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  • Alistair Braidwood

When Meryl Met Ginger: It’s The Glasgow Film Festival …

It’s Glasgow Film Festival time again, and it is another belting programme. There are Great Scots, Superheroes, Bollywood movies, Shorts, Independents, British films, European films and World films. There will be discussions on Fashion in Film, Gaelic cinema and Youth cinema. Other events include a Meryl Streep retrospective (which is better than it has any right to be), the films of Ginger Rogers and the hardy perennials which are Frightfest and the Film and Music Festival. I’ll keep it simple. Here’s my pick of the flicks.

First up is The Deer Hunter, which is a top five regular for me. It’s part of the Meryl Streep retrospective, and, along with Sophie’s Choice and The French Lieutenant’s Woman, reminds those of us who sometimes forget just what a great actress she is. You’ll even forgive her Death Becomes Her. Maybe. Here’s the trailer:

The Deer Hunter is on at the GFT on the17th and in Cineworld on the18th.

Next up is Submarine, the directorial debut from Richard Ayoade who people will know better as Moss from The IT Crowd or Saboo in The Mighty Boosh. The chat about this film has only been positive, and when you consider that it stars two of Britain’s most endearing actors, Paddy Considine and Sally Hawkins, this is a film that could just be a bit special. This is the trailer:

Submarine is at the GFT on the 18th and 19th Feb, with the director and some of the actors making an appearance on the earlier date.

For a bit of old fashioned glamour you can’t beat Fred and Ginger in Top Hat. It’s part of a terrific Ginger Rogers retrospective and it’s at the GFT in cinema 1 on Tuesday the 22nd. Ginger is often overshadowed by Fred Astaire, but she’s no Andrew Ridgley. Theirs was an equal partnership, at least on screen, and Top Hat shows this better than any other film:

My pick of the festival must be Howl. It’s about the life of poet Allan Ginsberg and his role in the movement that they named the beat generation. The film is named after his astonishing stream of consciousness poem, which made enough of an impact as to make Ginsberg one of the standard bearers of this anti-establishment movement. Central to the film is the trial where Ginsberg’s publishers were charged with obscenity, and it asks questions about censorship, art and freedom of speech that are still relevant today. It stars James Franco, who is quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s best actors, Mad Men‘s John Hamm, and has an all too rare sighting of Mary Louise Parker. Howl is on in cinema 2 of the GFT on the 18th and 19th. If you like poetry, and you like film, this has got to be seen. This trailer should convince you:

My final pick is the Director’s Cut of The Tin Drum. It’s Volker Schlöndorff’s adaptation of Günter Grass’s 1959 magical realist novel of the same name, and if you haven’t seen this film I can’t recommend it highly enough. It is the blackest of comedies, and those of a sensitive nature may find the idea of a young boy taking lovers unsettling, but in the context of the film it makes perfect sense. The crucial central role of Oskar is played by David Bennent, who fans of Ridley Scott’s unjustly ridiculed Legend may recognise as Honeythorn Gump, and he is mesmerising. The film has fairly heavy Fellini influences, and if your unsure if it’s your cup of tea then here’s the trailer to help you decide:

The Tin Drum is on at Cineworld on the 20th and 21st.

That’s your whack, but there’s a huge selection that I’ve only touched upon. For all the info you need go to www.glasgowfilm. There is increasingly popular opinion that the Glasgow Film Festival has quietly been outshining its more famous Edinburgh cousin for some time now. You may say that, I couldn’t possibly comment. What I will say is that this year, as with every year, there really is something on screen for everyone.


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