Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Glasgow Film Festival 2012

Jonathan Melville tweeted recently: "With @glasgowfilmfest tickets now on sale, here's my interview/preview with co-director Allan Hunter #GFF12"

This is that interview:
‘It’s about being as open-minded as possible’: Allan Hunter on Glasgow Film Festival 2012

The Glasgow Film Festival has gone from strength-to-strength in the past few years, with the launch of the 2012 programme much-anticipated by film fans around the country.

Ahead of the press launch on the evening of 18 January, we sat down with Festival co-director Allan Hunter to find out what’s coming to Glasgow between 16 – 26 February, how the team decide what to show and what it’s been like to see the Festival grow to its current stature.

What can you tell me about the films you’ve chosen for 2012, particularly the Scottish talent on offer?

The opening gala is Your Sister’s Sister, about a man who’s getting over the death of a friend so he arrives at his friend’s family cottage and when he turns up her half sister is already there, and I can’t tell you more than that. The closing gala is Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre, which was at Cannes and has won a lot of prizes.

There are quite a lot of Scottish films this year, such as Zam Salin’s Up There, starring Burn Gorman. Zam’s done quite a lot of shorts, including Laid Off, which this is based on. It’s a sort of lugubrious existential black comedy and the premise is that a guy dies and discovers that the afterlife isn’t as exciting as he wants it to be, it’s all a bit disappointing really. He’s sent to work to look after the newly-dead and it takes off from there.

We’ve got Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy, starring the charismatic Adam Sinclair, and there’s Silver Tongues which is based on a Scottish short but it’s now an American indie because that’s where the funding came from. Decoy Bride is there, starring David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with Ewan McGregor.

You might remember at last year’s Scottish BAFTAs that David Peat was given the Outstanding Contribution for Craft Award, so we’re going to show the Billy Connolly documentary, Big Banana Feet, which he worked on with Murray Grigor and they’ll chat over old times.

The big film in our Out of the Past strand is Bertrand Tavernier’s Death Watch, a film set in Glasgow which has been out of circulation for a while. There is a glorious digital restoration and Tavernier is coming over for that; he’s a big fan of Glasgow and of The Ubiquitous Chip!
Read more at Reel Scotland

Classic Glasgow movie among festival highlights
The resurrection of a classic Glasgow-shot movie, along with new films starring David Tennant, Emily Blunt and Gene Kelly, as well as writer Irvine Welsh's new movie, are all part of this year's Glasgow Film Festival (GFF).

Death Watch, or La Mort en Direct, was shot in Glasgow in 1980, starring Harvey Keitel, Romy Schneider and Harry Dean Stanton, but has long been unavailable in the UK.

However, the Glasgow festival, growing in popularity and acclaim and this year running from February 16 until 26, is to show a digital restoration of the movie, which will be re-released later this year.

The festival will open with the UK premiere of Your Sister's Sister, directed by Lynn Shelton. It stars Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass in a "painfully funny and utterly captivating tale of bad timing, broken hearts and the healing power of love", according to the festival.
The festival's closing gala is Le Havre, made by Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki and which won the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc in France and a number of other international awards.

The 2012 festival features 239 films in total, including a record number of UK and European premieres.

Films are being shown at 16 venues across the city. They include Welsh's Ecstasy, the romantic comedy The Decoy Bride co-starring Tennant and Kelly Macdonald, the acclaimed American independent drama In the Family, the period drama Bel Ami starring Robert Pattinson and Cloudburst with Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker.

Allison Gardner, co-director of the festival, said: "I think the superb quality and international credentials of the opening and closing galas reflect the very special programme of films and events that we have put together for the 2012 festival."

Allan Hunter, co-director of the festival, added: "This year's programme is a rich and diverse selection of prize-winners and premieres from around the globe and around the corner."
Read more at Herald Scotland and STV

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