Edinburgh Film Festival: Day Two

Waters runs deep on the subject of remakes

by Movie Mole

Another day, another Red Carpet.

I think it’s good for their feet – celebrities, that is. Women wear more expensive shoes and men – well let’s say John Waters was not going to be outdone. Last night (as I was trying to fight off other reporters to get a question in to Peter Jinks, of Hallam Foe novelist fame), Waters was comparatively dressed down. Tonight, he was the full catwalk, posing gleefully with jacket buttoned and unbuttoned. But he covered the carpet in seconds, posing for photos and signing autographs. I had time to shake his hand and he was off.

One of the most intelligent of guests the festival could hope for, and with much experience in attracting top talent to low-budget movies; he gave his definition of ‘celebrity’ in the Q&A: “A celebrity is either someone you think is cleverer than you – or else someone you just want to fuck.”

“What do you think about the internet?”

“Oh, it’s good for porn,” he replies, his upper middle-class accent suggesting he would never use it for that, which makes it hilarious. His suggestion for upcoming actors? “They should be able to pass a lie-detector test – that’s real method acting!”

One audience member was determined to show her faithfulness by drawing comparisons between the two versions of Hairspray, putting down the remake, but he was having none of it. “I wrote him [John Travolta] a letter persuading him to do it.” He said he’s very pleased with the remake.

His new film, This Filthy World, was greeted with ecstatic applause (in contrast to the rather muted response to last night’s Hallam Foe). Waters stayed after the premiere for 40 minutes of questions. Here is a star! I had also tried to catch him last night (he was a guest at the opening movie) but a macho young man had been determined to tell reporters how hard it was to do the nude scenes with lovely Sophia Myles. My mind wanders off, imagining Waters playing Hallam instead of Boyd. Dancing gaily across the roof tops, then finding things terribly hard with Sophie. A remake in there somewhere perhaps?

Someone asks Waters what film he’d like to remake. “Ice Maidens,” he replies, quick as a flash. I’ve never heard of it, but his knowledge of film is encyclopaedic. No one challenges. “The original was about blind ice-skaters,” he explains, “but I would make them fat.”

It has been a great day. Lovely sleep-in after dead from exhaustion last night. I skip the more cerebral Scottish Novels On Screen Panel Discussion and Irvine Welsh in Person for a press showing of Death Proof. I haven’t had so much fun at a movie all year. I feel a twinge of guilt at not getting to meet Bela Tarr, the Hungarian heavyweight of serious cinema (his Man From London opened tonight at the Filmhouse), but you ‘can’t do everything’. Chat to some writers on the bus home about Mystic River. “That bit where the lava flows all over him . . .” What?? Not Sean Penn. Apparently a remake.

Hot Gossip
John Waters’ next film will be called ‘Fruitcake’ and is a movie for kids.

Coming tomorrow:

2pm, the brilliant, enigmatic, glamorous – and actually very nice – Tilda Swinton does talks about her work. Cineworld @ 2pm

7pm, Control. The blistering biopic of Joy Division is a must-see. Intense, tragic, and forcefully combining top flight cinematic skills with the most emotional of their songs. Carefree schooldays, epilepsy, the tortured rise to international fame, and suicide. It’s my favourite Samantha Morton film to date too – she plays the long-suffering and devoted wife of lead singer Ian Curtis. Get there nice and early to snap pictures of the stars on the Red Carpet (from 8.30pm) and allow time to recover in the bar afterwards before attempting light-hearted chit-chat. Surprise your friends when the film goes nationwide in October.

After that, at 10.15pm, Kurt Cobain, About a Son is the way to round off the evening for music fans (Cineworld). Then, at Midnight (if you hurry) you’ll just be in time to catch a horror movie – Joshua - at the Cameo. And you can drink there till 3am too.

For more lighthearded fare, maybe try The Hottest State, Sparkle or Razzle Dazzle.

If you’ve bought tickets for the Bafta Interview, please note this is cancelled due to Bob Hoskins being poorly – refunds available.

Don’t forget that if the film is sold out at the box office, there’s always a chance of returns, or tickets released at the last minute.

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