Tagged: Glasgow Film Festival 2011

Festive Retrospective

The 2011 Glasgow Film Festival came to a close at the beginning of last week. Once again the programme on offer was so packed that it was impossible

to fit in absolutely everything you may have wished to view. My sacrifices this year included the entire Superheroes in Glasgow strand; a catastrophic omission as I’m an admirer of the comic-book form. Also Howl and the Jonny Greenwood scored, Murakami adaptation Norwegian Wood clashed with other events I was attending. The good news on the latter two is that they both open on the 11th March at the GFT, so all is not lost. As for my festival intentions, I wanted to focus on the Music and Film programme.

65daysofstatic’s live scoring of Silent Running was an eardrum thumping opening to my festival experience. The mood was set as the 65s fans settled with a playlist of contemporary film-music favourites including Clint Mansell, Trent Reznor, Jonny Greenwood and Yann Tiersen, to name quite an impressive few. This was a gentle and nurturing experience in comparison to the noise that followed. The delicate string scoring of the original opening credits with a backdrop of plant and pond visuals was replaced with ominous pounding and thrashing. Previously, 70’s sci-fi picture Silent Running was a slow paced presentation of a man unravelling whilst doing what he must to protect and preserve the last of Earth’s natural life. The inclusion of this new scoring brought a psychological harbinger. The fate of Freeman and his crewmen was laid bare from the off. The film chosen was a wise one as the long shots of space and regular montage provided ample time for 65daysofstatic to storm in with their insistent sounds. There was little in way of flow for the first section of the film. A little more care was taken in the latter half to not have such a juxtaposition between the audio dialogue track and their input, though the later parts of the film don’t feature much speech making such transition important. This was executed masterfully and I think contained to release in the climactic finale. It was a gloriously loud ending, the clash of noise ensuring the impact of all that had happened on screen over the 89 minutes was felt.

The other two events I attended were a combination of engrossing and peculiar. Upside Down: The Creation Records Story, was a bit of a Scottish music scene love-in when you glanced around the audience. The tales of Alan McGee’s early 80s indie insanity whilst commuting between Glasgow, London and Manchester proved to be tickling for the knowledgeable audience. The documentary is a large part The Alan McGee show, whose tales could impress anyone over a round at a local. I feel that this is an important point as whilst the tales of indulgence are entertaining there is a definite arrogance to the lack of consideration over consequences of action. Rock and roll is meant to be just this though, right? Almost all of the Creation crowd are featured giving their perspective on the rise and inevitable fall of the label, none surprised, though some affected more than others, by the collapse of it’s ringleader and their creative outlet. The first half of the film will please musos everywhere whereas the Oasis years will prove more appealing to others. Noel Gallagher’s commentary, regardless of any established opinion on his musical talents, do not disappoint.

The last event I attended was the Mondo Morricone gig at the Arches. I am a little stumped over what to say about this show. There were extraordinary moments beginning with Death Rides A Horse continuing on through huge tracks Man With A Harmonica/Once Upon A Time In The West and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It was all a little ramshackle, which was quite perfect for the selected renditions as all are fairly loose in their original recordings. This was emphasised more in the lounge style moments of Morricone repertoire selected; Hurry to Me being the most famous of these where there was discord on stage but it remained charming. Duglas T. Stewart was as eccentric as ever in his hosting with a Kermit badge on lapel, apple consumed during opening My Name Is Nobody, and – at one point in the set – brandished a kazoo proudly. I was confused when I left but light in step.

Ivory Tower

If you aren’t familiar with Chilly Gonzales then there is no way for me to really sum him up in a few sentences. Pianist, rapper, producer, ‘holder of the worlds longest solo piano recital’, he has now turned his hand to acting with the release of his film ‘ Ivory Tower’, an existential sports comedy about a brotherly rivalry both on the chessboard and off.

Described by producer Adam Traynor as “a Tour de Force, a Rocky inspired sports parody”, Gonzo has called on some friends and previous collaborators to

star in the film. His brother is played by Tiga and the love interest Marsha, is played by Peaches. Also, look out for Feist, her of Broken Social Scene and Apple advert fame.

The accompanying album Ivory Tower is a bona fide belter too. Here’s a wee taster with the video for I Am Europe.

Ivory Tower plays at the Glasgow Film Festival this weekend on Feb 26th and 27th, more info and tickets can be found here.

Some things to keep you busy this weekend…

So, the weekend is once again upon us and we’ve decided here at Elba that it’s a weekend worthy frittering away the few remaining pennies that we carry in our pockets, before an eagerly anticipated payday!

This year’s Glasgow Film Festival launched last night and there is loads to get your teeth into over the next few weeks (see Kim’s preview here). A quick glance around Elba’s schedules shows that the Film & Music festival will be keeping us entertained over the next few weeks but you should check out the full programme as there are a few gems in there. This weekends showings of Faust/Alex Smoke, Howl and the aural assault of 65days of static appear to be highlights you might want to check out.

Tonight sees the return for a second month of the Barmellodie night at Bloc in Glasgow. We had a hoot last month spinning some tunes after great sets by Battery Face, The Douglas Firs and Le Reno Amps. Highlights included Kim getting a high five for playing Sonic Youth and Pavement ‘filling’ the dancefloor! Tonight’s music comes from The Scottish Enlightenment, Randolph’s Leap and Thirty Pounds of Bone who we won’t stop urging you to check out. He really is that blody good! Post band entertainment is provided by the Podcart DJ’s.

Enjoy your weekend whatever you may do and feel free to add any other things people should check out in the comments below!!

GFF 2011

Amidst all that was happening last week I managed to swiftly swoop by the Glasgow Film Festival launch.  I’ve been trying to find time to write about the multitude of programmed talkies that will be showing since Wednesday’s event but between gigs and Elba’s premiere DJ appearance at the most excellent and packed Barmellodie gig it has been rather tricky.  On the other hand, I am glad to have had time to digest the full brochure which is full and varied featuring plentiful picks for both cinephiles and music lovers alike. The two are intrinsically linked after all.


Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) 2011 returns for its seventh year with film and events spread throughout fifteen venues across the city from 17-27 February.  The festival is broken down into a number of strands which this year include amongst them the Glasgow Music and Film Festival, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Frightfest, Fashion in Film, Superheroes in Glasgow, European Cinema, Great Scots and Stranger Than Fiction, to name a mere handful.  The titles of these clearly suggest the cinematic subject and I urge you to take a look at these in full on the GFF site.

The Glasgow Music and Film Festival live events we have already nudged you encouragingly towards, and the announcement of the full GFF programme brings some great additions.  The strand will feature screenings of Swedish radical musical Sound of Noise; Danny O’Connor’s documentary of the rise and fall of “the UK’s most inspired and dissolute label” – Upside Down: The Creation Records Story; Céline Danhier’s Blank City – a suitable visual accompaniment for the No Wave enthusiast, it being a documentary charting No Wave Cinema and The Cinema of Transgression in New York City circa 1977 to 1987 (though it should be noted that this is not heavy on music content).

The world premiere of You Instead will take place on Friday 25 February, a romantic comedy from David Makenzie which was filmed in a revolutionary style over a mere five days – in real time – at T in the Park 2010. You Instead is included in the Great Scots category but I thought it would be worth a mention.  I might be a raging audiophile and cinema snob but at heart I love a good rom-com and recently was referred to by Phil as ‘elba’s dodgy pop music aficionado.’ So be it!

Another premiere that the festival has under its likely straining belt, as part of the delicious and disquieting FrightFest, is Hobo With a Shotgun.  The film features Rutger Hauer as the title lead, a vigilante homeless man dealing out vengance. Filmmaker Jason Eisener won SXSW’s Grindhouse competition with his original fake trailer and now presents a full length production.

The final part I wish to touch on, as the nerd in me just cannot let this post pass without mentioning it, is the Mark Millar curated ‘Superheroes in Glasgow’ section.  As well as a number of appropriate cult superhero films writer Mark Miller will present, alongside other special guests, a series of ‘access the industry’ events.  From workshops to a discussion with Dave Gibbons, this is looking like a fascinating delve into the world of graphic novels.

The full brochure can be viewed online, picked up at the GFT (and the usual haunts in Glasgow) or can even be sent directly to your door! There are further GFF announcements to be made in the build up to the Opening Gala so be sure to subscribe to the newsletter if you do request a brochure.