Film

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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: The best family films

10 Jun 2014

Featuring The House of Magic, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar and Wolfy, the Incredible Secret

The House of Magic. Despite all that Pixar has done for children’s films, it can be nice to see something outside the big studios. Step forward The House of Magic, a film from Belgium about a cute cat who is abandoned but taken in by a magician with an…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: A guide to the work of John McGrath

10 Jun 2014

The timely, Independence-themed work of the political playwright is given a festival retrospective

John McGrath was one of Britain’s most prolific writers, directors and producers. Born in 1935, he was a passionate socialist theatremaker. He’s particularly noted for setting up theatre company 7:84 in 1971, which became known around Scotland and…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Is it time for Nicolas Cage's resurgence?

10 Jun 2014

The mercurial actor stars in David Gordon Green's Joe alongside Tye Sheridan

Matthew McConaughey, eh? Who saw that coming? One minute, he’s headlining forgettable romcom dross like Failure to Launch and Fool’s Gold; the next, he’s stealing scenes in intriguing indie projects. A look at his resumé shows a clear line in the sand…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: When Michel Gondry met Noam Chomsky

10 Jun 2014

The distinctive filmmaker's latest project is an animated conversation with the political theorist

Arguably the best thing to have come from Versailles since the peace treaty, writer and director Michel Gondry returns to the fray with two new feature films. The idiosyncratic auteur behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind let his own high…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Eli Roth on his Amazon-shot cannibal horror The Green Inferno

10 Jun 2014

Director's affectionate tribute to the Italian cannibal movies of the 80s screens at EIFF 2014

Eli Roth revels in his reputation as the bad boy of horror cinema. He shocked movie fans with the flesh eating virus of Cabin Fever and for many epitomised the gory excesses of the mid-00s with the ultra-violent Hostel. ‘As a kid I loved sitting round…

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Film in the City brings the Edinburgh International Film Festival outdoors

10 Jun 2014

The run-up to EIFF 2014 features filmmaking workshops and open air screenings

June is now firmly established as Film Festival month in Edinburgh and this year, more than ever before, the films and filmmakers are coming out of the cinemas and into the open air. Nicely timed to counter-programme the World Cup kick-off, the…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Take a trip to the Island of Lemurs

10 Jun 2014

Writer-producer Drew Fellman discusses the IMAX doc, which is narrated by Morgan Freeman

It’s a cute, furry, animals-acting-like-humans narrative that could have been lifted straight from a Disney storyboard: a group of primates, fearing extinction on the mainland, board a naturally made raft and set sail for distant shores. ‘It’s the sort…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: a chance to meet your heroes

10 Jun 2014

Elijah Wood, Don Johnson, Aubrey Plaza and America Ferrera among the special guests at EIFF14

The EIFF has faced some whispered accusations of obscurity in the past, producing programmes which, regardless of their high quality, fell short on recognisable names that filmgoers could get excited about. It’s an issue that’s squarely addressed at…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: 5 rising stars

10 Jun 2014

Featuring Dane DeHaan, Kelly Reilly, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amy Seimetz and Laura Fraser

Dane DeHaan Following recurring roles in two semi-popular TV series (Timbo in vamp drama True Blood; Jesse in Gabriel Byrne psychology series In Treatment), DeHaan was able to fully showcase his vulnerable-but-dangerous side in underrated handheld…

Me, Madchester and Frank - How I was edited out of fictional history

5 Jun 2014

A Manchester journalist considers the facts behind Frank and 24 Hour Party People

Sometimes I feel like Zelig, the eponymous Woody Allen character who appears repeatedly, tangential to landmark historical events. I have also been a minor character; a player in a story subsequently turned into a film. And it's weird. Fact becomes…

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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: The top 5 comedies

4 Jun 2014

Featuring Life After Beth, Displaced Perssons and A Practical Guide to a Spectacular Suicide

Anatomy of a Paperclip This odd title is only the start of the strangeness. Following a factory worker who spends his days bending wire into paperclips, this Japanese film floats between reality and his imagination. There’s a butterfly which takes…

Chef

4 Jun 20144 stars

Amusing and occasionally charming Jon Favreau project with some big name supporting roles

Sandwiched right in the heart of this amiable comedy-drama by Jon Favreau is a big, fat career metaphor. The writer-director-actor plays Carl Casper, a divorced chef who works for a plush Los Angeles restaurant – until a food blogger (Oliver Platt…

Oculus

4 Jun 20143 stars

Karen Gillan-starring supernatural thriller from Blumhouse is a good little midnight movie

Right back to Night of The Living Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, horror has always been at its best when it stays low-budget. Take Mike Flanagan’s Oculus, another offering from the impressive Blumhouse Productions – the company behind such…

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

4 Jun 20143 stars

Offbeat adventure packed with Jean-Pierre Jeunet's trademark crazy energy and visual splendour

Its full title – The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet – may be a bit of a mouthful, but this latest effort from French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is still packed tight with his usual crazy energy. His first English-language effort since the rather…

Chinese Puzzle

4 Jun 20143 stars

Third instalment in series is as slick, fun and ultimately insubstantial as its predecessors

The third in French writer/director Cédric Klapisch’s occasional series of films following the life and loves of writer Xavier (Romain Duris) continues on from Pot Luck (2002) and Russian Dolls (2006), and is as slick, fun and ultimately insubstantial…

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22 Jump Street

3 Jun 20144 stars

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return in one of the finest sequels you're ever likely to see

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reunite to hilarious effect in 22 Jump Street, a rare sequel that actually manages to surpass the crowd-pleasing achievements of the original. Co-directed once again by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, this winning…

Cold In July

3 Jun 20143 stars

Entertainingly oddball adaptation full of pulpy B-movie ingredients

You never quite know where you stand with Cold In July and that is a large part of its appeal. Director Jim Mickle has a track record built on twisted genre hybrids like vampire yarn Stake Land and cannibal family drama We Are What We Are.

Belle

3 Jun 20144 stars

Assured historical drama profiling illegitimate daughter of British aristocrat and an African slave

The fact that a decade has passed since Amma Asante's BAFTA-winning debut A Way Of Life is a stark reminder of how difficult it is for even the most talented individuals to make films in Britain. Belle is an elegantly assured, emotionally charged…

The Dirties

2 Jun 20143 stars

A dark, not-quite-funny indie comedy about two amateur filmmakers planning a school shooting

The line between reality and fiction is ripped apart by Canadian writer-director Matt Johnson in this ramshackle yet inventive first feature, which arrives with the effusive backing of Kevin Smith. The Dirties was shot for just $10,000 with virtually no…

A Million Ways to Die in the West

2 Jun 20142 stars

Family Guy and Ted creator Seth MacFarlane stars in this cowboy comedy-cum-vanity project

Seth MacFarlane comes out from behind the teddy bear to take centre stage in this misjudged effort. The writer-director-producer is also the flesh-and-blood star of a film that has the stench of a vanity project, a work of eye-watering indulgence that…

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Eddie Izzard, James Franco and Kristen Wiig among the stars of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014

28 May 2014

The EIFF programme also features Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood and Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul

New films featuring Robert Duvall, Eddie Izzard, Nicolas Cage and Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul are among the highlights of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014, the programme for which was unveiled today. Projects featuring input from James…

Edge of Tomorrow

28 May 20144 stars

The Tom Cruise-starring sci-fi actioner is witty, thrilling and consistently inventive

Based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow is directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) and plays like Groundhog Day crossed with Starship Troopers. Set in the near future, where the Earth is under deadly attack…

Blended

27 May 20142 stars

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore's third pairing is a good film scuttled by crudeness

Directed by Frank Coraci, Blended marks the third romcom collaboration between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, following The Wedding Singer (also directed by Coraci) and 50 First Dates. Their chemistry is still very much intact, but the film badly…

Jimmy’s Hall

27 May 20143 stars

The film Ken Loach has hinted may be his last is a contemplative, tender drama

Ken Loach returns with what may or may not be his final feature film. Either way, Jimmy’s Hall is typical of the 77 year-old director, with its story of a real-life Irish activist, who comes to clash with the authorities. Written again by his prolific…

Cheap Thrills

27 May 20143 stars

Black comedy that brings to mind a drug-fuelled Coen Brothers flick with a hint of early Sam Raimi

Family man Craig (Pat Healy) is resoundingly down on his luck. Facing eviction after losing his job, he hits the bar with old drinking buddy Vince (Ethan Embry). It's there they encounter rich couple Colin and Violet (David Koechner and Sara Paxton)…