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  • Alistair Braidwood

Holy Loch Boulevard: A Preview Of The Dunoon Film Festival 2015…


One of the finest festivals Scotland has to offer is the Dunoon Film Festival. Now in its third year, it remains small but perfectly formed, with the venues within a couple of minutes walk from each other, and held in one of the most picturesque spots in Scotland.

You can download the Festival brochure here, but it is no lie to say that in the three days it is on (18-20th Sept) there really is something for everyone. Want to be convinced? That’s what I’m here for.

Friday – For those who like their film noirish, the classic of the genre Angels With Dirty Faces is on in the afternoon. Starring legends Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney as two old friends whose lives have taken very different paths, it is a must see for fans of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The Opening Night Feature is a film which got me excited as soon as I heard it was even a possibility. It’s Big Gold DreamGrant McPhee’s documentary on Scottish music label Fast Product, Scotland’s ‘other’ early-’80s indie label which has been overshadowed by the legacy of Postcard Records. But, featuring talking heads such as Davy Henderson, Alan Rankine, Jo Callis and Fay Fife and with rare footage of The Human League, The Flowers, Gang of Four, The Fire Engines, Scars and many more, McPhee’s film should go some way to rectifying this. The man himself will be present for this showing. Here’s a taste of what to expect:

Another highlight of the weekend is Hectorwhich stars Peter Mullan as Hector McAdam, a lonesome man of the road who decides to reconnect with his past. With a cast which includes Gina McKee, Sarah Solemani, Ewan Stewart, Sharon Rooney and Stephen Tomkinson, Hector could be the film everyone is talking about in Dunoon this year. Here’s the trailer:

Saturday – The day begins with legendary filmmaker Albert Maysles’ final documentary Iris. The Iris of the title is fashion icon Iris Apfel, a larger than life character who was 93 when the film was made, and her life-story is incredible. For those in love with a subtitle, there’s a great selection of World Cinema in the shape of Japanese family drama I WishFrench-Canadian coming-of-age movie, Tu Dors Nicole and the historical drama Theeb from Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar.

If you have kids, or are a big kid yourself, then the outdoor screening of Pixar’s classic Up at the Argyll Gardens Band Stand is the only place to be on Saturday night. What I’m most looking forward to is Karen Guthrie’s The Closer We Get a documentary inspired by her mother’s stroke which looks at her own family’s secrets and confronts them in a manner which is as moving as it is honest. Guthrie is taking part in a Q&A after the film. In the meantime, here is the trailer:

Sunday – What better, and stranger, and more wonderful way to kick off a Sunday than with a screening of Hal  Ashby’s Harold and Maude? If you haven’t seen it it’s simply one of the best films ever made. 1.30pm sees James Cosmo in Conversation talking about his 50(!) years in film; a great opportunity to hear from one of Scotland’s true screen icons. Tom Browne’s feature Radiator won the Audience Award at the year’s Glasgow Film Festival and is highly recommended. The closing film takes us back to classic cinema, but this time of the British variety, It’s the Ealing comedy Hue and Cry, with the impeccable Alistair Sim on top form. It’s a great way to round off what promises to be a memorable festival. Here’s a clip:

I told you it was good. Hopefully, I’ll see you on the streets of Dunoon. AB


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