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Glasgow Film Festival unveils biggest ever programme

Glasgow Film Festival launched its 2013 programme. Picture: Donald MacLeod

Glasgow Film Festival launched its 2013 programme. Picture: Donald MacLeod

FROM heartwarming romance and blood-curdling horror, to iconic sci-fi heroes and Hollywood hard-men, it promises something to suit every taste.

The Glasgow Film Festival has unveiled its biggest ever programme, featuring almost 60 UK premieres and more than 350 events featuring scattered across the city.

Nightspots, bars, a tall ship, the city’s cathedral, a country and western club, and a “hidden space” in the city’s underground rail network are among the venues being deployed in the event’s ninth year.

Opening with a Valentine’s Night screening of The Artist star Berenice Bejo’s new romantic comedy, Populaire, and closing with Buffy creator Joss Whedon’s acclaimed take on Much Ado About Nothing, set entirely in his house, the festival will be spread out across 26 different venues.

The festival - which features 190 film screenings - includes the unveling of new features starring Nicole Kidman, Ryan Gosling and Matthew McConaughey, as well as Neil Jordan’s new vampire thriller Byzantium, Steve Coogan’s portrayal of Soho porn baron Paul Raymond, in Michael Winterbottom’s latest film, The Look of Love, and new South American disaster movie Aftershock.

The hotly-anticipated Cloud Atlas, which saw stars Tom Hanks and Halle Berry film in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, will also get its first public screening in the UK at the festival.

Scottish actors James McAvoy and Peter Mullan will unveil their new bank heist thriller, Welcome to the Punch, while there will be UK premieres for films starring fellow Scots James Cosmo and Gary Lewis, who will also be appearing in special “in person” events.

Cosmo will be starring in the UK premiere of horror Citadel, while David Hayman stars as modern-day serial killer Sawney, named after the notorious real-life cannibal.

A documentary 15 years in the making about the life and work of veteran Glasgow artist Alasdair Gray will also be unveiled - just weeks after the publication of his controversial “colonists and settlers” essay.

Allan Hunter, co-director of the festival, said: “We travel the world throroughout the year looking for films to bring here and many of these films have not been seen in the UK before.

“We’re extremely proud of an ambitious programme that promises unforgettable moments in venues all across the city.”

The event is being billed as the most “geek-friendly” film festival ever, with major comic book and computer gaming strands, including an appearance by Judge Dredd creator John Wagner, a 50th anniversary celebration of Doctor Who with screenwriter Tom MacRae, guest appearances from the cast of Game of Thrones, and sci-fi fan Alex Salmond presenting his “geekiest” film choice.

Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, Disney’s classic Peter Pan, Hebridean caper Whisky Galore and chilling drama The Dead Calm will all be show aboard The Tall Ship berthed on the Clyde, while the Grand Ole Opry club will host a Calamity Jane barn dance.

The GFF shifted almost as many tickets as its long-running Edinburgh rival last year with the 35,000 total almost six times as many as the first festival only eight years ago.

However the two events are collaborating on their programmes for the first time and Edinburgh’s artistic director Chris Fujiwara will even be taking part in the Glasgow event.

Allison Gardner, co-director of the Glasgow Film Festival, said: “We’re not really interested in any comparisons with Edinburgh as they are two completely different events.

“A lot of the audience at Edinburgh is made up of film industry delegates who go to the whole festival. All of our events are open to the public and we don’t have any separate screenings. But it’s great for Scotland that there are two events on this scale now.”

Other events include an art ball in the Grand Central Hotel featuring specially-commissioned short films by some of Scotland’s leading artists, a screening of the 1928 silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc in Glasgow Cathedral and a day-long clubbing event in the Arches, which will see DJs and musicians create new sounds for old film footage.

A highlight of a celebration of Brazilian cinema will see the audience at the screening of the 1959 classic Black Orpheus invited to board a “samba bus” to a party in a mystery destination.

All tickets for the festival, which runs from 14-24 February, are on sale from today.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Populaire: The retro look of Mad Men and the classic cinematic struggles between Doris Day and Rock Hudson are among the influences of this new French romantic comedy, a hit at Rome’s film festival last year and now Glasgow’s opening gala.

The Look of Love: Fresh from the Sundance Film Festival, Steve Coogan stars as the “King of Soho” Paul Raymond, whose rise to prominence was triggered by his first gentlemen’s club in 1959.

The Paperboy: Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman head the cast in a raunchy gothic thriller set in the sun-drenched swamps of the deep south in 1969.

The Passion of Joan of Arc: The first ever film screening to be held in one of the city’s most iconic buildings, Glasgow Cathedral, will be accompanied by a haunting score to be performed live on the night.

Geek Night Special: Alex Salmond’s geekiest guilty pleasure will be revealed in what is billed as the one of the festival’s “most precious secrets.” He will explain all to comic book writer before a special screening.

Strings: Rob Savage, one of the rising stars of the British film scene, turned 18 the day he began filming his award-winning teen romance drama, with a budget of just £3000.

James Cosmo in conversation: A rare chance to hear from the veteran star, whose films include Braveheart, Trainspotting, Troy and new horror Citadel, which gets a festival screening.

Secret Subway: Scant details have been released about this event, other than a date or start time. Just 50 tIcketholders will be given a rendezvous point and then taken to part of the subway sealed off to the public for a suitably-themed film screening.

Shell: Withdrawn from the Edinburgh International Film Festival at the eleventh hour, Scots director Scott Graham’s debut focuses on a teenager living in a remote Highland petrol station with her father.

Much Ado About Nothing: After the huge success of Avengers Assemble, Joss Wheedon roped in 12 of his film pals to come to his Santa Monica home to shoot a modern-day version of Shakespeare’s play in black and white.

 

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