Chiller thriller

GFF Diary days 7&8: Xavier Legrand, Denis Menochet, Dafhyd Flynn, bowling with the dude and the snowpocalypse

by Jennie Kermode

Obviously you're not a golfer
Obviously you're not a golfer Photo: Ingrid Mur

Big snowflakes were gently drifting down from the sky on the morning of day seven of the Glasgow Film Festival, but no-one had any idea of the chaos that was to come. The day opened with another free screening in the Rebel Heroes series, seeing Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis as escaped convicts cuffed together in The Defiant Ones, and there are was also a screening or bizarre marketing experiment docudrama DRIB.

Xavier Legrand and Denis Ménochet wrapped up warm on the red carpet
Xavier Legrand and Denis Ménochet wrapped up warm on the red carpet Photo: Max Crawford

Later in the day there was a chance to see Cannes award winner The Rider, whose director Chloé Zhao and star Bradley Jandreau recently shared their thoughts with us. Russian road movie How Viktor "The Garlic" Took Alexey "The Stud" To The Nursing Home attracted curious viewers with its title alone, whilst film fans were seriously impressed (and in some cases quite shaken) by Custody, with its coruscating examination of domestic violence. We recently interviewed director Xavier Legrand about it, and he put in a personal appearance at the festival along with star Denis Menochet, whose performance was so convincing that it took some audience members a while to feel comfortable sitting near him.

Director Frank Berry, producer Donna Eperon and star Dafhyd Flynn were present for a screening of Irish prison drama Michael Inside, there was a look at the early days of a rather less sympathetic criminal in My Friend Dahmer (which made a splash at last year’s Fantasia), sisters dabbled with blackmail in Finnish thriller Miami and a woman whose life was ripped apart by terrorism sought revenge in In The Fade – we spoke to star Diane Kruger. The biggest event of the night, however, was a chance to chill with the Dude, as fans of The Big Lebowski headed to the Hollywood Bowl for a special screening and competed in the bowling alley for a big prize.

Dafhyd Flynn discussing Michael Inside
Dafhyd Flynn discussing Michael Inside Photo: Glasgow Film Festival

There had been a great deal planned for the following day, but when it gets so cold that even groundhogs stop appearing, it’s clear that this is not a normal day. A few determined film fans braved the weather for screenings of The Charmer and Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, but by the time those finished the snow was coming down so heavily that red weather alerts had been issued and the festival was forced to cancel its late afternoon and evening screenings. The school disco event that had been planned, featuring rival screenings of Gregory’s Girl and Clueless, was moved to the following week, so at least local people will still be able to enjoy it. Some of the cancelled films, such as Madame, already had further screenings scheduled for the following day but others, like The Camino Voyage, looked likely to be cancelled then too. Festival attendees were disappointed but understanding, especially as government advice was to go home and only travel if it couldn’t be avoided. When even the Baltic reception is cancelled due to the weather, you know you have to take it seriously.

This left everybody facing something of a cliffhanger. Would the rest of the festival go ahead? Would the Frightfest team make it up from London as planned? What would happen to all the stars still planning to travel to attend. And would they ever have a chance to see the cancelled Surprise Movie, or at least find out what it would have been? Watch this space for answers.

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