Glasgow Film Festival is here again, hip-fucking-hooray. Right away, you can tell it’s another good year for good-gets. Hail, Caesar! and Anomalisa are both highly-anticipated releases and even if their bookend appearances at GFF’s opening and closing galas are kind of glorified advance previews, there’s plenty more obvious oohs and ahhs besides them. And it’s pretty popular too – High Rise‘s Scottish premiere, with Ben Wheatley in attendance, is already sold out. Con Air at a Secret Location is too, along with seemingly most of the special events.* Thankfully, there’s still plenty to sift through, so here are five picks from the cultier edge of GFF 2016, in order of screening date:
1. Goodnight Mommy (Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala, 2014)
Friday 19/02, 23:00 at GFT | Tickets available here.
This has it all – twin children, bandages, extreme graphic horror. Goodnight Mommy, the filmmakers’ debut, has taken a while to get here. Made in 2014, it was Austria’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Oscars, though it wasn’t nominated. It was out in America last year, where it garnered plenty praise for being “exceptionally brutal”, “polished” and “nasty”. You know, for kids!
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (Eric Zala, 1989) / Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen, 2015)
A great bit of programming, here, and a smart companion to the (sold out) Raiders of the Lost Ark screening and the Vic Armstrong event at Kelvingrove. The poster tag-lines really tell the story: “The greatest fan film ever made” and “the story of the greatest fan film ever made”. Fan films are a fascinating enterprise, they’ve arguably never been bigger business and this is one of the most fascinating and enterprising – a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders made by gung-ho kids, against all the odds. “Never tell me the odds!” they probably said. Wait, wrong franchise. Nevertheless – this will be great.
3. Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier, 2015)
Tues 23/02, 20:45 at GFT | Tickets available here.
This is the follow-up to Saulnier’s Blue Ruin, a great genre debut that drew Coen Brothers (read: Blood Simple) comparisons and was one of the highlights of GFF14. Blue Ruin‘s lead actor Macon Blair returns in a smaller role here, nudged aside by Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots, all now anxious for that
Barton Fink Jeremy Saulnier feeling. The premise is intriguing enough – a touring punk band witnesses a murder and is put under siege by white supremacists – but Blue Ruin already booked my ticket and early word is great too.
4. Wild At Heart at St. Luke’s (David Lynch, 1990)
Thursday 25/02, 18:30 at St Luke’s | Tickets available here.
Some will tell you Wild At Heart is a lesser Lynch. Some will even tell you it’s a bad Lynch. I don’t want to know these people, or what they do. This film represents a venn diagram of many things I love (David Lynch, Nicolas Cage, Crispin Glover, author Barry Gifford and the list goes on) and as such it is very special to me. What am I saying is, if you don’t like Wild At Heart, you can’t be in my gang and I’m unlikely to high-five you in any context. However, if you do, you automatically are and I will high-five the living shit out of you at St Luke’s. LULA!
5. Human Highway (Director’s Cut) (Bernard Shakey, Dean Stockwell, 1982)
Saturday 27/02, 15:30 & 23:00 at GFT | Tickets available here.
Neil Young’s directorial debut, a weird fucking film starring Devo and Dennis Hopper and none other than Mary X from Eraserhead. Several songs from the much-maligned but often really rather beautiful Trans album feature on the soundtrack. Should sell itself, but in case you’re wavering, this is the shiny new director’s cut in a rarer-than-hen’s-teeth theatrical screening.
BONUS PICK! Altered States in Immers-o-sound! (Ken Russell, 1980)
Thursday 18/02, 19:00 at The Old Hairdressers | Tickets available here.
Couldn’t miss an opportunity to plug Matchbox Cineclub’s one-off production of Ken Russell’s psychotronic classic, presented in “Immers-o-sound” – a sound set-up designed in homage to its original release in Warner Bros’ short-lived Megasound system – and with plenty of fun surprises in store.
* Tickets for Physical Impossibility’s Bad Romance are available from CCA on the day ;-)