Day 9 - Sean Connery; American Splendor's Pekar; One For the Road.

Paul Giamatti does sight-seeing, and Sean Connery gives a rare Q&A for schoolchildren!

by Claire Sawers

Edinburgh. Thursday, 21 August

Keeping It Real For Scotland

There was plenty of excitement this evening when 007 himself turned up for a screening of Afterlife at the UGC. The waiting fans went wild with cheers and flashing cameras as Sean Connery stepped out of his car onto the red carpet.

He was accompanied by his itsy-bitsy teeny weeny wife Micheline. Super-Sean and the Tunisian born artist - who have been married for more than three decades now - were just like love’s young dream as they cuddled for the cameras and waved to the crowds.

Sir Sean spoke briefly to TV crews before going into the film about his continued pride in Scottish cinema. He praised Afterlife highly. He's not the only one to give it the thumbs up – it’s the EIFF audiences number one movie so far. (See report.)

Sean has also seen several other movies in the Festival over the last few days – not surprisingly, he has been most interested in the Scottish entries like Four Eyes and Solid Air.

Sean had also spent the afternoon hangin' with the kids when he gave a Q&A for 150 high school pupils. The sixteen year olds wanted the lowdown on how to get into acting and Sean was happy to oblige with tips and stories based on his own career. The event, held at the UGC this afternoon was part of the EIFF education programme.

Splended American

Also in town today was Harvey Pekar, whose life American Splendor is based on (Paul Giamatti plays him). Pekar, who is the creator of the seminal comic book, American Splendor about his life and all its oddities, visited the Delegate’s Centre and has also been spotted out and about sight-seeing in Edinburgh. (And he’s a lovely cuddly kinda guy by all accounts.)

One for the Road director Chris Cooke

The cast and crew of One For The Road came along to the launch party of their black-comedy tonight at the Delegate’s Centre. Wine and conversation flowed and DJs Steve Blackman and Blondie were spinning some cracking tunes in the corner while press, filmmakers and EIFF staff mingled with the film’s stars.

Greg Chisholm (who plays Jimmy), stopped to chat and said he was enjoying the chance to be a tourist in Edinburgh during the festival. When not busy promoting his own film, he hopes to maybe catch a bit of the competition and check out some other EIFF. Micaiah Dring (who plays Eve, the apple of Jimmy’s eye in the film) was on top form too, chatting about what a good laugh it was to make the film. Director Chris Cooke seemed relaxed after getting the Q&A out of the way – something he had been nervous about doing all day!

The film has been getting some pretty good reviews in the national press and judging by EIFF audiences this evening at the premiere, it seems to be looking like a bit of a winner.

(Possibly a bad film to watch with a hangover though – the chain-smoking and constant downing of pints and cocktails is a bit tough to take at times! Partied out film-festers take note.)

Until tomorrow,

Claire x

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