Alistair Harkness: GFF set to shine in 2015

THE Glasgow Film Festival looks set to consolidate its success with another typically hip, wide-ranging and inclusive programme of films and movie-related events next month.

Julianne Moore in Still Alice - one of many films showing at GFF
Julianne Moore in Still Alice - one of many films showing at GFF

Indeed, While We’re Young, the new comedy/drama from Frances Ha! director Noah Baumbach, seems like a particularly strong choice with which to kick off the festival.

Building on the kudos of last year’s opener – and current Oscar front-runner – The Grand Budapest Hotel, the festival will host its European premiere.

Such exclusivity has never been a demand of artistic directors Allison Gardner and Allan Hunter, but it’s a continued sign of the festival’s growing stature that distributors view it as a good place to launch their more high-profile films.

Elsewhere, Glasgow audiences will have a chance to sample Julianne Moore’s Oscar-tipped performance in Still Alice, Daily Show star Jon Stewart’s Argo-esque directorial debut Rosewater, Dustin Hoffman’s new film Boychoir and the Alan Rickman-directed period drama A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet.

There are Scottish premieres too for a some of the most talked-about cult hits of the festival circuit, among them the canine apocalypse drama White God, artful slasher film It Follows, Iranian vampire movie A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Xavier Dolan’s Cannes-wowing Mommy.

Part of the reason for the organic success of the festival has, of course, always been its ability to put Glasgow and its audiences first and, to this end, the Cinema City strand will celebrate Glasgow’s cinematic heritage with an intriguing-looking selections of talks, walks and exhibitions.


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But the GFF has always prided itself too on pioneering new and unusual ways to watch films and this year’s highlight looks set to be a screening of Boyhood director Richard Linklater’s 1970s-set coming-of-age classic Dazed & Confused, replete with a roller disco.

I mentioned the screening to Linklater when I interviewed him earlier this week. His reaction? “Perfect!”

• Alistair Harkness is The Scotsman’s film critic