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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009: Day Two

EIFF.pngDay Two of the underworld side of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the press side, went well. I had been planning on attending the screenings of Sin Nombre and Terribly Happy, but when I saw the array of films on at the Videotheque (still hate that word) and that they had Duncan Jones' Moon ready to watch, I decided to ditch the screenings and head right there.

So instead of the planned screenings I watched Moon followed by Jerichow, and then it was off home for writing.

Big thanks to the staff in the terribly named Videotheque for being so nice and helpful. This year they have a great system, it's all digitised so that we can watch the films on demand, the only problem is that most of the bigger name films aren't on the system, so you either have to catch them on the screenings or not at all, which I find incredibly daft.

If the reason for that was piracy, well it's not hard to secure them down and even watermark each viewing with the appropriate press number, it's probably more secure than a normal screening. Anyway, the press have to see the film before it's shown to the public, that way they can write about it and promote it before the screening (that's how it works you see) and so why not make it available to view in every way?

No matter. I got to see Moon and Jerichow, although a lot of big name films are going to go un-reviewed and if they were on this system I'd get a chance to see them and write about them.

Anyway, Moon was superb. Another definite recommendation for the festival and watching in general. It's a great film, but stay clear of the trailers! They are terribly cut and show too much of the film. Sam Rockwell was excellent, and the atmosphere (pardon the pun) was great. Still a few surprises, even if I had guessed the main one, and the effects will have you wondering how they did it.

Excellent story which tells of a miner assigned to the almost fully automated moon mining project for a three year stint. He's all alone there apart from the AI computer system running the base, and he has a mere two weeks to go before heading home to his family. However it's about this time that he starts seeing things and making mistakes, and becomes more confused, especially when he finds someone else on the base.

Jerichow is a German film, a much smaller film, and in terms of pace is very similar. It's about a soldier who returns to normal life and gets involved making deliveries and pick-ups for a local man, however he also gets involved with his wife, and that's where the complications begin. It's a nice little story and plays out well, rather refreshing after Moon.

That was me for the day, home to write and relax.

Moon is showing at the EIFF on the 20th of June, 21:00 at the excellent Cameo screen one, and again in the same place on the 23rd at 21:15. It's released in the UK on the 17th of July and in Australia on the 3rd of September.

Jerichow is showing at the EIFF on the 19th of June, 21:30 at Cineworld 3, and again on the 21st, 17:00 at Cineworld 10. There are no cinematic release dates planned since it was released in Germany on the 8th of January.

Filmstalker at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009



I don't like the idea of the Videotheque. It seems all to easy to lock yourself in there for the day and avoid the cinema, which surely flies in the face of one of the reason film festivals exist.

I love the fests because of the atmosphere in the theatre before the film starts. The anticipation, and the shared experience, and I couldn't pass that up.

I get that it's there to generate buzz about films at the fest, but I'm aware there are people who use it as an alternative to the cinema experience, and I don't like that.

Regarding Black Dynamite, the film is set up like a 70's Blaxploitation flick, a packed screening, everyone sweating and laughing completes the experience.

Dougie I totally agree with you, but people don't just use it to avoid the cinema, and I don't think that's the majority use.

Most of us use it because we cannot get to the cinema screenings. Consider the fact that at any one moment there can be up to four press screenings of different films at the same time, and they are not repeated.

Now when the EIFF decide to do something like put Moon and the Vincent Cassel double bill on at the same time we have to make a choice.

There are some tickets set aside for press for some of the public screenings, but they go quickly as soon as the box office opens on the morning of the showing.

Then, finally, there's the fact that the press screening list is published so late that we usually find the screenings are sold out by the time we realise there are bad clashes.

So the videotheque is indeed an evil necessity. I don't like it either and would love to see the screenings in a cinema, but time is limited I'm afraid.


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