Fill Your Diary! Daily Picks for Week 2
EIFF is in full swing, and week two is already hot on our heels! Here are some daily picks for the coming week for you to share with family and friends. Diaries at the ready...
Monday 23 June
Begin as you mean to go on! Kick off your week with today's selection of films which vary from the dark to the inspiring – and are often a bit of both!
My Name is Salt – New Perspectives strand
This remarkable documentary spends a season with thousands of families in the desert in Gujerat, India, post-monsoon season. Each year they spend 8 months extracting salt from the earth, using the same painstaking, manual techniques as generations before them.
Cold in July – American Dreams strand
An atmospheric tale of justice and revenge, this stylish thriller set in East Texas stars Michael C Hall (Dexter) as a quiet family man who is drawn into a vicious cycle of violence. Join him, Sam Shepard and Don Johnson as they become the most appealing vigilante trio in recent cinema history.
#ChicagoGirl – The Social Network Takes On a Dictator – Teen Spirit strand
More than just clicktivism, #ChicagoGirl is the story of a 19-year-old student who leads the marches in Syria from her bedroom. The film documents a new kind of revolution not just taking place in the streets. Selected by our Young Programmers, it’s a raw and often inspiring look at how the Facebook generation is making a political impact on a global scale.
Tuesday 24 June
Is it just us or is Tuesday the forgotten day? The week is just setting in, but it’s not quite humpday… so why not take the leap and try watching something new that you can’t see anywhere else? Here are some foreign language picks:
Galore – Teen Spirit strand
Hand-picked by our Young Programmers, Galore is an Australian tale of sun, sex and bushfires. With stunning performances and a gripping narrative, this directorial debut from Rhys Graham shows the joys and traumas of teenage life in a compelling and dramatic style.
Apparition (Ashbah) – Focus on Iran strand
Loosely adapted from Ibsen, Apparition is the newest work by one of the legendary figures of Iran's New Wave. It’s a flamboyantly stylised melodrama – far from contemporary Hollywood fare – which incorporates family secrets, intrigue, and the outlook of a whole new generation.
Hotte in Paradise (Hotte im Paradies) – Secret Master: Dominik Graf and the Hidden History of German Cinema strand
Selected from our Dominik Graf retrospective, Hotte in Paradise is an exhilarating ride through Berlin's extinct red-light district, guided by an up-and-coming pimp with a sweet streak. Like a walk through any red-light district, it’s full of surprises.
Wednesday 25 June
Humpday, eh? Well, let’s get you over the hump of watching the same kinds of films year-round with a selection of Shorts and a New Perspective for you to take all the way to the box office.
Explore our short films strand with any of 3 programmes running on Wednesday 25 June.
Shorts from the Film Academies: Unspeakable Secrets programme showcases new talent in creative storytelling on a journey of self-discovery, finding their style and cinematic voice.
The Ethics shorts programme features powerful experimental documentaries oscillate between intellectual objectivity and discomforting proximity, while opening up a space for personal reflection.
Meanwhile Phantom Landscapes gives five incandescent examples of moving image act as a conductor through which rich evocations of ideas, dreams and mythical landscapes.
Virunga – New Perspectives strand
This documentary takes us to the front lines of the battle to save the planet. The Virunga National Park in eastern Congo is one of the most bio-diverse places in the world and home to the last of the mountain gorillas – but it's also a rich oil reserve. Reach beyond what you see in the media and learn about the dark forces struggling to control Congo's rich natural resources.
Thursday 26 June
You’ve had a long week by this point, so how about some lighter fare to keep you agile? Grab a coffee, grab a friend, and come and meet three men: two real-life guys and one fictional.
That Guy Dick Miller – Films on Film strand
If you loved Twenty Feet From Stardom, That Guy Dick Miller is for you! Dick Miller is not a household name, but he is a cult icon. The character actor has appeared in literally hundreds of feature films, and worked with some of the most famous directors and actors in the world. This light-hearted documentary puts a name to the familiar face.
A Fuller Life – Films on Film strand
This gripping tribute to a true American maverick, Samuel Fuller, is directed by his daughter Samantha. Allow her to lead you on a journey through Fuller’s adventure-filled life as journalist, infantryman, novelist and filmmaker. His body of work as a director, writer and producer is one of the most radical and exhilarating in the history of American cinema, and it is survived in this treasure trove of a documentary.
Billion Dollar Brain – Border Warfare: John McGrath’s Work in TV, Theatre, & Film strand
Michael Caine stars in this loose adaptation of Len Deighton's spy thriller novel. McGrath and maverick directorial talent Ken Russell deliver a sprawling cult cinema spy story. Keep an eye out for great turns from the likes of Karl Malden, Ed Begley and Donald Sutherland.
Friday 27 June
Friday night’s alright for film watching. In the meantime, here’s an eclectic daytime selection of everything from the silly to the sentimental. Enjoy memories and objects lost and found, cross-cultural comedy and hilarious satire.
Displaced Perssons (Familjen Persson i främmande land) – New Perspectives strand
Pelle Persson left Sweden and travelled the world in search of adventure. He settled in Pakistan, fell in love, married and had two daughters. Now the girls have grown up, it’s time for the family of four to up sticks and set off back to the family he hasn't seen in decades. A hilarious and deeply touching culture-clash comedy.
Koo! Kin-dza-dza (Ku! Kin-dza-dza) – Animation strand
And now for something completely different. This animated feature is a return to traditional hand-drawn style. Think The Wizard of Oz meets Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Georgian director Georgiy Daneliya revisits his 1986 live-action, cult sci-fi feature Kin-dza-dza. The feature reimagines its original 1980s Soviet satire with a charm and surrealism that is fitting for contemporary times.
Restless Memories – Shorts strand
Beloved memories and treasured objects are celebrated in this shorts programme. Archival footage, unearthed undeveloped 8mm gems and family timelines feature in these films from as far afield as Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain and the USA.
Saturday 28 June
Saturday heralds the end of the Festival, your 48 hour warning for filling your eyes and minds with the best films on offer. Grab a family member or friend and settle in for a day-long binge to bring in the rest of the Fest.
Joe – American Dreams strand
Nicolas Cage stars in Joe – a follow-up to indie director David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche and the second instalment of his "Indie Trilogy”. He harnesses a powerhouse performance from Cage, who is electrifying this dark, poignant film about Cage’s foreman of a group of forestry workers and lives a quiet life alone with his dog.
A Dangerous Game – Special Screenings strand
This follow-up to the award-winning You've Been Trumped takes up where the previous film left off with the saga of American billionaire property developer Donald Trump's incursion into Scotland. Filmmaker Anthony Baxter probes the disastrous environmental effects of the development of luxury golf courses – then returns to Scotland to confront Trump.
Doc of the Dead – Films on Film strand
Alexandre O Philippe, director of fun documentaries The People vs. George Lucas (EIFF 2009) and The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (EIFF 2012) returns to EIFF once again with his latest offering: Doc of the Dead. Enjoy a A sprightly walk through the world of the undead through this history of the zombie in popular culture.
Sunday 29 June
The final Sunday of the Fest! Traditionally this is the day to get your fill of the final day programme and to take in the Best of the Fest. Since the latter hasn’t been announced just yet, here are some gems you ought not to miss.
International Animation 2: The Universe in a Frame – Animation strand
An anthology of animation from around the world. Animation creates wonder and communicates universal experience through painstaking creation one frame at a time. This eclectic programme of shorts from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds demonstrates animation as a unique form of filmmaking and means of artistic expression.
The Nut Job – For the Family strand
This animated heist movie voice-stars the likes of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Maya Rudolph and Katherine Heigl. Winter is coming and there’s a food shortage. The animals of Liberty Park are hungry. There is hope, but our furry friends must steal enough food for the whole park. It’s one for all the family. There are lots more films For the Family – check them out here.
The Japanese Dog (Câinele Japonez) – New Perspectives
Whether you’re bringing the family or just invoking it, why not try this family drama? The spirit of Ozu visits new Romanian cinema in a deeply heartfelt, minimalistic film which offers an elliptical, touching meditation on loss, loneliness and regeneration.
Winners of EIFF 2014’s short film awards and two of its documentary premieres have been nominated for 2015 BAFTAs.