Sunday, 30 June 2013

Festival Days: It's a conspiracy

Another film in both the Edinburgh and East End film festival is the eco-terrorism thriller The East, which also opened in UK cinemas this weekend. It's an intriguing cinematic experiment, playing with issues we usually only see in documentaries while also merging arthouse filmmaking sensibilities with some suspense-based thrills. In other words, there's something for everyone here!

As for screenings this week, I caught up with the East End Film Festival closer Lovelace, a someone straight-laced biopic of the world's most famous porn star. It's sharply well made and is packed with strong performances and amusing cameos. Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, a true story set in his pre-writer days when he was in school with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac (Ben Foster and Jack Huston). My comments on the film are embargoed for now, even though there are reviews all over the internet after its screenings at various film festivals, including Sundance in January. I also saw the film of Neil LaBute's play Some Girl(s), a provocative, thoughtful, slightly stagey drama starring Adam Brody. And there was also Emperor, a fictionalised take on how General MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) dealt with Emperor Hirohito after the war - plus a bit of romance and drama featuring Matthew Fox.

And I also saw a couple of other East End Film Festival titles: the hilarious mock-doc Discoverdale, which is like an Irish version of This Is Spinal Tap, although the band at the centre is a real one. And In the Name of is a wrenching drama from Poland about a priest struggling with his personal yearnings. Both are highly recommended.

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