Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Glasgow Film Festival! 18 February – 1 March

In an attempt to beat the rush, here's a few comments on Glasgow Film Festival...

This year, they have divided the programme into clear strands: this makes it much easier to plan my programme, and to write about films collectively...

Glasgow Short Film Festival: 11–15 March
Scotland’s leading short film festival returns, this time in March and extended to five sublime days of screenings devoted to petite and perfectly-formed movies. Alongside a wealth of exciting new talent competing for the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film and the Scottish Short Film Award, GSFF will stage unique events and parties in venues across the city, including a celebration of Finnish underground film and music, and a guerrilla cinema walking tour screening films in some of the city’s overlooked public spaces. The full programme will be announced in January 2015, with some special events announced in December.

Glasgow Youth Film Festival 6­­­–8 February
GYFF has a new look this year. Now one weekend-long, the festival will focus exclusively on films which look at teenage and young adult life. As the younger child-friendly films graduate into GFF’s Modern Families strand, the youth programming team (all aged 15-19) are pulling together an issue-based programme. Industry insiders (and a few starrier teen heroes) will offer masterclasses and advice to young people who want to make a career in film or TV. GYFF are also venturing into pop-up cinema this year, with a mystery closing event at a yet-to-be disclosed location as part of Glasgow’s Green Year 2015. Full programme announced early December,

New programme strands for 2015

Strewth! As Glasgow hands over the Commonwealth Games to the Gold Coast, we celebrate Australia’s home-grown film industry, from some old favourites to a showcase of the excellent new films coming up from Down Under. The duality between broad, empty outback and the increasingly sleek metropolis, ever-present racial tensions, particularly as they relate to land ownership, and jet-black humour that occasionally veers into a gritted-teeth sense of camp, are themes that run through the last three decades of Aussie cinema, and come together in the films in this strand. Ripper, mate.

Modern Families Packed with gorgeous films which have found new, imaginative ways of telling stories to and about children, and their families. The festival has been somewhat remiss in catering to younger audience members in the past: with family-friendly screenings throughout festival weekends we’re hoping to make up for that. This strand will offer a range of perspectives on the tricky business of growing up, in animation and live action: you don’t have to bring a child with you to enjoy them, either!

Nerdvana Hey, remember when Judge Dredd creator John Wagner came to GFF? When Joss Whedon charmed three cinemas’ full of loved-up fans and the gigantic signing queue outside? When comic book legend Mark Millar took on gamer icon Robert Florence in a battle of the fans, or that time the red carpet was packed with Game of Thrones cos-players out to meet the Hound? Yeah, Glasgow Film Festival’s geeky streak is at least a mile wide. Nerdvana is a new programme consolidating all of our alt-culture interests, from gaming to comics to cult film, in one handy strand.

Cinema City The culmination of our four-year Cinema City project, this strand celebrates Glasgow’s enduring relationship with the flicks. In the 1930s, the ‘cinema city’ had more cinemas per head of population than any other in the world; and now it regularly acts as a backdrop for Hollywood blockbusters. Films and events will look at both the history of cinema-going within the city and notable Glasgow-set films. The centerpiece of this strand is our Cinema City exhibition, to be held at the Mitchell Library, comprising of memorabilia, archive footage, and oral testimony from film lovers across the city, aged from 19-92, about their memories of the movies.

Pioneer GFF has been steadily gaining a reputation as the place to catch the best filmmakers of tomorrow. We’ve screened early work by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the 2014 Cannes’ Palme D’or winner for Winter Sleep, Ben Wheatley, Lena Dunham, Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), and Palme D’or nominees Zhangke Jia, Xavier Dolan and Asghar Faradi, to name but a few. Pioneer celebrates emerging filmmakers – directors and writers on their debut or second feature who we think might go on to do even greater things.

CineMasters Previews and premieres of new works from the biggest names in international cinema.

Here’s Looking At You, Kid On the centenary of her birth, GFF’s retrospective strand celebrates the luminous Ingrid Bergman, tracing her career through ten of her best films. Bergman is now most famous for Casablanca (1942), but she carved a singular figure throughout sexist, code-neutered Hollywood, tending to play serious, intelligent roles: career women (psychologists, Mother Superiors), political figures (revolutionaries, spies); women of honour and decency like Joan of Arc or Casablanca’s Ilsa Lund. This strand follows her from her early days in Sweden, through three Oscar wins, to the last cinema film she made before her death in 1982.

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