Stranger days

GFF Diary days 3&4: dinner, dancing, alien hunters and all the fun of the fair.

by Jennie Kermode

"We've been aware of some very serious vampire activity in this area for a long time."
"We've been aware of some very serious vampire activity in this area for a long time." Photo: Ingrid Mur

The third day of the Glasgow Film Festival built up slowly but was going strong by the evening, showcasing some of this year’s best films. Pablo Larraín’s biopic of Chilean politician-poet Neruda impressed fans while the sinister The Autopsy Of Jane Doe, the latest film from Troll Hunter director André Øvredal, sent shivers down their spines, with some calling it the best horror film they’ve seen for years. There was a lot of love for French Oscar contender My Life As A Courgette, which was deemed a good antidote to some o the more distressing films on the festival menu, and fans were out in force to see the work of cult online animator David Firth in shorts collection Umbilical World and ten minute oddity Cream.

John Brumption, Paul Ireland and Allan Hunter talking Pawno
John Brumption, Paul Ireland and Allan Hunter talking Pawno Photo: Pete Copeland

Probably the most talked-about film of the night was Berlin Syndrome, which some people found too sexual, some too disturbing, but which almost everyone was fascinated by. There was also a lot of excitement about Liberation Day, which tells the strange story of what happened when Laibach played in North Korea. Meanwhile, an opportunity to see the original Predator on the big screen morphed into an audience participation event when several fans turned up in costume and everybody wanted to join in. It wasn’t so much a singalong as a shout-along, but it was certainly popular.

Dressing up was also in vogue for the evening’s other big event. rumours spread that several vampires had been seen in the vicinity of the GFT, and other people in the area looked distinctly different too, like time travellers, with fluorescent clothes, legwarmers, bandanas and mullets galore. Before long they all climbed aboard the same bus and were escorted by biker outriders as they drove onto the motorway. None of them knew for sure where they were going, but it turned out that the destination was M&D’s Theme Park, just outside Motherwell – a real life fairground, the perfect setting for a 30th anniversary screening of The Lost Boys. The rides were all free and fans had an amazing time on the big wheel and the carousel. As far as we know, everybody came back alive.

Dressed to kill at The Big Easy
Dressed to kill at The Big Easy Photo: Ingrid Mur

Saturday began with a queue around the block for Scarlet Street, the Dangerous Dames strand getting more popular all the time. Early highlights included refugee drama The Good Postman and silent era classic Little Annie Rooney. In the evening, Cannes hit Personal Shopper packed in the fans, mostly there to see Kristen Stewart, who recently shared her thoughts on the film with us. There was a great response to William Oldroy’s Lady Macbeth and to Korean historical thriller The Age Of Shadows, while director Paul Ireland and seasoned Australian star John Brumpton were on hand to introduce comedy drama Pawno.

Fans who wanted to go beyond the usual cinema experience had a choice of two options on Saturday night, with MOVE presenting a cinematic showcase of travel and dance followed by an opportunity to do some actual moving around at a party generously supplied with free drink. Meanwhile, The Big Easy celebrated its 30th anniversary, and VIP attendees were treated to a Cajun feast beforehand, with Cajun music playing at A’Challtainn. It was an easy way to get into the spirit of things now that the festival is in full swing.

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