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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009: Day One

EIFF.pngI feel like I should announce that in a heavy Newcastle accent, but then I realised I just did in my head, not that anyone out there will hear that! Anyway, that was day one of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009, and thanks to Louise for keeping the stories going while I'm watching films and writing reviews - be good to her, she's doing a cracking job.

The day was a good one, not only for meeting a couple of fellow reviewers/writers, but also for seeing three films, two of which were very good.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (Filmstalker review) is superb. It's a film that has some great performances in it and features a strong cast, mainly from big name female leads. Robin Wright Penn takes the helm and she's really good in it, giving a subtle performance that draws you into her character. Emotional, funny, rather thought provoking too. An excellent start to the festival.

Next up for me was Van Diemen's Land, and did that film turn out to be a poor choice. It has a great premise, convicts sent to Australia, and the most notorious one of them all who escaped with a group of other convicts into the wilderness only to get lost, run out of food, and turning to cannibalism. However good the film looks and strong the start is, we lose the characters too easily and any dramatic ending is lost to a couple of closing credits which explain all the drama.

Finally The Hurt Locker, now that was a good film too. The tension was strong throughout the film, rising in the middle once you got to know the characters and became attached, and it seemed to portray some very realistic combat moments, especially with the sniper rifle scenes. There are some big names in the film, and some big surprises that keep you on your toes, we genuinely didn't know where it was going to end.

Jonathan from itsonitsgone and Stuart from Cinema Blend joined me for the first and last films, spending the middle of the day playing around in the EIFF delegate center. Oh, and for a chat and a pint afterwards.

I have to say that the films are off to a good start this year, although the festival seems to be a bit slow in gaining momentum. Things were still being setup today and proper lists for some of the press information was still sparse, but I hope that will catch up tomorrow.

Currently I'm missing my photographer though. I had arranged for a friend who is a very good photographer to attend and take various shots for me, but his workload of paid work has piled up so he's struggling. Now I have to find another one to attend some events and grab cool shots.

I'm already considering changing tomorrow's schedule from Sin Nombre and Terribly Happy to catching Moon and Black Dynamite, but I'll see how I feel in the morning and if the change is possible.

So that's day one over with, here's looking forward to day two and eleven more after that! If you're there, twitter me and we may well meet up for a beer or coffee, otherwise, keep watching for the reviews on the Filmstalker EIFF 2009 page.



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