GFF opening film Handsome Devil
2017 is off to an incendiary start with the launch of the Glasgow Film Festival, as Joe Aitken of Glasgow City Marketing, Jen Armitage of Creative Scotland and Eva Wright of Events Scotland team up with co-directors Allison Gardner and Allan Hunter to introduce us to a host of scintillating premières, one off screenings, and festival circuit gems.
Before the teasers are underway, the team are quick to remind us that the Glasgow Film Festival maintained its record high of 40,000 attendees from 2015 to 2016, a far cry from the original 6000. Despite the troubled political and economic atmosphere at present, it’s fantastic to see such a stalwart event bring the Glasgow community together in a celebration of cinema.
This year the audience award is front and centre, with Hope Dickson Eache’s family tragedy The Levelling, and Thomas Napper’s boxing film Jawbone, being tipped for success, Whilst Benthe Forrer’s The Chocolate Case, traces the attempts of three journalists attempting to develop the world’s first slave free chocolate.
Continuing their tradition of unique, one-off events, the GFF are proud to present The Big Easy at the Barras, and as perhaps their most ambitious screening yet, John Carpenter’s The Thing is being shown at Glasgow based indoor Ski Slope, SnowFactor, in temperatures of -5 no less! Participants are urged to wrap up warm, bring a bottle of their favourite whisky, and be incredibly suspicious of all other attendees…
The various strands of the festival this year include a repeat performance of last year’s Modern Families kid friendly screenings, with the South Korean How To Steal A Dog and animated feature Rock Dog garnering the most attention. Sound & Vision presents a selection of films from Flying Lotus’s directorial debut Kuso (featuring music from Aphex Twin, Thundercat and FlyLo himself), as well as David Byrne’s Contemporary Colour, a typically curveball take on the American Marching Band.
Fans of Toshiro Mifune will be pleased as an entire strand is dedicated to screening his most iconic moments from Rashomon to Yojimbo, as well as the all new documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai, narrated by Keanu Reeves, a long time fan of Mifune’s work. Local Heroes provides an insight into the British film circuit, with screenings of Mark Cousins transcontinental love letter Stockholm, My Love, as well as the premiere of boxing documentary Benny, which focuses on Benny Lynch, the greatest boxer Scotland has ever produced.
This year, the opening gala will be Handsome Devil, an Irish film that sees Fionn O’Shea as a sensitive soul sent to a conservative boarding school where the masculine doctrine of rugby rules supreme, whilst the closing Gala features national treasure David Tennant as the controversial anti-psychiatrist R D Laing in Mad To Be Normal. Whether you make five films or 50, 2017 at the Glasgow Film Festival is set to be an early triumph on the festival circuit. We'll be bringing you full coverage here at Eye For Film.