Glasgow’s highly anticipated and much loved annual film festival is back once again, and the itinerary is chockablock with new releases, old classics, industry talks and more. Below is Braw Wee’s top picks of screenings and activities you should be checking out and getting involved with - so turn off the light and get the popcorn ready. Lights, camera, action!
Wednesday night’s opening gala screening of Mid 90s kicks off the festival, a bittersweet coming of age tale set in the hot, grit and spit skate parks of 1990s LA. This film has caused a stir in the movie world, not only for its content matter, but because it is Jonah Hill’s directorial debut. Yes, that’s right, Jonah Hill, the face of every mid 00s bro comedy, from Superbad to Evan Almighty. Hill has recently taken action to leave his old bro stereotype behind, playing a more high brow role in Netflix’s surreal, 2018 sci-fi smash, Maniac, as well as openly denouncing the negative connotations that go with bro comedy, speaking out in support of women and the fight against toxic masculinity. Mid 90s is an assured and well crafted leap into director territory, highly stylised and a pleasure for the eyes, but with a gentle, tangible undercurrent of the comedic flair that helped Hill strike the big time.
Dates: Tickets for the opening gala are sold out, but you can grab a seat at the GFT on Thursday the 21st, 13:15.
Are You Proud? - Ashley Joiner (2018)
Are You Proud? is a documentary marking the history, present and future of the gay rights movement, with focus on activists and organisations in the UK. The film serves to educate but also to ask questions about the face of the LGBTQI+ movement, particularly how it will be shaped going forward into the 21st century and beyond. Honest, emotional, and frank, this documentary doesn’t hesitate to show the many dark moments that have led to queer liberation in the West as we know it today, meeting members of the Gay Liberation Front, Stonewall, and various recent organisations founded to help trans members of the queer community, along the way. Are You Proud? is a film that certainly does make you feel proud, despite the fight being far from over.
Tickets: CCA - Thursday 28th of Feb (18:00) and Friday 1st of March (14.00)
Sonic Youth celebrate the 30th anniversary of their seminal album, ‘Daydream Nation’, with this archival film depicting their never to be forgotten 2007 show at Glasgow’s ABC Academy. Director Lance Bangs has collated his own personal 16mm and super8 footage of the band alongside excerpts of the show, creating a film that captures the spirit of the iconic band as well as their visceral on stage energy. This screening of Daydream Nation will be followed by a Q&A with Bangs, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, and Glasgow legend, The Pastels’ Stephen McRobbie.
Tickets: GFT - Sat 23rd Feb (15:00)
Character Makeup with Danny Marie Elias
Catch top prosthetics, SFX and industry make up artist Danny Marie Ellis at the CCA, and find out top insider tips plus advice from a professional who has worked on productions such as Sherlock and Star Wars. Danny will be giving a live demonstration of her work and is sure to entertain, amaze, and educate. This talk is also BSL interpreted.
Tickets: CCA - Wednesday 27th of Feb (18:30), FREE
2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the heart warming animated classic The Iron Giant, and the GFF is celebrating with this intimate, child friendly screening at the Seamore Neighbourhood Centre. Come along when doors open at 15:00 to have a go at making your own robot!
Tickets: Seamore Neighbourhood Cinema - Sunday 3rd of March (15:00), FREE in advance
Killing - Shin’ya Tsukatmo (2018)
A modern twist on the classic samurai movie, Shin’ya Tsukamato’s Killing is a vibrant and intense journey, following the story of a rice paddy worker contemplating life as a samurai, and tackling the immense weight that comes with it: whether or not he is able to take another human’s life. A fresh and action filled burst of emotion and violence.
Permission - Soheil Beiraghi (2018)
Permission follows the story of protagonist Afrooz and the struggle between her ferocious love for football and the heavy weight of her estranged husband’s desire to hold her down. Made captain of Iran’s female football team, the opportunity to compete in the finals of the Asian Nations Cup in Malaysia arises. However, her husband seeks to halt her in her tracks, unable to compete, or even leave the country. Permission is a raw, emotional look at the autonomy, or lack thereof, that Iranian women have over their own destiny, and a defiant shout proving that change is, hopefully, in the air.
Tickets: CCA - Monday 25th of February (20:45) and Tuesday 26th of February
Our Maryhill is a community project, commissioned by GFF and guided by film curator Shona Thompson, contributed to by students of St Charles Primary, John Paul Academy, and residents from Queens Cross Housing Association. Each group of contributors have selected special archival footage of Glasgow’s beloved Maryhill, and collated it under the heading of a specific, unique theme. This event is a chance for the community of Maryhill and wider Glasgow to view their own history and memories, not only through the specially curated films, but also live music and community installations.
Tickets: Seamore Neighbourhood Cinema - Sunday 3rd of March, FREE in advance
Dear Son - Mohammed Ben Atamia (2018)
Paternal relationships, the strength of familial love, and the horror of losing a child to a force you cannot control - themes all explored in Mohammed Ben Atamia’s Dear Son. A tentative insight into a parent’s worst nightmare, and a situation that is unfortunately common in today’s world, Atamia’s film is beautifully shot, beautifully written, and beautifully handles a topic that is raw and absolutely real.
Tickets: CCA - Thursday 21st of February (15:30) and Sunday 24th of February (12:00)
GFF Film Quiz at The Blue Arrow
Get swotting up on your movie trivia and have your knowledge tested at the GFF film quiz at new Sauchiehall Street jazz joint, The Blue Arrow. Film related prizes are on offer for the victors, and places are free but limited, so get there early!
Tickets: The Blue Arrow - Monday 25th of February (19:30), FREE but limited spaces
Murder Me, Monster - Alejandro Fadel (2018)
Murder Me, Monster is a gore filled, stomach churning, darker than night mystery, which despite its grotesque nature, still manages to be sultry, sexy, and a delight to watch. When numerous bodies are found high up in the Andes with their heads torn right off, the question on everybody’s lips is “Who - or indeed what - has done this?” Fadel’s answer is horrifying, intoxicating, and impossible to take your eyes off.
Tickets: CCA - Sunday 24th of February (20:30) and Monday 25th of February (15:30)
Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman stands out as one of the strongest feminist Belgian works, if not feminist works generally, of all time. The film follows protagonist Jeanne Dielman over the duration of three days, painstakingly laying bare the ins, outs, and every other minute detail of her suffocatingly dull life. However, Akerman’s careful portrayal of a woman drowning in the dreariness of the everyday is not a dreary watch; it is, in fact, an illuminating, important and painfully honest piece of essential feminist viewing.
Tickets: GFT - Saturday 2nd of March (13:00)
Lords of Chaos - Jonas Åkerlund (2018)
Norway in the 1980s, at the height of the black metal sub-craze. Several images spring to mind: Goat skulls, pentagrams, blood, burning churches, frightening make up. And nobody adopted these tropes more thoroughly and with as much enthusiasm as Mayhem, the seminal Norwegian black metal band who painted their faces, denounced God, and - eventually - murdered. Lords of Chaos is a biopic as equally dark, taking a snapshot of a unique, and often horrific, period in music history, and laying it out on screen for the world to see.
Tickets: GFT - Thursday 28th of February (21:00)
Chained for Life - Aaron Schimberg (2018)
Chained for Life offers a thought provoking and satirical opinion regarding Hollywood’s treatment of marginalised people; in this case, people with additional needs and disfigurements. Depicting the relationship between a “beautiful” actress and her disfigured co-star, Chained for Life is a film within a film, its title paying homage to the 1952 exploitation movie of the same name that featured Siamese twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton. Brutally honest and unapologetic, Schimberg’s second feature length asks the audience to question the ethics of not only the establishment it is born out of, but themselves.
Tickets: CCA - Tuesday 26th of February (18:50) and Wednesday 27th of February (15:00)
Mackintosh Redux - Murray Grigor (1968)
Digitally remastered to an awe inspiring level, Murray Grigor’s 1968 movie displaying the many architectural triumphs of Glasgow’s own Rennie Mackintosh was first shown alongside Andrew McLaren Young’s 1968 Mackintosh Centenary exhibition, and it has not lost its charm. Accompanied with a classical score performed by Scottish Chamber Orchestra that swoops and soars with every curve and steeple of Mackintosh’s creation, it is an essential viewing for any fan of Mackintosh, architecture, design, music, Glasgow, or just great cinema.
Team America: World Police Sing-a-long - Trey Parker (2004)
15 whole years have gone by since South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone released their stop motion, puppet on string feature length satirising American patriotism, the extreme counterterrorism movement of the early 00s, and everything else wrong with the USA at the time of the movie’s creation. Come and sing along to all your favourite Team America songs and enjoy the hilarity on the big screen.
Tickets: GFT - Friday 22nd of February (23:15)
We Are The Weirdos presented by The Final Girls
The Final Girls film collective are bringing a show reel of frightening, feminist shorts to the GFF, and frankly we couldn’t be be happier (or more filled with terror). Say hello to the future of horror; it’s not just a boys game.
Tickets: GFT - Wednesday 27th of February (21:00)
Who knows what it could be? Join the annual GFF tradition that is The Surprise Film. No clues, no hints. All we know is that is going to be great.
Tickets: GFT - Wednesday 27th of February (20:40)
Tickets available from the Glasgow Film Festival website. Pick up a copy of the programme from Braw Wee and Creative East End.Words by Molly Hughes