Category Archives: Edinburgh International Film Festival

In Conclusion: The Best and Worst of the Edinburgh International Film Festival

After almost two weeks of festival events and screenings, I have posted over 30 items about the festival.  So here is a breakdown of all the films, ranked along the scale: Awesome, Good, Eh…, Bad.  Click the title of the film to read the review.

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Arvin Chen discusses filmmaking, writing, and New Wave influences for Au Revoir Taipei

After seeing the delightful Au Revoir Taipei at the Edinburgh Film Fest, I had a chance to sit down and talk to the director about romantic comedies, French New Wave influences, and challenges as a writer. Continue reading

“The Oath” opens closed doors

It has become a standard documentary trope to bring cultural clarity by focusing on an otherwise unknown subject (often poor, non-white, oppressed); we get to know these people personally and therefore break down cultural barriers .  What happens, then, when the character doesn’t even know himself? The Oath‘s analysis of Osama Bin Laden’s former bodyguard, Abu Jandal, is fascinating for, if nothing else, Jandal’s ability to deliver self-contradiction with such sincerity. Continue reading

“Winter’s Bone” Director Q & A (no spoilers)

I know the video quality isn’t great (my camera can’t handle low light situations), but I figure it might be worth the audio to interested parties.

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EIFF Daily Roundup (part 11)

*The Dry Land drops some PTSD knowledge

*Soul Boy is a lot of fun

*Restrepo is mildly depressing.

“Restrepo” digs into Afghanistan combat

From The War Tapes to Generation Kill, the moving image has tried to convey the current U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The difference between those fiction and non-fiction accounts is that they didn’t spend fifteen months shooting their productions in hostile territory. Continue reading

“Soul Boy” a great ride

Films that don’t come from traditionally Western nations rarely get cinema attention.  However, with films like City of God (Brazil) and Slumdog Millionaire (India) seizing the spotlight, Soul Boy could bring the rest of the world to Kibera, Nairobi. Continue reading

PTSD at the heart of “The Dry Land”

There are quite a few war films, but not many that concern a soldier’s life when he returns to the real world (Born on the 4th of July, Deer Hunter, Rambo).  What sets The Dry Land apart is its direct engagement with how war-induced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects a soldier’s life and those around him. Continue reading

EIFF Daily Roundup (part 9)

* Only killed one thing when spending an afternoon with The Hunter

*and then took a trip to Snowman’s Land

*Spoiler free Q & A with the Monsters cast and crew.

other news

I utilized the EIFF’s videotheque to check out the above titles.  While I was bored during parts of The Hunter I would look around at what other people were watching.  One guy was just loving his film, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.  I was delighted to see a lot of people watch Au Revoir Taipei and HIGH School.

The person next to me was watching Snowman’s Land and after seeing an old man run in the snow in slow-motion and someone about to (what looked like) get their foot chopped off, I was curious how it all fit together (and figured it would be better than what I just watched).

If you’re in the Edinburgh area this weekend, you should try to get tickets for the Best of the Fest.  On Sunday they’ll screen a selection of films from the festival and some of my favorites will be showing.  So now that you’ve read my reviews, you can check out Monsters, Au Revoir Taipei, Jackboots on Whitehall, or The People vs George Lucas.  Click here for Sunday’s films.

reviews to come

The Dry Land, Soul Boy, Restrepo

“Monsters” post-screening Q & A (no spoilers)

Director Gareth Edwards is to the right, actors Whitney Able and Skoot McNairy to the left.

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