This week the world’s longest continually running film festival opened its doors for a monumental 70th occasion. Edinburgh International Film Festival may be old, but its content is as fresh as ever. Running June 15-26, the diverse lineup consists of new local and international work alongside a finely curated set of retrospective screenings. Spread across 20 different ‘Strands’ Edinburgh brings a wealth of cinema to Scotland’s historic capital.
Offering more than just films, the EIFF offers visitors the chance to join in the conversation with an array of special guests. Actors Dominique Pinon and Kim Cattrall, legendary British producer Jeremy Thomas (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor, Naked Lunch, the list goes on…) and director Kevin Smith will all be present talking about works past and present.
While strands on European Perspectives, World Perspectives, and Focus on Finland bring fresh cinema from across the globe, Best of British focuses on the finest new cinema the UK has to offer. It’s a good time for young British acting talent as evidenced across the category; Juno Temple teams up with veteran Timothy Spall in David Blair’s heart wrenching drama Away, while Cara Delevingne and Will Poulter are Kids in Love in the debut feature from Chris Foggin. Coming-of-Age drama Moon Dogs and deadpan comedy Pikadero represent up-and-coming Scottish talent.
In the retrospective category, ‘Look Again: A Celebration of the Cinema of Cinéma Du Look’ explores the lasting impact of the 80s/90s French cinema movement. Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita, The Big Blue and Subway, Leos Carax’s The Night Is Young, and The Lovers on the Bridge, and Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue and Diva all feature.
The Festival’s Directors’ Showcase throws up such intriguing fare as Taika Waititi’s What We Do In The Shadows follow-up Hunt for the Wilderpeople, there's a zombie apocalypse in Korean animator Yeon Sang-ho’s latest, Seoul Station and comedy from Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers.
Things take a turn for the dark in the evenings as the Night Moves screenings open. There’s sex and comedy from Japan in rare 1973 anime classic Belladonna of Sadness and Sion Sono’s The Virgin Psychics respectively. The UK and USA cover horror with The Rezort, The Love Witch and anthology Holidays, fantasy in Chinese blockbuster Mojin: The Lost Legend and Oscar-nominated Nils Gaup brings Norway’s medieval history to life in The Last King.
Oh, and what could be more fitting for this fine Scottish festival than a screening of the magnificent 4K restoration of Highlander? There can be only one EIFF.
For more info and full listings check out the EIFF website here.