Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: Preview

Eiff2013

It’s less than two weeks to go until the start of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013. Hopefully by now you’ve managed to get your hands on a programme and have started thinking about what you want to go and see.

If not, one of this year’s addition is a very well put together app I’d recommend downloading right now. Here you’ll get access to the whole programme at your finger tips, as well as being able “star” the ones you like the look of before you decide to order tickets (which unfortunately you cannot do via the app as yet).

What’s New?

The first thing to note when going through the programme is that director Chris Fujiwara seems determined to continue the good work he started in 2012. As such the only changes are minor: a return to the audience awards and multi-buy ticket deals, and an abandoning of outdoor screenings and Cameo Cinema were the only real things I could spot in terms of the logistics of the festival. In other words Fujiwara is relying upon the strength of the the films he has chosen rather than any gimmicks to get people along to this year’s fest.

The Tent Pole Titles

Opening the festival this year is Breathe In starring Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones and Amy Ryan amongst others. It sees Pearce play a music teacher who longs for the days when he used to be a starving artist. When his family hosts a UK exchange student (Jones) he falls for her as she brings out a side to his personality he had all but given up on.

Monster’s University continues EIFF’s long standing relationship with Pixar, and will give festival goers a chance to see the much anticipated prequel to Monster’s Inc a month before the rest of the UK. It tells the story of Mike and Sulley’s days at college where their differing methods of scaring make them instant frenemies.

Finally the festival closes with Not Another Happy Ending, a Scottish film starring Karen Gillan (Doctor Who‘s Amy Pond) as Jane, a young Glaswegian author. It sees Jane embark upon ‘that difficult second novel’. Difficult because according to her publisher, Tom, she is “too happy”. So Tom decides to secretly try and make Jane’s life worse as a drastic way to get her unblocked.

(Warning! This trailer seems to show the whole film:)

The Strands

Alongside the normal strands showcasing directors, American/British films, documentaries and horror films come two unique to 2013.

Focus on Sweden and Focus on Korea showcase around half a dozen new films from each of these respective countries.

The Swedish content is mainly dark in its subject matter from Call Girl to Sanctuary to Belleville Baby. Roland Hassell, however, seems to poke fun at the Swede’s love of noir crime drama as a retired detective tries to solve the assassination of their Prime Minister in the 1980s, using a terrible televisual re-enactment as his primary source of evidence.

The Korean strand shows the country’s love for conspiracy thrillers (think Oldboy). The Berlin File, and Pluto fitting snugly into this category. The other films however, seem to have more of a focus on unwrapping Korea’s past. Jiseul covers the Korean War in 1948, National Security depicts the torture of a pro-democracy prisoner in 1985, and Virgin Forest is a more personal tale of two differing perspectives on a family’s history.

Best of the Rest

Other films that will surely catch the eye of most attendees at this year’s festival include Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, The East starring Ellen Page, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks and Magic Magic starring Juno Temple.

Of course with over 150 films/events to see at the festival there’s plenty more to discover. Please do let me know what you’re looking forward to in the comments below.

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One response to “Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: Preview

  1. There is indeed a lot on making it hard to chose though I have spent over £200 on tickets. The popular films mentioned above are the ones I have tickets for though I am interested in the McLaren Animation as caught that last year and enjoyed the shorts. Going to take a move out of my film viewing comfort zone and give a couple of the Black Box screenings a go.
    Though it isn’t just the films, it will be interesting to see which guests turn up for the films to discuss their thoughts along with talks with Robert Carlyle and Richard Williams.

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