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Edinburgh Film Festival Parties

Posted by: Matthew Turner 26/06/2009 @ 18:05
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 203
Films seen over the previous fortnight: Transformers 2: Electric Boogaloo, Beyond the Fire, Little Soldier, Elkland, The Hurt Locker, Big River Man, Mary and Max, Away We Go, Pardon My French, Modern Love Is Automatic, Black Dynamite, Fish Tank, High Life, Easier With Practice, My Year Without Sex, Turn It Loose, Jerichow, Fragments, Big Things, Mad, Sad & Bad, Humpday, The Missing Person, The Girlfriend Experience, AntiChrist, The September Issue, Boogie Woogie, For The Love of Movies, Le Donk, Pontypool, Romeo and Juliet vs The Living Dead, The Wild Angels, Spread, Stella, The Trip, Terribly Happy

Edinburgh Blog Supplemental: The Party of the Festival
Astute readers may realise from the lengthy list above that I'm currently posting from the Edinburgh Film Festival. It's been a pretty great festival so far (see my Edinburgh Blog post here) and I've seen some amazing films. The Edinburgh Film Festival parties have also been great fun, but the highlight so far has to be the party for Shane Meadows' Le Donk, starring Paddy Considine. The film is essentially a black and white mini-mockumentary about a fictional roadie known as Le Donk, a character Meadows and Considine have been making short films about for several years. (At the Q&A after the film, Meadows said that if the character seemed familiar, that's because Steve Coogan basically completely ripped them off for Saxondale, a couple of years after they'd shown him the short films.)

Anyway, the film was extremely funny and the Q&A, with both Considine and co-star Scor-zay-zee in character throughout was hilarious. The party was held in a church hall and there were only around 100 or so people there, probably because it was a hot day and the party was slightly further out than usual. You had to pay 75p to get in and you also had to bring your own booze, though super-cheap (and I do mean super-cheap) beer and tequila were both available. Meadows ended up doing a spot of DJing and Considine and Scor-zay-zee (both still in character) performed the raps from the movie, to riotous applause. Considine's ability to stay in character was pretty amazing – he posed for photographs all night and didn't break character once. Which was kind of a shame, because I'd like to have told “Paddy Considine” how much I loved The Last Resort. At any rate, everyone agreed it was the party of the festival, which is a testament to the three girls who organised it all on a budget of £300. There was even a goody bag with pick'n'mix, plastic toys and badges. Brilliant.

Trailerwatch: Black Dynamite
This is actually one of the films I've seen at this year's Edinburgh Film Festival. I've reviewed it here but the trailer is a minor work of genius on its own. A note-perfect Blaxploitation pastiche, the film stars Michael Jai White as superbad Shaft-alike Black Dynamite, who takes to the streets to stick it to The Man when his brother is killed. It's fair to say that the film drags a bit in the middle section, where they're essentially repeating the same jokes and making the plot needlessly complicated, but there's still a lot of fun to be had and the trailer gives a good taste of that – the fight scenes, in particular, are fantastic, complete with wildly over-the-top sound effects. The trailer doesn't include my favourite line though, which was “Now who the HELL interruptin' mah kung fu?” I should also point out that this is the Red Band trailer and is therefore Not Safe For Work.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Four new entries this week, although, strictly speaking, Gigantic would have been last week's new entry, but there was no blog due to me being at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Aside from quirky Zooey Deschanel romance Gigantic, the week's new entries also include: Mexican footballing brothers comedy Rudo and Cursi (fresh from the Edinburgh Film Festival – keep an eye on the site for our exclusive interview with stars Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal), Amy Adams and Emily Blunt as a pair of sisters who go into the crime scene cleanup business and atmospheric British chiller The Disappeared, which, admittedly, might have already lived up to its name.

1. Sugar
2. Drag Me To Hell
3. Star Trek
4. Synecdoche, New York
5. The Hangover
6. Anything For Her
7. Rudo and Cursi
8. Sunshine Cleaning
9. The Disappeared
10. Gigantic

DVD of the Week: Revolutionary Road (released 29th June, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road, based on the brilliant novel by Richard Yates. Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio star as a troubled suburban couple in 1950s Connecticut. This is a beautifully shot, superbly written drama that exerts a powerful emotional grip and features terrific performances from its two leads and a talented supporting cast that includes Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates and Zoe Kazan (as Maureen Gruber). It also taps in to the current Mad Men vibe, in case anyone needs a fix of ‘50s/‘60s cool before season three starts. Extras include: a feature commentary with Sam Mendes and screenwriter Justin Haythe, a Making Of featurette and a handful of deleted scenes. This is something of a minority opinion but to my mind, it's one of the best films of the year. Also, check out Mendes' sneaky ‘brief flash of nudity to boost DVD sales’ technique, something he'd already tested out in American Beauty.


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