Browsing the latest EIFF Brochure one cannot help but feel a sense of both excitement (Over one hundred films to discover!) and a sense of being overwhelmed (Over ONE HUNDRED films to discover?!). Trying to choose between them is almost impossible and relies mostly on instinct and blind luck. Plus, unless you’ve had the foresight to both cancel your diary for twelve days and save up plenty of money, you’re probably not gonna be able to see everything you like the look of.
With all that in mind, I’ve decided to recommend 10 Films over the 10 Days between the opening and closing gala films, Killer Joe and Brave.
You can see the schedule and buy tickets for all the films featured by visiting Observealot’s My EIFF. A handy feature on the official site that lets you share your chosen blend of films with the whole world.
If you use My EIFF, please feel free post a link to your recommendations in the comments section below.
1. It’s the Earth Not the Moon (Thursday 21st June)
A documentary about a small island called Corvo in the Azores, a group of islands about 1000 miles West of Portugal. With a population of just 440, this promises to be the type of small intimate documentary one might associate with Herzog.
See this if you liked: Encounters at the End of the World
2. The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (Friday 22nd)
Another documentary, but about an altogether different subject. Most of us will remember Paul from the 2010 World Cup, but this documentary, by the director of EIFF 2010’s The People Versus George Lucas seeks to look at why such a bizarre and absurd ‘gift’ captured the public’s imagination in such a strong way.
See this if you liked: King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
3. NFA (Saturday 23rd)
NFA, or “No Fixed Abode”, is about a successful business man who wakes up to find himself is a hostel for the homeless and must confront the issues those with “NFA” face everyday. Using many non-actors and based on real tales, this promises to be an examination of how the poorest in society cope and are treated by those around them.
See this is you liked: Cathy Come Home, or anything by Ken Loach.
4. Rent-a-Cat (Sunday 24th)
Sayako has an unusual job. She ‘rents’ cats to lonely people. But can Sayako ever find human love rather than just feline affection? The bizarre premise could almost only be Japanese, where strict restrictions on rented accommodation mean some animal lovers really do rent pets. The premise’s sense of innocence and imagination brings to mind Miyazaki’s animated works.
See this if you liked: Amélie
5. Young Dudes (Monday 25th)
With the end of the world approaching, two young Taiwanese men join a Ukranian woman in setting up a new country via Facebook for anyone who is interested in joining them on their virtual spaceship. Never could the trio have imagined their site would be so successful as to attract the attention of aliens. A coming-of-age tale with a gratifying disregard for reality.
See this if you liked: The Mighty Boosh
6. What is this Film Called Love? (Tuesday 26th)
Shot in Mexico City over six days, this is Mark Cousins’ latest project after the mammoth A Story of Film: An Odyssey. It sees him exploring the changing nature of a city while contemplating his own identity. One of the most original, insightful and creative voices in film today, this film will no doubt challenge and enlighten anyone to go with Cousins’ on whatever journey he decides to take us.
See this if you liked: The First Movie
7. Day of the Flowers (Wednesday 27th)
A road trip movie about two very different sisters (one left-wing, the other Little Miss Popular) who go to Cuba to bury their father’s ashes. Sunshine Cleaning meets The Motorcycle Diaries via The Out-of-Towners?
See this if you liked: Vicky Christina Barcelona
8. California Solo (Thursday 28th)
Robert Carlyle stars as a musician from the Brit Pop era who is now living the simple life on a farm in America. However, his escape to the country can only last so long as he is forced to face the demon of his dead brother and bandmate.
See this if you liked: Crazy Heart
9. Shadow Dancer (Friday 29th)
Recent EIFF favourite James Marsh (Man on Wire, Project Nim) returns to the festival with a taut thriller starring Clive Owen as a British intelligence officer tasked with convincing a Belfast mother (Andrea Riseborough) to become an informant or go to jail. Set during the troubles in Northern Ireland, earned high praise at Sundance earlier this year.
See this if you liked: Bloody Sunday
10. God Bless America (Saturday 30th)
Ever watched a reality show and thought “The world would truly be a better place without that person”? Frank, who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, has. So he goes on a trip across America assassinating anyone he deems too obnoxious to live. Soon upon embarking on this trip, he encounters high school student Roxy, who is not only on board, but even more enthusiastic about his mission. The two proceed to try and clean up America, and everything they deem wrong with it, once and for all. A darkly comic look at our celebrity-obssessed culture, if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know this one is not for the faint hearted.
See this if you liked: Super or Kick-Ass.