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Fill Your Diary! Daily Picks for Week 1

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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014 is almost here. If the old adage about apples and doctors is anything to go by, we reckon the same goes for films! Here we present to you a free-for-all selection of one film to watch at EIFF for each day the Festival runs.

Wednesday 18 June

Opening Night! Be the first on the red carpet to see this year's Gala feature.

Hyena – Opening Night Gala
So we’re cheating a little here, as it’s the only film on the billing. The World Premiere of Hyena is set to kick off EIFF in style. This slick crime thriller is more than just another genre film – as you’ll soon see when you watch it!

 

Thursday 19 June

Whether you’re taking time off especially for the film festival or just want to get your weekend started early, we’ve got a couple of fun picks to kick off your EIFF experience!


Letters from the South (Nan fang lai xin) – New Perspectives strand
Six talented directors direct six cross-cultural encounters in this stunning and lyrical omnibus. Witness a reunion in Bangkok, a family gathering in Singapore, an apartment complex in Malaysia visited by a slow-moving Buddhist monk, and more.

 

Liar's Dice – New Perspectives strand
A vulnerable young mother and a tough ex-soldier form an uneasy alliance on a dangerous voyage. Through striking imagery and great narrative skill, the film explores the tense relationship between two outsiders whilst depicting the socio-political conditions of India today. 

 

Korso – Teen Spirit strand
If you thought that the Teen Spirit strand was all American high schools and coming of age, take a closer look. This edgy feature from Finland follows 20-year-old Markus from suburban Helsinki, whose sights are set on New York City. Korso is an honest portrayal of the confusion and denial teenage life can bring when one is suddenly forced to balance ambition against reality.

 

Bridging the Gap – Shorts strand
Looking for something new this EIFF? Look no further than Bridging the Gap, a programme of little (in length!) films filled with big ideas and compelling characters. These films from the Scottish Documentary Institute’s talent programme tell stories from across our nation, exploring a breadth of Scottish life.

 

Friday 20 June

Friday night’s alright for movie watching… and the rest of the day too, if you’re around. How about making up for taking that time off work with a couple of serious(ly interesting) films, followed by something fun in the evening?

 

A House in Berlin – Focus on Germany strand
Have you ever dipped into your family history and found something surprising? A House in Berlin follows the personal voyage of a Scottish woman who unexpectedly inherits an old house from her Jewish great-uncle and, upon visiting, makes friends with two of the tenants who help her investigate the complex history of the building.

 

The Green Inferno – Wicked and Wild strand
Eli Roth latest gore-fest follows group of politically-correct college students travel to the Amazon to save a disappearing tribe – and their idealism soon breeds contempt. It’s inspired by Italian cannibal film Cannibal Holocaust, so don’t say we didn’t warn you…

 

We Gotta Get Out of This Place – American Dreams strand
Three fun-seeking Texas teens become embroiled in the unsavoury affairs of a local gangster. Simon and Zeke Hawkins take us on a claustrophobic trip through the dark, oppressive side of small-town America as their soulful, haunting noir thriller unfolds in gripping fashion. Be the first to introduce your friends to this remarkable feature.

 

Saturday 21 June

During EIFF Saturday is a day for cinephiles and cinema-goers who are looking for something a little outside of the mainstream. Discover distant lands with these films that range from the explicit to the politically hopeful.

 

Be My Baby (Koi no uzu) – New Perspectives strand
Something provocative for your Saturday viewing: By My Baby follows the twists and turns of the sex lives of rootless 20-somethings adrift in Tokyo. Think Haruki Murakami meets Queer as Folk. As shockingly bad as their behaviour gets, you won't be able to turn away.

 

Ana Arabia – Directors’ Showcase strand
The latest work from the master of modern Israeli cinema, Ana Arabia is a thought-provoking prayer for peace in the form of a single-take 85 minute feature. Director Amos Gitai (also head of EIFF’s Michael Powell Award jury) embraces simplicity in this portrayal of a way of life that represents a hope for peaceful coexistence.

 

Sunday 22 June

They don’t call it the day of rest for nothing! Grab a programme and pick whichever film your finger falls on – or sit back and enjoy this eclectic selection.

 

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar – 
Bringing the kids to EIFF? Or just love nature? This spectacular IMAX film transports you to the unique, magical island of Madagascar. It's short and sweet, it’s narrated by Morgan Freeman, and you and the kids are bound to love it.

 

N: The Madness of Reason – Director’s Showcase strand
Raymond Borremans (1906-1988) escaped to Ivory Coast while in his twenties. The adventurer, musician, projectionist and entomologist, spent his life chronicling this African country. His planned encyclopaedia was left unfinished at the letter N – but director Peter Krüger has put together this tribute: a love letter to the African continent.

 

John Brown’s Body – Border Warfare: John McGrath’s Work in TV, Theatre, & Film strand
Dip into our retrospective on seminal Scottish filmmaker John McGrath with the theatrical recording of John Brown’s Body. This second long-form trilogy by the Wildcat company deals with the history of Scotland's industrial classes, and it’s a valuable reminder of Channel 4's commitment to challenging programming.

 

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2014 Festival Diary:
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