With February approaching, Glasgow Film Festival is currently gearing up for its tenth edition, and this week we got our first glimpse of the upcoming programme. The festival — now apparently the third biggest in the UK — is going from strength to strength, and this year boasts its most varied and exciting line-up of films and film-related events to date. Here are the ten movies we’re most looking forward to seeing when the festival opens on February 20th.
With the Glasgow Film Festival commencing its 9th year, we sent along two of our Highland based contributors to bring you their verdict on the line-up. Patrick Harley, determined to see an obscene amount of films over a short period of time, will be using what seconds he has spare to provide round-ups as the festival proceeds. Meanwhile when the festival ends, the fun continues, with Steven Neish on hand to select his Best of the Fest – unmissable gems you’ll be rushing to see when they come to a cinema near you. Here’s what happened on Patrick’s first day…
A bold directorial debut from Michael Haneke’s long-time casting director Markus Schleinzer, Michael is a remarkably assured piece of work. Dealing with a subject matter certain to create discomfort, the film uses a carefully restrained approach to provide a distressing yet entirely naturalistic portrait of a soft-spoken office worker who keeps a ten-year-old boy locked in his basement.
The perfect selection to get the 2012 Glasgow Film Festival off to a strong start, Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister is a warm hearted treat. The story of three unhappy individuals attempting to rediscover themselves in a remote island bungalow, the film takes the potential makings of melodrama and uses them to craft something unexpectedly enjoyable. Fuelled by consistently excellent dialogue and anchored by a thoroughly likeable leading trio, it should leave even the cynical feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
You might not have heard the one about the widower who bought his kids a zoo, but remarkably it has its basis in reality. While Matt Damon’s latest might be far from the actor’s best work, We Bought a Zoo is a touching, humbling and wonderfully gracious film that should begin to undo the damage caused by Kevin James’ atrocious Zookeeper. You can put down that Capuchin, it turns out they’re not all voiced by Adam Sandler.
Here we are again, eh? Another start to another week in another month that will go on and on until one of those predictions we’ve heard about end up being true and we all get cast into the fiery depths. Which, frankly, will be a nice change. Anyway, The Glasgow Film Festival is on! That’s something to raise your kilt about!
V is for vendetta in Ken Loach’s latest, Route Irish, in which Mark Womack sets about avenging the death of popular stand-up comedian John Bishop. Armed with a PMC-busting mobile phone, Skype and a garage-full of training equipment, our hero wastes no time shouting his head off in this very serious movie about privatisation and the Iraq War.
Contents of a classic Glaswegian Film Festival: Contains Music, a smattering of Youth Films, several heaped tablespoons of Short Films, a dash of Frightfest, and an independent magazine. Serves two annual awards. Now that’s a huge great big belly-full of Film delights.