Editor's Blog: EIFF Begins!

The time has come. Let's raise the curtain on EIFF 2014!

The 68th Edinburgh International Film Festival (and my fifth editing this fair website!) is finally here, and the festivities kick off tonight at the Festival Theatre with the Opening Night Gala – the World Premiere of Hyena. Read more about it on our News page.

My first impression picks from Programme Launch day included Bridging the Gap (19 June), Finding Vivian Maier (19 & 20 June) and Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? (20 & 27 June) – both of which screen early in the Festival.

So how about some more picks from the first 3 days?

 

Thursday 19 June

As a reader as well as a film-lover, James Franco's prolificness is endlessly fascinating to me. Palo Alto (19 June) sees him star in the adaptation of his own book of short stories.

Something, Anything is one I've already seen – a sweet, simple character study which follows Peggy: a young woman who, after a huge life event, must make a series of small yet difficult life-changing decisions in the face of societal pressure to establish a life that makes her happy.

I'm also looking forward to some round-the-world travel over the next few days – if I can fit it all in! Starting on Thursday, Ice Poison (19 & 21 June) a young woman who has left her native Myanmar to endure an arranged marriage in China. It combines 2 fascinating countries with themes of economic and moral crises that affect young people of today.

 

Friday 20 June

Also from out East, Manakanama (19 & 20 June) caught my eye as it uses artistic constraint to wonderful effect, shooting 10-minute snippets of life aboard a Nepalese cable car. Why 10 minutes? That's the length of a roll of 16mm film. 

Friday is a great day for documentaries. I'm hoping to take in N: The Madness of Reason – a love letter to Africa and a film which reconstructs a planned encyclopaedia of the Ivory Coast by the creative adventurer Raymond Borremans (1906-1988).

Meanwhile, A House in Berlin explores another personal journey, one which unexpectedly coincided with German history.

 

Saturday 21 June

Letters from the South (Nan fang lai xin) (19 & 21 June) is another far-flung film, a Chinese-Thai-English co-production. The film is shot by six talented directors, taking in six cross-cultural encounters. What more do you need to know?

As if Friday's free event, Norman McLaren: Boogie Doodler wasn't enough, International Animation 1: Echoes of McLaren presents a selection of short animated films that reflect the luminary animator's life and practice.

 

Which films are you looking forward to in the early days of EIFF 2014?

 

Related stories:

Fill Your Diary 1: Daily Picks for Week 1

Pathways: Films that will change and inspire you

Pathways: Light and funny films

Link Round-Up: Top Previews

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Nicola is a writer & EIFF Web Editor.

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