The 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival was what it was. Some of the well-publicised flaws were not technically disasters, just a substantial retreat from the glory days of old. And some of them were so fundamentally wrong-headed that they seem unfixable short of breaking the festival back down to the ground and rebuilding from scratch. On top of which, for every truly stupefying mistake concerning ticketing or press relations or unfortunate programming, there was an act of god which just made the whole unlucky enterprise seem cursed. Many of these involved the Cameo’s lavatories.
For Little White Lies, a festival report in two parts.
Part One including Celine Sciamma’s tender view of childhood uncertainties Tomboy, and a sympathetic portrait of Bobby Fischer’s internal torments.
Part Two including David Mackenzie’s divisive Perfect Sense, the clearly star-making Albatross, and the poignant Life In Movement which happens to be one of the best documentaries about dance I’ve ever seen.
I also did some interviewing for LWLies, to appear at various points in the future. Here’s one: Craig Viveiros and John Lynch talk about their bruising prison drama Ghosted.
Over at Critic’s Notebook, four films worthy of deeper wordage:
Perfect Sense is an emphatic return to form for a director last seen disappearing beneath the waves of Hollywood seemingly never to return. And a litmus test for film reviewers, by the look of things.
The Last Circus is so utterly bonkers that Carolina Bang swinging on a trapeze in front of a big picture of Telly Savalas counts as one of its more rational moments.
Page Eight really had no place being at the festival but gave me newfound appreciation of Bill Nighy’s approach to tailoring.
The Divide is every bit as downbeat and dour and post-apocalyptic as its makers intended, which is a lot.
EDITED TO ADD: Wayward programming can have its advantages.
Hello again, Lightbulb Kids.