Last night at The Glasgow Film Theatre marked the end of the 2011 Glasgow Film Festival which ended with the closing gala movie of THE EAGLE starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell with Scottish (and Glaswegian) director Kevin MacDonald the man behind the lense. I was in attendance of the closing gala with the movies producer Duncan Kenworthy (love actually, 4 weddings and a funeral )also in attendence with Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) in the audience as he was in town to for his Balibo premiere.The Eagle was a ok movie nothing spectacular an entertaining movie or as some critics have called it the Brokeback Mountain of Roman time a movie that sees Channning Tatum and Jamie Bell at odds with each other but end up respecting each other too during the Romans time ruling England.
The 10 day extravaganza is the fastest growing film festival playing across 15 venues with The Glasgow Film Theatre and its nearby cineworld neighbour (who boasts the title of the tallest cinema in the world along the busiest cinema in UK title) the festival played to over 250 movies showcasing movies of new & old to short and weird there was something in the festivalto suit all tastes. Now in its 7th year and a another year to celebrate as the sales have risen once again upto 33,000 which is up 7,000 on last years figures (includes 30 sell outs) which establishes the festival as the third force in UK after the old guard of London and neighbours Edinburgh. What I really like about Glasgow is it’s a big festival treated as a low key affair not discriminating against people of any certain class making you feel welcomed to enjoy that movie experience no matter what the movie, documentary of short was compared to its highbrow neighbour Edinburgh where Ive felt a little out of place.
The programme ranged from such movies as The Eagle, Ken Loach’s ROUTE 18, Essential Killing ,Howl, Meeks Cutoff, Indie vampire post apoclaypse movie Stake Land, This Years Oscar Winner For Best Foreign movie IN A BETTER WORLD. One of the best things of this festival is the wide selection of world cinema movies on offer with a season dedicated to Bollywood but my favourites cames from the far east in Japane & China with the screenings of Confessions, Confessions of a Dog (where I had the chance to meet the director Gen Takashi along with Third Windows Adam Torrell), the movie adaptation of Murakami’s Norwegian Wood but the movie that was my all time favourite I SAW THE DEVIL Uncut. The movie was part of the annual Frightfest in Glasgow weekend and if you’ve had a chance to see the movie you’ll know what I mean when I told my good friend pervy pete (called that for a reason) who is a connisuer of adult movies online that watching I SAW THE DEVIL will make you think twice of watching a adult movie alone as you dont know who lurking around!
The rest of the frightfest weekend seem to run with the slasher/revenge/grindhouse themes with pyschotic killer tyres in Rubber, remake of Mothers day, Territories, Machete Maidens, Little Deaths (which didnt go down well with some of the audience) and Rutger Hauer delivering justice one shell at a time with Hobo with a shotgun. Compared to last years festival from what I watched only I SAW THE DEVIL was the best of the bunch and the rest i would say was the slightly dissapointing thought frightfest boys always make sure you do have a great time.
Obiviously not able to go everything and the hardest part is to pick what to see and what not to see with Kick Ass creator’s Mark Millar the ambassador of the Superhero’s in Glasgow programme which saw a number of artists, writerscome to the city talk about there work look at the audiences own portfolio’s. This programme was also about the movies too with the audience treated to a rare treat of watching Richard Donner’s cut of Superman 2 before he was sacked and what I gather this version seems to be more favourable to the richard lester version. Other cult movies included a 3d remake of the classic Japanese movie Battle Royaleand keeping with asian movies one of the most popular parts of the festival is the secret movie which can be anything from a future release down to a classic movie and the lucky people where treat to Takashi Miike‘s 13 Assassins! This years retrospective went to Meyrll streep which included screening s of some of her classic movies including Ironweed, Sophie’s Choice and Out Of Africa .
I was able to 17 movies but if you know me im slow at doing the reviews so below is a list of all the movies i watched and my rating along with a line of my thoughts on it too, 2012 bring it on!
COLD FISH 18 3.5/5 -A Brilliant but ludicrous compelling serial Killer movie
TINY FURNITURE 15 3/5 – A bright interesting look at those niggling things in family life from a ambitious new filmmaker
CONFESSIONS 15 4.5/5 – Stunning , but disturbing smart revenge movie
CONFESSIONS OF A DOG 18 4.5/5 – Engrossing piece of filmmaking of corrupt Japanese police
DETECTIVE DEE & PHANTOM FLAME 12A 4/5 Over The Top Sherlock Holmes meets Bruce lee in a epic Han era thriller
FAIR GAME 12A – 3/5 A lie & Smear capmgin by the U.S Government that should have been protrayed with more satisfaction
STAKELAND 15 4/5 a fantastic ‘alternative’ post apoclaypse overan by vampires and religious extremists
IN A BETTER WORLD 15 5/5 a engrossing tense drama deserving of its Oscar win
BEYOND 15 3.5/ 5 A Powerful performance from Noomi Rapace a sad but truelife event happening too often thesed ays world wide
ESSENTIAL KILLING 15 3.5/5 Intense thriller perfectly played by Vincent Gallo
HOWL 15 4/5 A Fantastic performance by James Franco
NORWEGIAN WOOD 15 3.5/5 A dark compelling adaption of The Murakami booking with a haunting sound track from Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead fame
ANIMAL KINGDOM 15 4/5 Engrossing tale a notrious Melbourne gangland family with a spellbinding performance from Jackie Weaver as the matriach of the family
TERRITORIES 18 3/5 A Dark brutal tale which is an attack on those people who judge others simply by there name creating there own little guatamano bay on the US-Canadian border.
THE SHRINE 15 3/5 Full of trademark of old school Hammer House television from 1970’s just took too long to start before you knew it was finished.
I SAW THE DEVIL 18 5/5 The best revenge movie ive seen in years, brutal and full of dark humour
THE EAGLE 15 3/5 A Decent movie that doesnt attempt to go over the top in anything especially the fight scene