I Hear and Obey

Lots happening here today, but none of it’s ready yet —

Meanwhile, I’ll just mention that I attended the press launch of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and will be blogging almost exclusively about said event from the 16th to the 27th of this month. Why not have a look at their programme and let me know what I should be seeing? This is the interactive age of the internet — you type it in, and I do it, like a fembot.


19 Responses to “I Hear and Obey”

  1. As usual, I probably won’t be able to see much if anything but I am determined to see Donkeys.

  2. Yes, that’s the hot ticket for all of us.

    Regular Shadowplayers may recall me mentioning my friend Morag McKinnon’s debut feature Rounding Up Donkeys. It was in production. and then, silence. Now it’s actually going to be seen, under the unfortunately truncated title Donkeys. Very exciting!

    Got a short list from my editor at The Daily Notebook of stuff he’d like me to check out. The 70s films and Cavalcantis I’ve already seen but will see again, with pleasure.

  3. stuartcondy Says:

    The gaffer on my grad flick had just come off the set of A Spanking In Paradise so I’ll recomend it based purely on that.

    It’s also set in Edinburgh….

    Looking forward to seeing Morag’s film!

  4. Overall, the Festival programme is deeply underwhelming (what else is new?) but the 70s British films should be worth a look. I’m particularly keen to see SAVAGE MESSIAH on the big screen and in the right ratio. Also PULP, which I’ve only ever seen bits of (and not even the bits with Lizabeth Scott!)

    It strikes me that Edinburgh should focus more on retrospectives. They’ve done some splendid ones in the past, but they never get the pick of the new films. Good films tend go to Cannes or Berlin or Venice or Toronto or San Sebastian…and we get stuck with the ones nobody else wants. BOOGIE WOOGIE, anyone? The memory still makes me shudder!

  5. The special screening of Savage Messiah is an absolute must!!! Like so much of Ken, it’s not available on video as yet. Helen Mirren enters throwing a bombs and a few seconds later descends a stiarcase in the nude. Derek Jarman designed it and it’s quite close to the sort of digs he works in. John Justin ( of Thief of Bagdad fame) is in it and our hero wear sneakers. What more could one want?

    The Boy Who Turned Yellow is a gem — not mentioned nearly enough in discussions of P&P, especially as it’s their final collaboration.

    Privilege is out on DVD, but don’t turn down a chance to see it one the big screen. David Bowie ripped off his entire act from it. And what it has to say about Politics AS Religion is as timely today as it was back in 1967.

    Pulp is charming.

    And now’s as good a time to say it as any — I can’t stand Werner Herzog.

  6. Whatever happened to Scott Antony ?

    Savage Messiah was written by Christopher Logue who won my heart for his portrayal of Richlieu in The Devils.

  7. The newer films that sound most intriguing to me are (in order of personal interest):

    Boy (New Zealand); Family Tree (France, a Ducastel/Martineau film and I’ve enjoyed their previous work); and The Robber (Austria).

    I’d like to see the older The Hard Way (1979), partly because it was shot in Ireland, but it also sounds like an intriguing project, with Patrick McGoohan.

  8. The Illusionist!!!

    I love Spalding Gray so I’d be at that one too. Ooh, and McLaren animations and the brothers Quay. Oh wait, the McLaren animations are not by McLaren. Oh and the Quay thing is a “conversation.” They are boring in conversation.

    I skipped driving five hours to see The Extra Man, later heard it was mediocre.

    Get Low shot in my city. Heard it’s a masterpiece, but I heard that from people who worked on it so you never know. Some of them also said Zombieland was a masterpiece.

    I don’t see a single title crossover with this year’s Atlanta Film Festival, which means you’ve likely got a very good festival there.

  9. The Extra Man is very disappointing. Studied “eccentricity” with Kevin Kline running amok and Paul Dano gives his first uninteresting performance.

  10. Niall Greig Fulton, who programmed the 70s stuff, claims he had me in mind!

    Kevin Kline’s eccentric comedy stylings CAN push a little too hard sometimes…

    Quite promising Scottish stuff, with The Illusionist very prominent — Jacques Tati in Edinburgh is a concept I can hardly be expected to resist!

    Saw Spaulding Gray live and greatly admired him, so the Soderbergh is hugely appealing. A sad story.

    The Qual Brothers are present with a new short, so I guess I’ll see the short and skip the Brothers.

    Saw The Hard Way on a fuzzy, censored VHS. It had ambition, and some good bits, and some very very odd bits.

    Savage Messiah is a masterpiece and answers a lot of the usual criticisms aimed at Mad Ken. Genuinely heartbreaking.

    Will look into Get Low, Boy, A Family Tree and The Robber.

    The Daily Notebook want something on Caterpillar. At first I was afraid they meant The Human Centipede, but thankfully no.

  11. One other must…the big-screen projection of Robert Fuest’s wacko futurist masterpiece from 1973, THE FINAL PROGRAMME!!

    Glad I’m not the only person who doesn’t ‘get’ Herzog…although I do like HEART OF GLASS, mainly because the whole cast perform under hypnosis so cannot ham as outrageously as actors normally do in his movies.

  12. Word is that this print of The Final Prog features a scene not present in any DVD release or Tv screening. Alas, it’s not the Hawkwind cameo, but still…

    Even Dwarfs Started Small is largely free of conventional ham, since the actors are mostly non-pro. I like untrained non-performances, generally.

  13. The Final Programme (aka. The Last Days of Man on Earth) is Fuest at his finest!

    Jenny Runacre is enchanting in it. Jon Finch is at his testy best. And I never miss a George Coulouris movie.

  14. I like untrainede non-performances too. Especially when the director is Robert Bresson.

  15. Bresson’s non-professionals are highly trained–by Bresson!

    I wonder if the great Graham Crowden can be persuaded to attend the Final Prog showing. He plays Coulouris’s fellow mad scientist (a speciality he continued for Lindsay Anderson in O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital).

  16. Oh that would be super!

  17. Graham’s a terrific raconteur and a great character. He’s 87 now, I think, and not as nimble as he was, but still working. He has a flat in Edinburgh so it seems possible he’ll come. He attended Malcolm McDowell’s talk on Lindsay Anderson a few years ago.

  18. Judy Dean Says:

    I’m reading Michael Palin’s diaries who, contrary to public opinion, does not love everyone unreservedly, but he does speak warmly of Graham Crowden whom he describes as ‘very genial and avuncular’. Crowden told him how he was shot by his own Sergeant Major during arms drill in Scotland in 1943. ‘He said that when the rifle went off there was none of the usual histrionics that actors and writers usually put into such tragedies, just a dawning realisation and a desire to be as polite as possible about it. “I think you’ve shot me, Sergeant,” was all he could say – and the Sergeant’s reply was “What is it NOW, Crowden?”

  19. I made a film with Crowden circa 1994, and we got an article printed in the local press. On the back of that, Graham’s old Sgt. got in touch. “Do you remember this guy, Graham?” “Oh yes. He shot me!”

    It was a groin injury, and we suggested the paper run a pic of Graham’s son to prove everything turned out alright in the end.

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