early Edinburgh fragments

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Rescued from the recycle bin, and therefore late, and ahead of some shorter Edinburgh International Film Festival summaries and specific film reviews appearing elsewhere: early scraps from this year’s notebook.

1.)  Between the lines of film festival management, part 94:

2011: the festival opens with The Guard.
2012: the festival opens with Killer Joe.
2013: the festival opens with Breathe In.

No one who caught sight of the expressions on the faces of sponsors and committee members in 2012 can be too surprised; the gentleman who this year asked Chris Fujiwara in a public Q&A why Frances Ha couldn’t have been on that list had perhaps not got the memo.

2.)  If Frances Ha had been on that list, I wouldn’t have complained. You could spend a happy hour or two reading reviews by people trying to express why they loved Greta Gerwig in this film when those same reviewers would apparently have set her on fire after Damsels In Distress. It’s not her, folks; it’s you.

3.)  Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction is indeed Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Audible, prising anecdotes and commentary out of the man one molecule at a time. Director Sophie Huber has known the actor for years, so maybe this is him in exuberant party mood. People seeing it for free sang its praises; people who had paid for it were restive and unhappy. One of these is nearer reality than the other.

4.)  Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell will need further analysis down the line, but clearly gets straight to heart of how documentaries go about their story-telling and supposedly truth-clarifying business, especially the ones from the scripted and staged end of the spectrum.

5.)  Magic Magic made a lot of people very angry. Can’t think why.

6.) The Complex made a lot of people very aware of other J-horror films they had watched in the past, including me.

7.)  I’m on course for seeing two-thirds of the nominees for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature, and am as mystified by the selection criteria as ever.

More to follow.

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