Director: Sarah Gavron
The Inuit language has hundreds of words for snow. So goes the urban legend. But what's it really like to live in a tiny house in the middle of nowhere? Pretty awesome, judging by this documentary.
Sarah Gavron follows the day-to-day goings on in the community of Niaqornat. One of the smallest settlements in Greenland, it's bordered by water on one side and snowy wilderness on the other. There are more dogs than people. It really is a village at the end of the world.
Glasgow Film festival Review: Populaire
Director: Régis Roinsard
Cast: Romain Duris, Déborah François
Populaire is without a doubt the best speed-typing film of all time. One, because there probably aren't any others. Two, because it's fantastic.
Valentine's Day no doubt had an influence in picking it for last night's opening gala for the Glasgow Film Festival, but the good news is that it's just as lovely on any other day of the week.
The Glasgow Film Festival kicks off proper today after last night's opening gala of Populaire - and if you haven't seen the line-up, allow me to get you back up to speed: it's superb. Everything from The Wachowskis and Spanish silents to Ryan Gosling, upcoming Scottish talent and documentaries about the M5. All in Glasgow. Between now and the Oscars.
Already in Scotland and not sure what to see? Debating heading up North for a long weekend? We'll be attempting to keep up with some of the movies on show (or at least pointing you in the direction of other people's reviews) and recommending what to watch and what to avoid.
To get you started, here are 15 films to see at the Glasgow Film Festival.
Director: Pablo Trapero
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Martina Gusmán, Jérémie Renier
In the middle of Buenos Aires, there's a slum overshadowed by a giant building site. It was going to be the biggest hospital in Latin America, right up until the government cancelled construction. Now it sits there, dilapidated, unfinished, surrounded by shanty homes. Its nickname? The White Elephant.
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Cast: Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed
Every now and then, a film comes along that changes the world. Wadjda is the first feature film ever to be shot in Saudi Arabia. And it's directed by a woman.
A short and sweet story, it follows Wadjda, an unruly young girl in a buttoned-down society. She wears purple trainers to school. She doesn't cover her hair. She plays hopscotch in the street long after her friends have fled the gaze of nearby builders. "Wadjda! Go inside!" orders her teacher. "Don't you realise there are men who can see you?" The teacher misses the point: she realises. She just doesn't care.
London Film Festival Review: Blancanieves (Snow White)
Director: Pablo Berger
Cast: Maribel Verdu, Sofía Oria, Macarena Garcia, Daniel Giminez Cacho
Mirror Mirror. Snow White and the Huntsman. We’ve all got good reason to be sick to death of Snow flipping White and her flipping seven dwarves. But wait! Good news! Blancanieves is Snow White with a difference. It’s a Spanish, silent, black-and-white take on the Brothers Grimm tale – and it’s ruddy fantastic.
Director: Catherine Shortland
Cast: Saskia Rosendahl, Kal Malina
Glasgow Film Festival showtimes
It’s not easy growing up as a teenager. But try growing up at the end of World War II with Nazis for parents. Facing the end of one world and the beginning of another, Lore (Rosendahl) is ordered by her departing mother to take her younger siblings to their grandmother’s house in Hamburg. “Are you going to prison?” she asks. “I’m going to a camp,” comes her mum’s austere reply. “Prisons are for criminals.” Then, one final charge: “Don’t forget who you are.”
London Film Festival 2012 Review: Robot & Frank
Director: Jake Schreier
Cast: Frank Langella, Peter Sarsgasrd, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler
"That thing's gonna murder me in my sleep."
That's Frank (Langella) after meeting his robot, Robot. Frank, you see, is not a nice old man. He may be losing his marbles, but he's not letting them go lightly. As for Robot, well, he’s a robot. What’s amazing about Jake Schreier’s movie is just how much it makes you care about both of them.
As the Raindance Film Festival reaches its final weekend, you begin to realise which films are your favourites - and one of the ones that has certainly stuck with me is Strings, an ultra-low-budget tale of teenagers, romance and alienation directed by freakishly talented young person Rob Savage.
An erstwhile colleague from fellow film blog Cine-Vue, I caught up with him after two successful screenings at London's Apollo West End, one of which sold out completely, and tried to steal his evil secrets to success. Here's what I managed to squeeze from his brain.
Director: Rob Savage
Cast: Philine Lembeck, Oliver Malam, Hannah Wilder, Sid Akbar Ali
"Do you think in German?" Jon (Malam) asks foreign exchange student Grace (Lembeck). With two weeks until school breaks up forever, they've started seeing each other. Not that they've told anyone. And so the couple meets in the bedroom, having awkward sex followed by awkward conversations. It's sweet. But awkward.
And that's what Rob Savage's Strings captures perfectly: the awkwardness of adolescence.