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GFF Diary days 5&6: Roxy Toporowych, the Margaret Tait Award and a spot of ghostbusting

by Jennie Kermode

Ghostbusters: the next generation
Ghostbusters: the next generation Photo: Ingrid Mur

Sunday at the Glasgow Film Festival was busy right from the start, with film fans – some of whom admitted to never having seen it before – packing into the free screening of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. Argentinean family drama The Quietude proved heady stuff that early in the day but for people looking for something there kids could enjoy, a special child-focused screening of the original Ghostbusters amply delivered. It was an event that would be repeated with less drawing and sliming, more swearing and cocktails (made by scientists, of course) to entertain adults in the evening. Of course, everyone loved the Staypuft marshmallows.

Heike Bachelier and Andy Heathcote talk about Of Fish And Foe
Heike Bachelier and Andy Heathcote talk about Of Fish And Foe Photo: Pete Copeland

The animated story of a reporter’s experiences in Angola, Another Day Of Life, screened in the afternoon, Michael Winterbottom’s Pakistan-set thriller The Wedding Guest seemed to thrill and delight audiences in equal measure, and things turned rather darker in Siberian drama The Man Who Surprised Everyone, about a terminally ill man who tries to fool the Grim Reaper by transforming himself into a woman. There was widespread praise for Australian football comedy The Merger, another wedding celebration turned up some surprises in Everybody Knows – see what Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem had to say about it at Cannes last year – and there was a portrait of a Scottish fishing family in crisis in documentary Of Fish And Foe, with Heike Bachelier and Andy Heathcote in attendance to discuss their film.

Stars were out on the red carpet in the evening for Julia Blue, whose director Roxy Toporowych turned up wearing a sequinned jacket with the film’s title on the back, made by her mum. Viewers went crazy for Elizabeth Moss’ turn as a punk rock star in Her Smell but were divided on whether or not they actually liked the film. There was a screening of German drama The Most Beautiful Couple, about recovery from trauma and the limits of revenge, a another Cannes hit, Lucas Dhont’s Girl found a receptive audience despite the criticism it has received over its portrayal of a trans girl who wants to be a ballerina. Where it has been called out for focusing a lot on what makes its heroine seem different without saying much about her as a person, some fans felt that her being trans wasn’t important to them at all and loved it because it was a film about going after one’s dreams.

A touch of glamour for Julia Blue
A touch of glamour for Julia Blue Photo: Max Crawford

Eye For Film’s team was hard at work overnight bring you live coverage of the Oscars and one of our number unfortunately misjudged it a bit, waking too late and too exhausted to make his morning screening on Monday. We were told that it was a quiet morning anyway, mostly focused on catch-up screenings. Things picked up speed later in the day with showings of yachting documentary Maiden and Belgian charmer The Elephant And The Butterfly, in which a man gets to know his small daughter for the first time. Meanwhile The White Crow dramatised the early life of ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev and saw screenwriter David Hare share his thoughts with the audience, whilst elsewhere the annual Margaret Tait award was presented to artist and singer Jamie Crewe.

The evening saw screenings of Blind Spot (a family tragedy and one of those films about which it’s almost impossible to talk without giving vital things away), Hitchcockian missing person thriller Under The Silver Lake, Neil McCann's studiously meandering biopic of Adrian Crowley The Science Of Ghosts and Iranian drama Permission, which is loosely based on real life events and explores what happens when one of the country’s top female football players is suddenly denied the right to leave the country by her husband, right before an important tournament.

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