thoughts in a picture you're ahead of the game," he said.
They don't call me DV Danny...
They don't call him "DV Danny" yet but director Danny Boyle was fielding questions today about his two new films, Strumpet and Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise. The two films, which were shot with multiple DV cameras and then transferred to film, mark a significant move for Boyle whose last feature was The Beach, with Leonardo DiCaprio.
danny boyle and christopher ecclestonBoyle said he had found using DV a liberating experience - a sentiment echoed by Christopher Eccleson (pictured right)), who stars in both films. "From an acting point of view it's fantastic - you are freer and you know that you are being captured from lots of angles."
Even Anthony Dod Mantle, the Director of Photography, found some upside to the "mentally exhausting" technical headaches faced when shooting a film on 7 or 8 DV cameras at a time. When he took his next project - it was a lot easier.
Boyle plans on using the same team for a forthcoming DV feature, Alex Garland's 28 Days Later, that would be made for the big screen ("Some images don't transfer to the small screen," he said about Vacuuming and Strumpet).
One of the big questions on everyone's lips was now that Irvine Welsh had announced that he would write a sequel to Trainspotting, would Boyle be willing and able to reunite the team for a cinematic sequel?
Of course, Boyle said it was difficult to say yeah or a nay, but he clearly thought there was still enough goodwill since the Trainspotting phenomenon - all the cast have since gone on to greater things - to bring the same team back together again.
Even Ewan McGregor, who he had reportedly had a falling-out with?
"...I havn't spoken to Ewan for a long time, but I'm due to soon."
Trinity will be posting daily news from the Edinburgh Film Festival, so don't forget to check back.