Artistic Director's Blog: Double-Bills

Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara has selected three personal double bills for our final weekend.

1. There Is a Happy Land and The Long Roads

These are, I think, the two most beautiful works in our John McGrath retrospective. The first is a history of the Gaels in Scotland, as told in Gaelic song; Catherine Ann MacPhee’s is one of the warm and clear voices heard in McGrath’s spirited and elegiac TV adaptation of his play.

The Long Roads, which closes the retrospective, is a rarely seen work that tells of an elderly couple’s journey across Thatcher’s devastated Britain to make one last visit to the members of their scattered family. McGrath’s life partner, artistic collaborator and muse, Elizabeth MacLennan, told me that McGrath loved Yasujiro Ozu and was inspired by Tokyo Story in writing The Long Roads. Elizabeth will appear in person to present both The Long Roads and There Is a Happy Land (of which she is one of the stars).

 

2. To Kill a Man and Honeymoon

Alejandro Fernández Almendras’s To Kill a Man is the gritty and intense account of a man who is gradually forced to take the law into his own hands in order to protect his family from a sociopathic criminal. In the line of urban thrillers such as Death Wish, To Kill a Man goes its own, more quiet, path to tell its story of desperation.

Leigh Janiak’s American horror film Honeymoon focuses on the changing relationship between a two young newlyweds honeymooning in the woods. No more should be revealed about the plot: the fascination of Honeymoon comes from the suspense of a journey that takes the two characters, along with the audience, deeper into realms of fear and dread.

 

3. Concrete Clouds and Han Gong-ju

A searching inquiry into the confusion and pain experienced by Thai people in the 1997 economic crisis, Lee Chatametikool’s fluid, playful and elegant Concrete Clouds is one of the most striking among a number of recent attempts in world cinema to portray the effects of large-scale shifts through intimate stories. It is a stunningly beautiful film to behold on the large screen.

Lee Su-jin’s much acclaimed Han Gong-ju tells of a high-school girl who is forced to leave home and change her school. Gradually, we learn about the past trauma that disrupted her life. Weaving the various threads of his story with intricate skill, the director creates a gripping film that contains both a compassionate portrait of a gentle and talented heroine and a vivid indictment of Korean society.

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Chris Fujiwara is the Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

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