Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) 2016 starts on Thursday 10/03 and runs till Sunday 27/03. As well as live shows from the likes of Frankie Boyle, Ardal O’Hanlan and Dylan Moran (and a shit-ton of shows from less well-established names), they have workshops and dedicated shows for kids. All told, it’s “420 shows, 42 venues, 18 days.” On top of all that, though, they have movies too.
At Britannia Panopticon, Govanhill Baths, Grosvenor Cinema and the Odeon at Springfield Quay, there’s a range of classic comedy films from the silent era all the way through to the modern day. These are my top picks from the GICF16 programme, but you can read the full roster here. I’ll get our number one recommendation out of the way first, because it’s a world premiere and because, full disclosure, I’m putting it on as part of Matchbox Cineclub.
As I said, this is the world premiere screening of a film based on the Italian Star Wars rip-off, Starcrash (Luigi Cozzi, 1979). Double Take were an Australian comedy troupe who took their live comedy re-dubs of B-movies across the world in the late ’80s and early ’90s. They brought sold-out shows to Edinburgh, Dublin and London back in the day, and their Double Take Meet Hercules show was adapted into the cult classic film Hercules Returns back in 1993. This new film is made from an original 1992 sound-desk recording of their Double Take In Outer Space live show, edited by Double Take’s Des Mangan to new HD elements. Check out this vintage TV interview with Double Take, promoting the live show this film is based on…
During GICF, Southside Film Festival are putting on a series of films at Govanhill Baths. This double bill seems hard to beat, though – a Marx Brothers masterpiece followed by Howard Hawks’ classic screwball comedy. And if you’re still not satisfied after that, you can stick around for the Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 1974) screening that follows.
Tues 15/03 | 20:00 | Odeon, Springfield Quay
How to sell The Big Lebowski? If you haven’t seen it already, I’d say you could just about get away with waiting till the 15th, but any later is a little embarrassing. It’s only getting better with age (in two years, holy shit, it’ll be 20 years old) and it was a bona fide classic right out the gate. Sure, it’d be better in a dressing gown with a bottomless White Russian in your hand, but you can’t have everything. Actually, you could just bring those with you.
Sat 19/03 | 14:00 | Britannia Panopticon | Facebook | Free (suggested donation £5)
It’s always worth a visit to the Panopticon and they often programme cool events like this which play up to the surroundings of the world’s oldest surviving music hall. Gladstone’s Bag, a quartet of musicians (violin, flute, clarinet, piano) will be providing live score and sound effects for classic Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Norman, Fatty Arbuckle and Laurel & Hardy shorts. Tickets are free, but they’re limited and you need to reserve them in advance (details on their Facebook event page, above).
The Grosvenor’s contribution to GICF16 is a small but perfectly formed strand of movies under the banner Reel Life: A Mockumentary Showcase. As you might guess from the title, their selection includes films like Christopher Guest’s A Mighty Wind (2003), Borat (Larry Charles, 2006) and I’m Still Here (Casey Affleck, 2010). Their best and final screening, though, is What We Do In The Shadows. One of the funniest films in recent years, it’s concerned with a houseful of vampire flatmates struggling to get by in 21st century Wellington. It’s also worth catching on the big screen before the in-production sequel, We’re Wolves, appears.