A cave dweller

This year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival produced the following:

An attempt to parse the British narrative feature programme for Little White Lies. The moral is that the supply and demand equation is out of whack, no doubt putting UK-based festivals in a very difficult position. But the time when they just acquiesce passively to the situation must surely be coming to an end.

Reviews at Critic’s Notebook for:

A Most Wanted Man, in which Anton Corbijn and John le Carré admire each other to a standstill.

The Green Inferno, in which Eli Roth admires other people’s films to a standstill; but if you have a talent in this world and that’s your talent, then let it fly.

The Skeleton Twins, which made a lot of folks very happy but felt to me like dead weight.

Snowpiercer, in which correctly spotting the roots of the Tilda Swinton character was apparently a function of age and time spent under the Harold Wilson government.

Far weirder than anything dreamed up by Bong Joon-ho was the debacle around Welcome to New York, two screenings of which were shoved into the festival programme later than the last minute and got roughly zero promotional push. The first screening duly unfolded before a desultory handful of people, although those sofas in the middle of the Dominion’s auditorium were as comfortable as I remembered. The second screening was the subject of whispers suggesting a truncated cut of the film at the insistence of a potentially-attending Gérard Depardieu, who then cancelled anyway.

Was the Edinburgh International Film Festival really preparing to show a drastically sawed-off version of a film to full-price ticket payers without a peep of warning or comment or explanation? Are there any witnesses to this mythical short version, since judging by the radio silence that followed it seems possible that not a single person actually went? Is this going to be the tale that film festival programmers tell their children at bedtime while urging them to take up respectable trades such as plumbing or merchant banking instead? Rarely can the circumstances of a film festival screening have been swept under the nearest available tapis more tout suite.


4 July 2014