2022 and GFF squeeing!

Welcome back after the New Year break! And we are hitting the ground rolling with the new reveals of what is up for grabs at this year’s GFF.

Today the FrightFest lineup was announced – see details here: https://cloutcom.co.uk/frightfest-glasgow-2022/

Excited for The Execution, based on the hunt for Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo. 14-year-old me is bouncing in her seat to see living ghoul Chikatilo brought to big screen by the Russians themselves. Also eager to see childhood crush Christina Ricci as a single mum trying to keep her kid safe in a haunted house in Monstrous. Also the loveable Anthony Stewart Head pops up in Let The Wrong One In, a vampire comedy. Another horror comedy that looks a ton of fun is Some Like It Rare, about butchers frustrated by losing business due to vegans, who turn to hunting them for sport and cannibalistic profit. Might bring my sis to see that one, sitting in her anti-carnist tshirt. Wyrmwood: Apocalypse also promises to be a riot, zombies and exploding heads everywhere. Freaks Out is a tale of the magic of the circus, with extraordinary people who really have extraordinary powers, who face the end of their age of innocence as Nazism sweeps Europe. The fight-back by those who are different against the forces of homogeneity will prove bombastic. For tension, The Ledge proves a struggle for survival, as one woman fights to outrun the killers of her sister on a sheer mountain wall. For the creeps of folk horror, we have You Are Not My Mother, about a reverse changeling situation, where the daughter suspects the mother of being some Other in her likeness. For thrills and chills of a variety of kinds, we have The Cellar, Homebound, Mandrake and A Cloud So High. Looks like a great smorgasbord of horror, with something for every mood. Yeay!

GFF have also announced their retrospective series for this year, Winds of Change: Cinema in ’62. Classics abound, with To Kill A Mockingbird, with the legendary Brock Peters as the man falsely accused of rape across the colour line in the segregated South, and Gregory Peck as the man who defends him. Peck also stars in Cape Fear, as a lawyer whose family is targeted for revenge by a ruthless convict, played by Robert Mitchum. More giants of cinema appear in the timeless western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, with eternal cowboy John Wayne opposite fastidious James Stewart and the gremlin-faced Lee Marvin. Another legend of cinema, Kirk Douglas, appears in Lonely are the Brave, a western set a century later, of the last true cowboy trying to live free in the modern era. Lawrence of Arabia provides a chance to see the sweeping sandy vistas and the award-winning performances of Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole. For those of you missing the late great Sean Connery, Dr No will bring him back to the silver screen as the iconic Bond, James Bond. Cold war era paranoia reaches its heights with Frank Sinatra and Janet Leigh in The Manchurian Candidate, and existential dread is omnipresent in real-time French classic Cleo, From 5 to 7. Jack Lemon stars in dark romance Days of Wine and Roses, about a couple whose shared alcoholism threatens to destroy them both, and Ann Bancroft stars in The Miracle Worker, as the woman trying to teach deaf-blind Helen Keller how to communicate with the world around her, and how to make the world believe she can be taught. For all the info see https://glasgowfilm.org/shows/winds-of-change-cinema-in-62

Another strand announced was a focus on the works of Edith Carlmar. The first female Norwegian film director, her debut feature is being shown, Death is a Caress, a noir complete with femme fatales and tempestuous love affairs. The Disappearance of a Young Wife follows the mystery of a young man who returns from a trip to find his wife missing, and The Wayward Girl is about first love between a teenage tearaway and her middle-class boyfriend, as they weather the overwhelming joy of discovering their feelings and the torturous fears of their first relationship. Fools in the Mountains shows Carlmar’s humour, with a romantic farce set in an alpine hotel, when two identical guests check in. For all the info see https://glasgowfilm.org/shows/edith-carlmar

More news to get excited about is the announcement of the African Stories strand, with a cracking line-up of new movies. There’s queer life in Kenya in I Am Samuel, which I can attest is great. Once Upon a Time in Uganda looks a blast, a documentary on the homegrown Ugandan action movies of Wakaliwood and the unforgettable characters who make them. Blind Ambition nearly has you greeting at the trailer, a documentary about a group of refugee Zimbabweans in South Africa who take part in an international wine tasting competition. Drama Casablanca Beats follows the ambitions of young Moroccans to tell their stories through hiphop, and the pushback when they try to show you can be a young, hijabi girl and a rapper. Documentary One Take Grace traces the life of Mothiba Grace Bapela, who throughout her career as a domestic worker has pursued her dream of acting. 70s classic Sambizanga dramatises the Angolan struggle for independence, and its cruel repression, with Domingos de Oliveira as the man whose resistance meets with violence at the hands of the police, and Elisa Andrade as his wife who must go from police station to police station to find out what has become of him. The violence of colonialism is the central theme in Heliopolis too, as the day the Second War World comes to an end turns from celebration to a massacre of unarmed independence demonstrators in French Algeria. The enduring effects of the repressive past become manifest in psychological horror, Good Madam, set in South Africa’s Cape Town, where a live-in carer and her daughter tend to a wealthy white woman whose eerie catatonia seems to fill the house with her silence. For all the info see https://glasgowfilm.org/shows/african-stories

Spoiled for choice! Cant wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!

Catalan Film Festival over

Well, in classic style, I got sick on the last day of the film festival and couldn’t watch all the stuff I was planning to catch up on last minute. Still, despite what seems to be becoming an end-of-festival tradition, I think I got a lot watched, and it was all really interesting. From more experimental stuff to relationship dramas, there was quite a range of films. Will definitely check out again next year.

GFF update

Ooh, the GFF is defo gonna continue to have an online component this year. Pretty pleased about that, coz it’ll give a bit of flexibility. Plus, it’ll mean folk not in Glasgow can tune into some of the great films. I think the online thing went far better for them last year than they expected, so it’s good to see its return.

Full info at https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/latest/news/first-screenings-announced-for-hybrid-edition-of-glasgow-film-festival-2022

UK Jewish Film Festival is over!

With Sin La Habana, the UK Jewish Film Festival is over. Such good films! Really consistently high quality. The documentaries were fascinating, and really covered a broad spectrum of perspectives.

One thing I’m definitely gonna do now is watch Yentl. In the wee UK JFF trailer that plays before each film, it had folk reacting to classic Jewish movies, including Yentl. I’d always assumed it was a gay classic because it was a musical with Barbara Streisand, I didn’t realise it has a bi guy in it and a lesbian wedding. Also Mandy Patinkin, who I adored as Inigo Montoya.

Havana Glasgow Film Festival over!

The Havana Glasgow Film Festival is over. That’s the first time I’ve really binged their movies, and I totally missed a couple I was gonna watch online. But it’s 3am, and I’ve got to get up for work in 5 hours, so I’m calling it a win.

It’s really interesting to see a diversity of films on Cuba. From features to documentaries, encompassing climate change, economic start-ups, sex and sexuality. I feel like I learned a lot, and also got a better idea of what a multiplicity of cultures there are there.

Will defo tune in next year.

Welcome to GFF Reviews!

This blog celebrates the wide range of excellent films shown at the Glasgow Film Festival, as well as other film festivals shown in Glasgow. Some reviews are long, some reviews are short. All are intended to give you an idea of what you might like to see, and take a chance on something a little different.