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2010 Edinburgh Film Festival Lineup

Posted by: Matthew Turner 04/06/2010 @ 17:02
Subject: Film
Films seen so far this year: 180
Films seen this week: City Island, Wild Target, Videocracy, Women Without Men

 
Edinburgh Film Festival line-up
This week I attended the London launch for the 2010 Edinburgh Film Festival, which, incidentally, will be my tenth Edinburgh in a row since becoming a film reviewer. The line-up looks particularly tantalising this year: apart from the tent-pole gala screening of Toy Story 3 (so huge that not only is it already sold out, but it's playing on three screens simultaneously) there are also screenings of Joan Jett biopic The Runaways (see the trailer section of previous blogs), Best Foreign Film Oscar winner The Secret of Their Eyes and, most exciting of all (for me, anyway), a screening of James Huth's live-action version of Lucky Luke (starring OSS-117's Jean Dujardin), the trailer for which I also featured on this blog a couple of months ago. Edinburgh is also very loyal to film-makers whose work it has showcased before, even though they may not be known much outside the festival circuit and I'm excited to see Zach Clark's Vacation! (because I loved last year's Modern Love Is Automatic and Rona Mark's The Crab (tag-line: “If he could, he'd be giving you the finger”), although, full disclosure, I'm partly excited to see it because my name will be in the credits.
 
Of the films I have already seen, I can highly recommend opening night film The Illusionist (Sylvain Chomet's perfect blend of Jacques Tati and Belleville Rendezvous) and World's Greatest Dad (Bobcat Goldthwaite's darkly brilliant follow-up to Sleeping Dogs, featuring a terrific performance from Robin Williams), though quite what Catherine Zeta-Jones romcom The Rebound is doing in the line-up is anybody's guess. Other films I'm looking forward to include John Michael McCarthy's  cult sci-fi noir Cigarette Girl, wacky documentary Superhero Me (in which a film-maker becomes a costumed crime-fighter), Howard Marks biopic Mr Nice (no press screening yet – sort that out please, somebody), the self-explanatory The People vs George Lucas and weird-sounding British road movie-slash-monster movie Monsters. Like last year, I'll be doing a review a day for sister site ViewEdinburgh and also blogging the festival at http://edfilmfest.blogspot.com/.
 
 
Films I'm Looking Forward To: Piranha 3D
This looks utterly fabulous. Let's face it – you don't even need to see the trailer to know this is going to be awesome. Piranhas. In 3D.
Yes, okay, there's a bit of a backlash against 3D going on at the moment but who doesn't want to see piranhas attacking in 3D? Especially if they're as clever at nibbling off bikini clasps as their 1978 forebears. The mouth-watering cast includes Christopher Lloyd (who seems, delightfully, to be channelling Doc Brown), Richard Dreyfuss (gratuitous Jaws references alert), Ving Rhames (Ving Rhames! Fighting piranhas! With an outboard engine!), Adam Scott, Elisabeth Shue and, oh yes, our very own Kelly Brook. The cast list contains a character called “Wet t-shirt victim”, which should give you some idea of what to expect. It also lists Eli Roth as “Wet t-shirt contest emcee” - here's hoping the bitey little blighters go for him first. Opens here August 20th and I can't WAIT.
 

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's all-change this week with no less than four new entries into the top ten. They include: Brick director Rian Johnson's quirky con-man drama The Brothers Bloom (starring Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo), Michael Winterbottom's chilling adaption of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me (starring Casey Affleck); likeable geek-gets-girl romcom She's Out Of My League (starring Alice Eve and Jay Baruchel) and Italian documentary Videocracy, about President Berlusconi's stranglehold over the Italian media. No new interviews this week but look out for our exclusive interview with rising star Kimberley Nixon when Black Death comes out next week. In the meantime you can still read our interviews with lovely Gemma Arterton (sigh) and Date Night stars Steve Carell and TinaMark Wahlberg's chest is prettier than my face” Fey.


DVD of the Week: Ponyo (2 disc DVD, out Monday 7th June, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Japanese animated adventure Ponyo, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the genius behind Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. The film centres on lonely five-year-old Sosuke (Frankie Jonas in the dubbed version, Hiroki Doi in the subtitled version), who lives in a windswept house on the cliff-tops with his frazzled mother, Lisa (Tina Fey dubbed, Tomoko Yamaguchi subbed), while his fisherman father (Matt Damon / Kazushige Nagashima) spends most of the day at sea. One day, Sosuke finds a strange little fish named Ponyo (Noah Cyrus / Yuria Nara), who unexpectedly sprouts legs and begins to turn into a girl. However, Ponyo is the escaped daughter of the Mother of the Sea (Cate Blanchett / Yuki Amami) and the wizard Fujimoto (Liam Neeson / Joji Tokoro) and as she becomes more and more human, her magic causes huge tidal waves that threaten to flood Sosuke's coastal village.
 
This is a beautifully animated, utterly charming adventure with a strong voice cast, delightful characters and an emotionally engaging, if bonkers storyline – it even manages to squeeze in a subtle message about the dangers of pollution. The extremely impressive extras package includes: both subtitled and dubbed versions of the film, alternative angle storyboards, trailers, a music video for the theme song, an interview and dubbing session with the Japanese cast, Japanese TV spots, interviews with Miyazaki (14 minutes) and producer Toshio Suzuki (30 minutes), and no less than TEN featurettes, including an interview with Miyzaki and Pixar's John Lasseter, interviews with the US cast (including Liam Neeson, Tina Fey and Betty White), a short featurette on the music, an excerpt from a documentary on the locations used in Studio Ghibli films and 49 minutes of profiles on “The Five Geniuses Who Created Ponyo”. All in all, this is a treat for adults and children alike. Highly recommended.

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