Edinburgh Film Festival: Day-by-day guide… PART ONE

Film festivals, like any kind of festival, tend to have lots of things going on in a not-very-long period of time. This can lead to confusion and anger when scanning the programme and finding that the thing you wanted to see is on at the same time as the other thing and that the third thing has already been on and you missed it and AAAGH!

As such, a plan is required. Best way to break it down is to go through, from the 18th to the 28th, and pick one thing each day to go and see, with the pros and cons honestly weighed up for your perusal. Because let’s face it, unless you’re a journalist, an aristocrat, or the kind of person who REALLY plans ahead, you won’t have the time, money, or sheer determination to fire into all the films at the festival. So here we go, the Moviebarn guide to the Edinburgh Film Festival…

13th and 14th – Outdoor film hi-jinks…

OK, so I said the 18th, but hear me out. The big open space outside the National Gallery on the Mound is being turned, once more, into a free open-air cinema for a Tour de France-style prologue to the Festival. The line up is something of a retro rummage through the collective DVD collection, with Back to the Future, E.T., Strictly Ballroom and Local Hero on display over the weekend.

PROS: It’s free. Prior knowledge of the films in question, so no nasty surprises (ie shit-ness)
CONS: It’s free, so it’ll be busy. It’ll probably rain. And you’ve seen these films before, and you didn’t have to sit outside to do it…
Mound Precinct, All weekend, Free Entry

Wed 18th – The Edge of Love 

Ah, the opening gala. The beautiful people, the paparazzo, the… proles in a separate cinema? Hang the hell on. Yes that’s right, the world premiere of Keira Knightley’s latest crack at the WWII-drama whip is the big opener at this year’s festival, but it’s showing at 2 different times. In 3 seperate screens. So while you may enjoy Cillian Murphy, Sienna Miller and Keira bantering about in this tale of lost love in the midst of the Blitz, it’ll be with your mind firmly on what kind of crazy parties are going on in the other rooms.

PROS: It’s a genuine event. Potential to meet Keira Knightley.
CONS: Potential to meet Knightley diminshed by staggering of showings. Potential feelings of inadequacy and jealousy at not being at in the big boys’ cinema.
Cineworld @ FountainPark, 9:45pm, £11 (£8.80 concessions)

Thu 19th – A Complete History of my Sexual Failures

For fans of the likes of Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace, ACHOMSF sees Chris Waitt look back over his failed relationships, and ask what went wrong. Not metaphorically. He actually goes and asks the women. Sounds tip-top…

PROS: It’s an amusing set-up, and the fact that it’s true makes it all the funnier.
CONS: May cause depression at seeing how many wrong turns you have taken as a man.
Cameo on Home Street, 8:30pm, £8 (£6.40 conc.) [Also on Sat 21st at 8:15pm]

Fri 20th – Somers Town

Grittiness. Shouting. These are just two of the things to expect from the new film from This is England director Shane Meadows (pictured). A young runaway, played by Thomas Turgoose of TIE fame, teams up with a Polish teenager as they do their best to get by. Described as ‘bleak’ and ‘hilarious’. Hmm…

PROS: Pedigree, and a director and star who worked well by all accounts on their last project.
CONS: Not the populist choice if you have a load of mates who want to go to the cinema. May be a bit bleak for a Friday night.

Cineworld @ FountainPark, 5:30pm, £8 (£6.40 conc.) [Also on Sat 21st, 2:30pm]

Sat 21st – The Wackness

A drug-dealing buddy comedy starring Ben Kingsley as a slightly unhinged psychiatrist? Sounds interesting. His drug-dealing buddy’s still at school? Hmm, I am even more intrigued. Mary-Kate Olsen and Method Man are in it? Now this I’ve GOT to see.

PROS: Big hit at the Sundance festival, and things that are tend to be quite good. Ben Kingsley’s at his best when he’s playing characters that are wildly off what he actually is – Sexy Beast, Gandhi etc.

CONS: Is it a stretch too far into Ridiculousland? Is Mary-Kate funny? Can she act? Can Method Man act?
Cineworld @ FountainPark, 9:45pm, £8 (£6.40 conc.) [Also on Fri 20th, 6:30pm]

That’s part one of your guide. Check back for the rest of the Fest, with Dylan Moran, Brazilians shooting each other, and Wall-E!!!!


HAVE I MISSED SOMETHING? Do you think that there’s better stuff going on but I haven’t seen it? Comment, or email themoviebarn@googlemail.com


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