Highlights of the EIFF
Edinburgh International Film Festival, Friday, 26 August, 2005
Bloody decapitation and full frontal nudity are a bit much to stomach at 9am, but luckily I had a brown paper bag to put over my head. After a bacon roll, I started the day with a press show of Snuff-Movie, which will be screening publicly at the more appropriate time of around midnight. I can't decide if this film was so bad it was good, or just very very bad indeed. I suspect it's the latter. Although it was quite funny in parts, I think this was unintentional. It's impossible to be sure. However, it's worth having a look if you're bored as you will never see Archie the Monarch of the Glen (Alastair Mackenzie) in the same light again.
Best and worst of the fest
I can guarantee that Snuff-movie will not be picking up any awards tomorrow. If you're planning to place a late bet, check out the tally so far. It's a two-horse race this year for the audience award anyway - Serenity or Tsotsi - and from all accounts there's not much in it. Competition is rather more intense for the title of 'worst film of the festival' and my money would be on The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael. To be fair, I haven't seen this yet but if there's any truth in what I've heard by eavesdropping on everyone else's conversations, it's total crap.
Generally, it's been a great festival with some amazing films and I only wish I'd spent less time sitting in bars and at computers and more time in darkened cinemas. I wanted to see almost everything, but can now only hope that the delegate centre is left unlocked overnight so that I can do a mini marathon in the videotheque. Or else wait for them to get a proper release. Slow burn hits have been Junebug, Mad Hot Ballroom and The Beat That My Heart Skipped.
Most surprising performance has to go to Keanu Reeves for Thumbsucker. In every bar in every cinema in this town you can hear the shocked gasp of 'Oh my God! Keanu Reeves can act!'. As a longterm Keanu despiser, I feel obliged to point out that he does the exact same wooden faced deadpan thing in this film as in everything else since Bill & Ted, but credit where credit's due - at least he's picking films where this unique skill is an advantage now.
What's with the orange tan?
This afternoon I was at a press conference for the closing gala film The Business. Why are all film people orange these days? Is there any connection between the permatan glow radiating from every filmmaker guest and the fact that mobile phone company Orange is one of the major sponsors? Were they all sent bottles of St Tropez with their invites? Answers on a postcard please. Strangely enough, the palest star I've seen this month was Hollywood golden boy Elijah Woods, but maybe hobbits don't tan.
Nick Love, Danny Dyer and Tamer Hassan all turned up to answer questions, but end of festival fatigue has clearly set in and hardly any of the assembled journos could think of a question to ask. I chewed my pen and stared at the floor reflectively as the awkward silence dragged on.
Nick Love gives the impression of being an alright geezer, down to earth and practical albeit dressed like a member of Goldie Lookin' Chain. Despite the surname, Nick is apparently "very military" in his directorial style, and his film company was formed "out of bitterness and resentment at the British Film Industry." He would get on rather well with Joss Whedon, who said making films was like "being in the army" and also claims to be full of vitriol and bile.
I am definitely on to something here with this How To Be A Successful Filmmaker book as they are all saying the exact same things day after day, regardless of genre or experience. Today I added chapters on 'The importance of liking westerns' and 'Why art and commerce are inextricably linked'. It's shaping up to be an epic. I think the next chapter will be on 'How to gain acceptance through fake tan.'
Tonight's Scottish Screen party was also epic. I can't remember where it was held, but it was noisy and busy with lots of free drink. Loss of memory is probably a good thing here. I had fun and then ate pizza and passed out.
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