Documentaries / Events / Films / Screening Culture / Travel

Glasgow Film Festival 2013

English: Photograph of the front of the Glasgo...

English: Photograph of the front of the Glasgow Film Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland. Taken on the 11th June 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year I gained my first press pass for the Glasgow Film Festival 2012. I must admit that I enjoyed it quite a lot and I’ve been anticipating this January for the full programme of events which will take place this year. It was released today and God it looks good. A thriving 2012 was experienced by both Scotland and Glasgow in the arts and culture scene and the festival, now running for its ninth year, only embraces what locally and globally Glasgow is capable of.

The event spans over the month of February, from the 14th to the 24th, which doesn’t solely cover films, but also live performances, guest speakers and premieres. This year the festival is to host a staggering 57 UK premieres with the most prolific being: Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings project, Cloud Atlas, which was filmed in Glasgow for a week; Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska; Drumchapel’s own James McAvoy in Welcome to the Punch; and Blue Valentine’s Ryan Gosling reunites with director Derek Cianfrance for The Place Beyond the Pines.

Having the big names and the Hollywood lure is one thing; but what I love the most about the festival is having the chance to watch indie projects from around the world. I’ve already had a skim through the programme and there are quite a few films which have caught my interest.

There are various themes (strands) throughout the festival and one which seems very appealing for this year is Buena Onda, a look at the contemporary features from Brazil. 2014 to 2016 is going to be the era of Rio and so it will be interesting to see what is hidden behind the costumes of Carnival and see the truth of the country. The two stand out films for me in this category are the coming-of-age drama, The Best Things in the World, and Prime Time Soap, which is set during the dictatorship period of 1978, where the citizens escapism was through the soap, Dancin’ Days.

The Kapow strand is sure going to be one of the most entertaining as it concentrates on the ‘superhero’ genre, and will host more interactive talks. Actors from the phenomenal Game of Thrones series will introduce Season 2’s Blackwater episode as well as discussing their work on the show. The creator of Judge Dredd, John Wagner, as well as the comic writer of 30 Days of Night, Steve Niles, will be talking about their projects. Similarly, the Game Cats Go Miaow new strand to the festival is a bit of a mouthful, but if you’re interested in the gaming industry then you wont want to miss this.

There are a whole heap of genres which the festival celebrates annually. For example, FrightFest shows a heap of horror films, which makes you want to barf into your popcorn. Although it’s useless if, like me, you turn eighteen on the day before the festival finishes. Fashion is another number which will take to the screen, although this year they’re going for a quality over quantity approach by showing only four films about the fashion world. As well as displaying contemporary work from Scottish, British and worldwide filmmakers, the festival is also a way to embrace the works of the past which have shaped the industry. This year you have the chance to watch classic Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard and the lesser known 1973s Scarecrow, starring Al Pacino and Gene Hackman.

Incorporating various elements from all across the arts and culture scene is why the Glasgow Film Festival is my idealist form of heaven. There will be something to interest everyone at Glasgow’s Film Festival so it’s something not to be missed if you are in or around Glasgow this February.

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