Film

Film

Edinburgh International Film Festival

THERE’S something to be said for being a work-shy enigma. Terrence Malick used to be one of those, but since Tree of Life in 2011, he’s been endangering his own mystique with his increasingly prolific output. Song to Song (****) – which gets its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival this weekend – is his third release in 12 months and while no new Malick film is a ever a waste of time (well, maybe that Ben Affleck one), he’s not immune to the law of diminishing returns. Which is to say, Song to Song’s wispy, semi-improvised, abstract meditation on love and music and living in the moment will likely test the patience of even seasoned festival audiences.

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Helen McCrory on the red carpet, 2015. Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Interview: Helen McCrory

Fake news, post-truth, a world where there are no facts, only interpretations, if ever the time was right for a character like Helen McCrory’s human rights lawyer in ITV’s six part legal thriller, Fearless, it’s now.

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The Book of Henry dubiously exploits tragedy for cheap emotional pay offs.

Film reviews: The Book of Henry | Hampstead | Souvenir

It is difficult to know where to start with The Book of Henry, a film so satisfied with its own toxic levels of quirkiness that all involved seem oblivious to how deranged it actually is. Revolving around a child genius who devises an elaborate plan to kill his next door neighbour, this description barely scratches the surface of a plot that includes child abuse, terminal illness, comedy alcoholism, a cutesy school talent show, improbably elaborate tree house construction and a single mother being trained in the art of assassination by her dead son. If this sounds in any way intriguing, then please pause for a second, re-read the previous sentence and imagine how one might go about weaving such tonally disparate story strands into a coherent movie. If you think you have an idea, then congratulations: you’re doing better than Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow, who throws everything together into a sugary concoction that’s about as appetising as the peanut butter and breakfast cereal sandwiches Naomi Watts’ character makes for her kids.

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Ewan Bremner attended the opening film. Pictures: Ian Georgeson

Stars on red carpet as Edinburgh film festival launches

The Edinburgh International Film Festival has launched its 70th anniversary celebrations with the UK premiere of a gay romance hailed as the “British Brokeback Mountain.”

Edinburgh, Fife & Lothians 1
Alec Secareanu and Josh O'Connor in God's Own Country, the opening film of the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival

Edinburgh International Film Festival: God’s Own Country

British director Francis Lee makes an auspicious debut with God’s Own Country, a gay love story about a Yorkshire sheep farmer whose tough existence is transformed when he falls for a Romanian migrant worker. Opening this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, it’s a movie that has the unmistakable ring of truth to it – both in its unsentimental depiction of rural life and its matter-of-fact approach to sexuality.

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Brian Cox played Winston Churchill in the new big-screen biopic, which was shot in and around Edinburgh.

New Scottish film and TV fund delivers £17.5m boost for economy

A new incentive fund to help bring films and TV productions to Scotland has generated a £17.5 million return on investment in its first 18 months - 10 times more than was put in.
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Actor Alan Alda. Picture: Getty Images)

M*A*S*H actor Alan Alda gets honorary degree from Dundee Uni

US actor Alan Alda, famous for his roles in M*A*S*H and The West Wing, has received an honorary degree from Dundee University for his work promoting the communication of science.

Dundee & Tayside 2
Eilean Donan Castle near the Skye Bridge. Picture Robert Perry

Eilean Donan Castle increases security after terror attacks

THE famous Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands - a star in film and TV - has increased security measures following recent terrorist attacks across the UK.

Inverness, Highlands & Islands
Denise Welch stars in Black Eyed Susan, which tackles the subject of suicide and has been chosen to be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Scottish date for Denise Welch’s mental health film

An award-winning short film about depression starring former Loose Women star Denise Welch has been chosen to be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

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Brian Cox, plays Churchill in the hours up to the D-Day Landings in the film Churchill, out now. Pic Greg Macvean

Interview: Brian Cox on playing Sir Winston Churchill

Brian Cox tells Janet Christie about finding Churchill’s fragile side for a new film on the D-Day landings

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Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle star in T2 Trainspotting. Picture: Contributed

T2 Trainspotting: What we missed in the deleted scenes

Twenty-eight extra scenes were trimmed from the final cut of Trainspotting 2 – but they’re all included as extras in the newly released DVD version.

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Room at Dundee Rep

Theatre review: Room at Dundee Rep

It has echoes of real-life stories, of course; young women taken from the street, held in basements or garden sheds, and systematically raped and abused over a period of years, stretching towards decades. Yet the most striking thing about Emma Donoghue’s stage version of her award-winning novel, Room, is its intense imaginative quality, as she and director Cora Bissett - with an outstanding creative team - draw us into the inner world of five-year-old Jack, who lives imprisoned in a cell-like garden shed with his mother, and of his older alter ego, Big Jack, who watches and waits, and carries some of the narrative.

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Alec Secareanu and Josh O'Connor in God's Own Country, the opening film of the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival

Five to see at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival

The Scotsman’s film critic picks his highlights at this year’s EIFF

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Ahn Seo-hyun in a scene from Okja

Edinburgh Film Festival: Jon Ronson on Okja

Alistair Harkness talks to Jon Ronson about his screenplay for Okja, a sci-fi blockbuster about corporate greed by Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho, screening as part of this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival

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Churchill, starring Brian Cox, shows the struggles of the Prime Mininster in the run-up to D-Day. Picture: Graeme Hunter

Film reviews: Churchill | Gifted | Whitney: Can I Be Me | The Mummy

Brian Cox brings plenty of heft and vulnerability to his portrayal of Sir Winston Churchill but is let down by a terrible script, while The Mummy’s bid to set up a money-spinning universe unravels, despite the best efforts of Tom Cruise

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Alison Brie stars in Netflix's new women's wrestling drama, GLOW, out 23 June

Interview: Alison Brie - Why the star of Netflix’s new wrestling drama GLOW had to fight for the role

Why the star of new wrestling drama GLOW had to fight for the role

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Picture: a scene from Tommy's Honour which will premiere in St Andrews this month, contributed

Tom Morris film to get UK premiere at the Home of Golf

Join the cast of golfing film, Tommy’s Honour, as it premieres in St Andrews later this month

Edinburgh, Fife & Lothians
Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin in My Cousin Rache. Picture: Nicola Dove

Film reviews: My Cousin Rachel | Berlin Syndrome | The Shack

Rachel Weisz and director Roger Michell put a satisfying feminist slant on Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, while Cate Shortland’s gripping Berlin Syndrome offers far more than its backpacker-in-peril plot might suggest

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Tom McGrath PIC: Phil Wilkinson

Film/theatre: Joyce McMillan on the Tom McGrath strand at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival

The year was 1996; and Niall Greig Fulton, now Senior Programmer at Edinburgh’s International Film Festival (EIFF), was a young actor working out his obsession with the radical Scottish novelist Alexander Trocchi, through a monologue called A Meeting With The Monster. There were a few performances in a pop-up venue in Edinburgh; and the result was one of those meetings that changes lives, as the playwright, poet, screenwriter and jazz musician Tom McGrath came along to see the show, took Fulton under his wing, and – over the next few years – helped him to develop his play into a larger work, through a series of weekly conversations. At the time, McGrath was a Scottish Arts Council Associate Literary Director, based at the Lyceum Theatre; and Fulton was only one of dozens of young writers who benefited from his breadth of creative energy and interest, his unfailing enthusiasm, and his sheer human kindness.

Theatre
My Life as a Courgette

Film reviews: My Life as a Courgette | Baywatch | After the Storm | It Was 50 Years Ago Today!

Claude Barras’ idiosyncratic portrayal of both the anxieties and joys of childhood is never condescending to its young audience, while being filled with sensitivity, wit and fortitude in the face of adversity

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