Preview: Glasgow Film Festival /Part I/

Greta Fedaraviciute


Usually, more choice is better, but then even more of it leaves without a clue what to do and whether to do anything at all. It’s very likely to happen with GFF and its 250 movies, so to prevent choice fatigue  GUM flags up those that shine through plenty.

“Howl” [Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, USA, 2010]

Allen Ginsberg, iconic figure of the decade when poetry was an act of political rebellion and his first published poem “Howl” is the centre of the story – from the public reading in small coffee shop of San Francisco to the court where “Howl” was accused to be “vulgar, obscene, and disgusting language.”

To show the creation process of poetry in difficult historical background is quite a challenge, but if the content is more relevant for poetry geeks, the form that is a mixture of faux documentary and animation should bring it closer to everyone.

“Waste Land” [Lucy Walker, Joao Jardim, Karen Harley, USA, 2010]

“Waste Land” is documentary about people working in the world’s largest landfill, Brazil. Still here? Good, because art can happen anywhere. Probably, that’s what visual artist Vik Muniz was thinking, when he left his studio in Brooklyn to pull of the project in the garbage dump. Vik’s idea was to create large-scale portraits of garbage pickers and sell it on the worlds biggest auctions.

Unusual aesthetics, exceptional characters and Moby’s soundtrack should be something not only for non-fiction fans.

“Attenberg” [Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2010, Greece]

If you have seen “Dogtooth” that is on Oscar race as foreign film, you know what to expect from Greek cinema – it’s most likely to be harsh, thought provoking and like nothing you have seen before. “Dogtooth” and “Attenberg” comes from the same producer, but the last promises less cruelty with same depth of thought.

The lead character, Marina finds people including her so odd that she can hardly cope with the role of human, especially in the context of sexual interaction. Everyone who is familiar with feelings of awkwardness should put “Attenberg” on the top of the list and enjoy that it can always be much worse.

“Animal Kingdom” [David Michold, Australia, 2010]

There is not much to be said about Australian cinema (“Home and Away” doesn’t count), but hopefully this gap will be filled by the debut of David Michold.

Melbourne in Kingdom should be nothing like sunny and friendly Australia we like to imagine. It’s full of criminals and hard choices for 17-year-old Joshua ‘J’ whose mother dies and he turns to the uncles – Melbourne bank robbers manipulated but their mother, family matriarchate. Meantime, Leckie, a detective senses weak link in the criminal family and tries to get J on the side of justice.

The story is loosely based on Walsh street case that happened in 1988, Melbourne, when several criminals where killed by police officers and that provoke retaliatory crimes.

Survival of the fittest is equally relevant issue in all centuries, all continents and all societies. Therefore, it is hard to put “Animal Kingdom” aside even knowing it will stay on the regular programme after the festival.

Glasgow Film Festival

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