Showing posts with label under the skin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label under the skin. Show all posts

21 January 2014

UK Premiere of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel To Open 2014 Glasgow Film Festival, Programme launched

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The programme for the tenth edition of Glasgow Film Festival was announced today, studded with UK, European and World premiere screenings of some hotly-anticipated films, distinguished, fascinating guests and innovative pop-up cinema experiences. The tenth Festival, which is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland and Creative Scotland, will open with the UK premiere of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, and close with the Scottish premiere of Under the Skin, which was partly filmed in the city.

As ever at GFF, which in 2014 runs from 20 February – 2 March, Glasgow itself is the biggest star of the Festival. This year, look out for special events in unusual venues across the whole city: the gorgeous Gothic spires of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum are the perfect surroundings for a fancy dress gala screening of Young Frankenstein, while the former industrial warehouses in North Glasgow become a retro-futuristic arcade for a ‘total cinema’ screening of Tron, and potholing enthusiasts are invited to a never-before-accessed location underneath Central Station for a mystery film. The tenth Festival also taps into the city’s live music and visual art scenes, and pulls out all the stops, collaborating with artists, DJs, musicians, fashion designers, bands, video gaming experts, comic book icons and Hollywood legends in a huge, glorious celebration of cinema in all of its forms.

Opening Gala: The Grand Budapest Hotel **UK PREMIERE**
Glasgow Film Festival’s first-ever closing gala was Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – it seems particularly fitting that the tenth Festival opens with the UK Premiere of his latest film, two weeks after its world premiere at the Berlinale. The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s most ambitious creations yet, reflecting the political turmoil and social upheaval of Europe between the wars through the hectic lives of the staff and guests at one of the most famous hotels on the continent. The preposterously starry cast, headed by Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton, includes Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Harvey Keitel and Willem Dafoe. Thursday 20 February (19.30) | repeated Friday 21 February (15.45) | GFT


Closing Gala: Under the Skin **SCOTTISH PREMIERE**
Jonathan Glazer’s adaptation of Scottish-based writer Michel Faber’s extraordinary novel is the kind of audacious, spellbinding cinema you only experience once in a generation. Strikingly original in look and execution, it offers an unsettling exploration of loneliness and alienation located in a desolate Glasgow that feels as remote as a distant planet, with a stunning turn from Scarlett Johansson as a seductive alien entity luring her unsuspecting victims to their doom. Sunday 2 March (20.00) | GFT



Allan Hunter, Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director, said:
In the decade since the Festival began, it’s grown almost beyond recognition. One thing remains essential, though – GFF is and will always be an access-all-areas event, where you can meet the filmmakers, ask awkward questions, and make friends with the person sitting next to you. Everyone is a VIP here, and in our tenth year we’re pulling out all the stops, trying to create the best possible experiences for our audiences, and involving as much of the city as we can. 2014 is set to be a thrilling year for Scotland with the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming attracting visitors from all over the world. Glasgow is at the heart of these celebrations and we are proud to offer our special anniversary programme as part of what promises to be an amazing period in the life of the city.’

Special Events
Over the past few years, GFF has established itself as the home of pop-up cinema, creating exciting one-off ‘total cinema’ experiences in some of the city’s best-loved venues. The programme also explores crossovers between film and music, visual art, comic books and computer gaming, with a series of one-off evenings to remember.
Highlights include:
· The grandest Gothic gallery in Glasgow plays host to a monstrously good night, with a fancy dress gala and live organ recitals ahead of a screening of 1974 classic Young Frankenstein, at the Monster Mash at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
· Recruits are sought for a potholing expedition: take part in a mystery cinematic descent deep beneath Glasgow Central Station to a space never before open to the public. Claustrophobes should probably not apply…
· In a special GFF commission at the Old Fruitmarket, Scottish indie-folk darlings Admiral Fallow collaborate with emerging filmmakers from across the country, and weave footage from the landmark 1951 documentary Glasgow, No Mean City into a one-off live performance.
· The lo-fi surroundings of warehouse-turned-nightclub The Glue Factory are transformed into a retro-futurist gaming arcade for a special screening of the 1980s classic, in Tron: Off The Grid
· Celebrate the Motor City with two days of techno, hip hop, documentary and visuals at The Arches. The endlessly funny Detroit hip hop artist Danny Brown teams up with filmmaker Rollo Jackson (who has made music videos for Hot Chip and James Blake) for a live audio/visual set, while godfather of Detroit techno Carl Craig DJs after a screening of Julien Temple’s celebrated documentary Requiem For Detroit?
· One of Scotland’s most hotly-tipped visual artists, Rachel Maclean, the current winner of GFF’s annual Margaret Tait Award, leads Tae Think Again: Rethinking Identity in Contemporary Scotland, a symposium of artists on Scottish identity, as well as serving up the world premiere of her new film on British nationality and Empire, A Whole New World.
· Eat along with the on-screen action in foodie classics When Harry Met Sally, Goodfellas, Rataouille and Withnail & I, as GFF teams up with hip feeders Street Food Cartel for Street Food Cinema at The Briggait, Glasgow’s beautiful former fishmarket.
· As a continuation of Game Cats Go Miaow!, the programming strand which explores the crossover between video games and cinema, audiences can turn a documentary into their very own gaming-style experience, with the interactive 48 Hour Games.
· GFF’s partnership with Glasgow’s Tall Ship continues, as we screen Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (the first ever GFF Closing Gala) and John Carpenter’s chilling sea-bound horror The Fog, in the hold of The Glenlee, under the water level. Look out for the smoke machine…
· A special day of programming celebrating Shetland, in film, poetry and song.
· A mini-strand of films from Commonwealth countries, connected to Glasgow 2014.
The Pop-Up! Programmers, a group of 18-24 year olds dedicated to making cinema accessible in community spaces, organise a series of exciting film events across Glasgow and Ayr. From a screening of The Steamie in Bridgeton (with special guests from the film and archive footage projected onto a drying green) to In the Mood for Love brought to Glasgow’s Chinese community, they’re bringing cinema directly to the people.
· Comic books and computers clash in the Geeks vs Gamers Super Quiz, as two celebrity panels, captained by Kapow! strand programmer and Kick-Ass kingpin Mark Millar and Game Cats Go Miaow! programmer / Scots comedy hero Robert Florence, face off in afficienado Armageddon…
· 2013 Jarman Award nominated artist Ed Atkins presents an eclectic compilation of classic artists’ films, strung together with a live karaoke performance, in Man of Steel.
· The UK premiere of Run & Jump, starring Will Forte, leads into a Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival discussion about the portrayal of mental health issues in cinema, led by Douglas T Stewart (BMX Bandits).

Confirmed Guests
· Director and Academy Award-winning set designer Roger Christian (Alien, Star Wars) presents the European premiere of his painstakingly-restored short Black Angel, shot in and around Scotland and created specifically to screen before The Empire Strikes Back in cinemas. Christian will also discuss his long Hollywood career and enduring collaboration with George Lucas.
· Legendary Dutch director George Sluizer discusses Dark Blood, famously River Phoenix’s last film. Sluzier has recently finished a final cut of the film, which has its UK premiere at GFF.
· Director, actor and writer Richard Ayoade returns to the Festival to discuss his new film The Double, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska
· John Sessions, one of the most versatile and accomplished Scottish actors of his generation discusses his incredible career, which includes working with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, and a latex puppet of Margaret Thatcher.
· agnés b., the internationally-renowned fashion designer-turned-producer/director, delivers a masterclass on filmmaking and her cinematic inspiration, as well as the UK premiere of her film My Name Is Hmmm…, which stars Glasgow artist and Turner Prize-winner Douglas Gordon.
· Lauren Mayberry, co-founder of feminist collective TYCI and member of the band CHVRCHES, introduces The Punk Singer, the documentary about Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna.

UK Premieres
This year, a record sixty of the films in the programme – more than ever before – are UK premieres, including:
· The Opening Gala screening of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel
· My Name is Hmmm…, the feature film directorial debut from French fashion icon agnès b.
· Mr Morgan’s Last Love, starring Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy
· Mood Indigo, the new film from Michel Gondry, starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou
· Kristin Scott Thomas and Daniel Auteuil in Before the Winter Chill
· The highly anticipated horror sequel Wolf Creek 2
· The restoration of James Dean’s star-making film, Rebel Without A Cause.
· Richard Dreyfuss starring in Cas &Dylan, directed by Jason Priestley
· Thomas Imbach’s new take on the life of Mary Queen of Scots, starring Camille Rutherford, Sean Biggerstaff, and Tony Curran as John Knox
· Dear Mr Watterson, an innovative profile of Calvin and Hobbes creator and legendary recluse Bill Watterson
· Go For Sisters, the latest film from cult director John Sayles

· The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared, based on Jonas Jonasson’s globally bestselling novel.
· A Thousand Suns, Mati Diop’s hauntingly beautiful tribute to her late uncle Djibril Diop Mambéty’s multi award-winning classic Touki Bouki
· Quai D’Orsay, the new work from cinema legend Bertrand Tavernier
· The Red Robin, starring cinema veteran Judd Hirscht
Beyond The Edge 3D, a revolutionary 3D documentary piecing together Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s ascent of Everest using archive footage
Yves Saint Laurent, an evocative, exciting biopic of the pioneering French designer
Witching and Bitching, which has just received 10 nominations in Spain’s Goya Awards
Seven of the best new films made in Chile in the last year, as part of CineChile, our homage to Chilean cinema
Glasgow Film Festival is also delighted to host the first-ever public UK screening of the eagerly-anticipated A Long Way Down, based on the novel by Nick Hornby, starring Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette and Pierce Brosnan

World Premieres
· A Whole New World by Rachel Maclean, winner of the 2013 Margaret Tait Award
· The House of Him, the feature film directorial debut from Burnistoun star Robert Florence
· David Graham Scott’s Iboga Nights, a revealing insight into a controversial treatment for drug withdrawal
· Documenting John Grierson, a profile of the Scottish filmmaker who created the documentary format
· Katie Cassidy, Michelle Tratchenberg and Eliza Dushku team up in the big screen adaptation of Daniel Schaffer’s graphic novel The Scribbler, as part of FrightFest. FrightFest will also screen the European premiere of Jordan Baker’s Torment
· Video Nasties: Draconian Days, a documentary looking at the restrictive censorship and horror movies of the 1980s

Scottish Premieres
The 2014 programme also features fifty-seven Scottish premieres, including:
· Oscar-nominated documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about the legendary backing singers in rock & roll.
· Locke, starring Tom Hardy
· The Book Thief, the hugely-anticipated Holocaust film starring Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush.
· Tom Hiddleston making a surprising appearance in Joanna Hogg’s excellent third feature, Exhibition.
· Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose in the film adaptation of Orange Prize for Fiction winner Half of a Yellow Sun
· Kathleen Hanna profile The Punk Singer
· Starred Up, the new film from BAFTA Scotland winner David Mackenzie, starring Jack O’Connell
· Mistaken For Strangers, a rockumentary following The National on their European tour.
· Our Closing Gala screening of Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson

Our Festival Club takes over CCA’s Theatre and Terrace Bar for the duration of the Festival. A series of free talks and events examines the Scottish film, television and gaming industries from all angles – from casting to criticism, Scotland as film location and inspiration, and how to write for video games. After the discussions, a selection of GFF-associated DJs will keep things busy late into the night, in this unique club space where, if 2013 is anything to go by, audiences and filmmakers will most certainly meet and mingle.

As ever cinehouse and The People's Movies will be attending and we'll do our best to cover the festival to the best of our abilities. Happy Birthday Glasgow Film Festival!

28 September 2013

TIFF 2013 Review - Under the Skin

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Rating:
15
Release Date:
9,10&15th September 2013 (TIFF) 13, 14th October (LIFF)
Director:
Jonathan Grazer
Cast:
Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan, Jessica Mance

Directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast) and filmed entirely on location across Scotland Under the Skin is a film flaunting incredible cinematography strung together by a predominantly performance-orientated narrative. Based on the Novel by Michael Faber, Under the Skin follows Laura (Scarlett Johansson), an alien from another world, as she travels across Scotland kidnapping young men.

Glazer’s latest is a sci-fi film akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey in that one of the film’s main components is its striking tone and total control over the presented image. Daniel Landin’s exquisite palette of subdued tones creates a grim atmospheric back-drop for the film’s often macabre visual style. The same gorgeous control over image translates the Scottish landscape into a strange muggy alien territory, foreboding and stirring in equal measure. Hundreds of directors have only seen fit to make such land a charming tourist spot, whilst Glazer has here crafted an environment that is as much a character as Laura herself.

  Under the Skin is a road movie of sorts, shot in a near-documentary style of lingering shots and snappy disjointed editing, which again expand on the notions of “alien” culture. We are presented time and time again with bizarre social situations; the crowds of Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street, Neds rampant in the night, masses of colour-coordinated football fans, all of them overpowering and vast, a sensory overload. But even these shots can tire on the viewer in a film with little dialogue and even less narrative explanation. As a companion to the novel, the film is possibly at its best, but still entirely able as a stand-alone project. For true intrigue: Glazer executes some of the most haunting, striking, and unsettling images of extra-terrestrial life ever put to film.

Glazer keeps the mystery of his alien culture tightly wrapped and that pays off big time, rewarding the audience with a kind of abstract macabre that strays into the realm of the horrific. The aesthetic of this alien technology is the definition of minimalism ensuring nothing can be deduced until the last moment, and though the use of contrast lighting is indeed perfect thinking , it at times crowds scenes with far too much shadow, erasing any finer details. In the same setting Mica Levi’s jarring and genius screech-synth scoring is at its best in Laura’s black widow sequences where it plays out like some bizarre striptease music done in pulse-like percussion. The young Londoner is proving a major talent in sound engineering and someone to keep your eye on.

Apart from the stunning cinematography, the most enrapturing thing about this film is Johansson’s turn as alien provocateur-cum-abductor. Relying less on her lines - which she drones in an awful regional accent - the starlet exhibits an accomplished and often intimidating portrayal of the alien amongst us. This is Johansson’s best performance to date. Johansson, as per, is stunning, and her beauty plays an important part in the alien’s role both during the alien’s predatory ventures, and in the film’s powerful lingering and poignant climax.

Incredibly beautiful piece of sci-fi horror with a stellar performance from Johansson and a soundtrack to compliment, Under the Skin is not the gripping sort of hunter/hunted thriller some may expect. If you can look past its relatively reserved lack of narrative you’ll find a powerful and considerate meander through the life of an alien in an alien land.

★★★★

Scott Clark