New George Clooney film set for Glasgow premiere

A NEW star-studded comedy reuniting Tilda Swinton and George Clooney with cult filmmakers the Coen Brothers will open Glasgow Film Festival next month.

A NEW star-studded comedy reuniting Tilda Swinton and George Clooney with cult filmmakers the Coen Brothers will open Glasgow Film Festival next month.

The event has secured the UK premiere of Hail, Caesar!, which is set in Hollywood during its 1950s “Golden Age”.

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It also stars Scarlett Johnansson, Josh Brolin Ralph Fiennes and Agyness Deyn, the star of the recent big-screen adaptation of the classic Scottish novel Sunset Song.

It is hoped Clooney and Swinton - who previously starred in the Coen Brothers hit Burn After Reading - will be among the stars to appear on the red carpet in Glasgow, while talks are also ongoing to bring Joel and Ethan Coen to the festival for the first time.

Hail, Caesar!, which will screen in Glasgow days after its world premiere in Berlin, sees Brolin play a Hollywood fixer called in when a film star played by Clooney - who visited Scotland two months ago to help promote a sandwich shop that works with homeless people - vanishes from the set of a sword-and-sandals epic.

Allison Gardner, co-director of the festival, said: “We like to open with something special to build audience excitement for the fortnight of films to come, and Hail, Caesar! is as big and beautiful a film as you can get. We’re absolutely delighted to be screening the Coens’ wonderful, all-star salute to Old Hollywood, and especially privileged to be hosting the UK premiere.”

Meanwhile Charlie Kaufman, the writer behind cult cinema hits like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, will close the festival with his acclaimed new “stop-motion” animated feature Anomalisa.

Harry Potter star David Thewlis and Hollywood actress Jennifer Jason Leigh are among the stars to provide voices for the film, he first animated feature to win the grand jury prize at the Venice Film Festival last year.

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Allan Hunter, the festival’s co-director, said: “Charlie Kaufman has a rare ability to blow your mind and warm your heart at the same time. “Anomalisa is a one of kind experience that finds incredible depths of human emotion in the plight of its stop-motion animated characters.

“I’m so thrilled that we will be closing with the UK premiere of one of the year’s most unforgettable films.”

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The festival has already announced that one of Hollywood’s leading stuntmen, Vic Armstrong, will be appearing at the event, to introduce a special 35th anniversary screening of the first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It will be shown at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum ahead of a late-night screening of the horror classic Silence of the Lambs.

The Barrowland Ballroom and Glasgow Science Centre have both been lined up as festival venues for the first time.

Organisers have also revealed that the 2016 festival will feature a celebration of cinema’s great “golden couples” and the introduction of an industry strand for the first time.

Tickets for the opening and closing galas go on sale on 18 January - two days before the full festival programme is launched.