Coming out of my ears.

Wednesday morning I bussed up to Edinburgh Filmhouse for the official launch of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. It was nice seeing some old friends, like Scottish Screen’s Becky Lloyd, whose new baby tried to gum my finger off, Mary Gordon, Shona Thomson, Kristin Loeer, Robert Glassford — and then there was the festival programme as well.

The Jeanne Moreau retrospective includes most of the things I’d want it to, although not her Lillian Gish documetary, and there’s been no mention of Moreau attending. It’d be be a shame if that doesn’t happen. I’m particularly keen to see Joseph Losey’s EVA on the big screen, and Demy’s LA BAIE DES ANGES. Duras’ NATHALIE GRANGER is one of the more obscure films screening, which I should be sure and catch.

New films from John Maybury, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris (who’s attending), Gillian Armstrong, Andrei Konchalovsky, Bill Plympton, Ole Bornedal, Bernard Rose, Terence Davies, Cedric Klapisch, Wayne Wang, Lucky McKee, Shane Meadows, Olivier Assayas, Brad Anderson, plus shorts and lots of films from people I never heard of. I’m going to try and see as many as I can.

Two people from my circle, or intersecting circles — Martin Radich, whom I know, and Chris Waitt, whom I haven’t met, also have features showing.

And there’s Pixar’s WALL-E, and a FEARS OF THE DARK (pictured), a French animation created by Charles Burns (who illustrated the cover of the issue of The Believer I’m in!), which looks rather beautiful.

Appearances by cinematographers Brian Tufano, Christopher Doyle, Seamus McGarvey, Roger Deakins, and actor Brian Cox and stop-motion monster legend Ray Harryhausen (THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS). Fiona squealed in excitement at the thought of the last-named, even though we’ve seen him interviewed in person before.

skeletal army

On that very special occasion, Ray H produced a few of his miniature creations (the skeleton came in a little coffin), and suddenly every child in the cinema was down in front of the auditorium to be close to them. I think we may have been amongst them.

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9 Responses to “Coming out of my ears.”

  1. Nathalie Granger is essential Duras. She shot it at her own home. Moreau’s co-star is Luica Bose, and a very young Gerard Depardieu does an indelible supporting turn as a discombobulated washing machine salesman.

  2. I think our festival director is anxious to celebrate women in film via the retrospectives — last year’s was Anita Loos. This year’s Shirley Clarke should be good, but maybe I’d have preferred a full Varda or Duras season to the Moreau, since many of her films are pretty easy to see. Still, I predict I’ll be missing more modern stuff in order to see them again.

  3. Well I’m glad Shirley Clarke is being honored. She’s a great filmmaker whose work the younger generation of “indies” should know, particularly The Cool World and Ornette: Made in America.

    Her sister, Elainde Dundy, just passed away here in L.A.

  4. Were they sisters ? I didn’t realse. I’m looking forward to the Clarke Retrospective as well. Agnes Varda had a retrospective via the French Film Festival some years ago which might explain the reluctance of EIFF to do her in Edinburgh again. As much of the potential audience will have seen most of her back catalogue already.

  5. Somehow missed the whole Varda retrospect. So few of her films are available!

    I’ve only read excerpts from Dundy’s memoirs, but she was a lively writer with an amazing life.

  6. My mother ran her to ground in the filmhouse bar and had a long long chat with her. Made her a confirmed fan !

  7. It kind of pissed me off at the time thinking ‘But I’m the film maker!’ oh and Film Comment had a great article about her – Varda not my mother.

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