The best of this year’s Glasgow Film Festival – Alistair Harkness

Karen Gillan will be a drawcard for the Glasgow Film Festival. Picture: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Karen Gillan will be a drawcard for the Glasgow Film Festival. Picture: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
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Launching with Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s, closing with Scottish rave movie Beats and featuring 20th anniversary screenings of The Matrix, Fight Club and The Blair Witch Project, this year’s Glasgow Film Festival has something of a 1990s vibe about it.

Mercifully, this is not an event that trades on nostalgia. Instead, those screenings represent a festival with its finger on the pulse.

Whether its providing a launch pad for emerging voices or a new space to re-consider some cutting-edge modern classics, there’s certainly a lot to get excited about.

Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell (starring Elisabeth Moss) and Brady Corbet’s Natalie Portman oddity Vox Lux are at the top of my can’t-wait-to-see list, swiftly followed by US stand-up-turned-filmmaker Bo Burnham’s highly acclaimed coming-of-age drama Eighth Grade (featuring a soundtrack by Scottish composer Anna Meredith), cult director S Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete, It Follows director David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake and up-and-coming Italian director Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro.

There’s also plenty of enticing new work from well-established auteurs, with premieres of Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows, Paolo Sorrentino’s sure-to-be-dazzling Berlusconi biopic Loro, Christian Petzold’s Transit and A Prophet-director Jacques Audiard’s riotous-looking English language debut The Sisters Brothers.

On the Scottish front, in addition to Beats, the Glasgow-set relationship drama Only You looks promising, and there are new films featuring the likes of Jack Lowden (Stephen Merchant’s directorial debut Fighting with my Family) Karen Gillan (All Creatures Here Below) and Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan (The Vanishing).

Finally, for those lamenting the destruction of Glasgow’s ABC in last year’s art school fire, the Sonic Youth concert film Daydream Nation captures the legendary New York band’s 2007 performance there in intimate detail.