Edinburgh International Film Festival highlights

  • The List
  • 25 June 2009
Edinburgh International Film Festival highlights

The Girlfriend Experience Steven Soderbergh’s dark and fascinating study of working girls and their credit-crunched clients. American adult film industry star Sasha Gray features. Cineworld, Wed 24 Jun, 9.30pm & Sat 27 Jun, 8.45pm.

35 Shots of Rum French drama detailing the shifting relationships between single father Lionel (Alex Descas), his teenage daughter (Mati Diop), and the circle of friends and lovers that surrounds them. Cameo, Thu 25 Jun, 9.30pm & Fri 26 Jun 2.35pm.

Adventureland Superbad director Greg Mottola presents a hilarious 80s-set comedy featuring an array of likeable high school-graduate misfits. Cineworld, Fri 26 Jun, 8.30pm.

Best of the Fest Catch the end of the fun with this day-long programme of the most popular Festival films, screened for a third and final time. Various cinemas, Sun 28 Jun.

I’m Going to Explode The attempts of two young loved-up rebels to live ungoverned are quickly thwarted in this stylish Mexican feature. Filmhouse, Fri 26 Jun, 10pm & Sat 27 Jun 8.45pm.

Joe Dante: In Person Innerspace and The Twilight Zone director Joe Dante talks comedy. Cineworld, Thu 25 Jun, 6pm.

Katalin Varga This debut feature from British director Peter Strickland is a Transylvania-set road movie chronicling the traumatic uncovering of a dark secret by the titular rural woman. Filmhouse, Thu 25 Jun, 8pm & Sat 27 Jun, 8.25pm.

Pontypool This wickedly humorous loose adaptation of Tony Burgess’ novel Pontypool Changes Everything offers an ingenious twist on the classic zombie theme. Cameo, Fri 26 Jun, 10pm & Sat 27 Jun 10.30pm.

Seamus McGarvey and Anthony Dod Mantle in Conversation Slumdog Millionaire cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle discusses his art with fellow Oscar nominee and Atonement cinematographer Seamus McGarvey. Cineworld, Sat 27 Jun, 2.30pm.

For full Edinburgh International Film Festival listings see www.list.co.uk/edfilmfest

35 Shots of Rum (35 Rhums)

  • 4 stars
  • 2008
  • France / Germany
  • 1h 40min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Claire Denis
  • Written by: Claire Denis
  • Cast: Mati Diop, Alex Descas, Grégoire Colin, Nicole Dogue

Accessible, tender and warm-hearted film centring on a delicate but loving bond between a father and a daughter. Although Denis' newest film is less opaque than previous efforts, it is no less complex, and proffers a complex investigation of the negotiation between 'self' and 'other' and the difficulties of forming and…


  • 4 stars
  • 2008
  • Canada
  • 1h 32min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Bruce McDonald
  • Written by: Tony Burgess
  • Cast: Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak, Rick Roberts, Boyd Banks, Tony Burgess, Rachel Burns

When a deadly virus breaks out in a small Ontario town, it falls to local radio DJ Grant Mazzy (McHattie) to determine the cause and find the cure. Loosely based on Tony Burgess' novel 'Pontypool Changes Everything', this ingenious twist on the classic zombie theme delivers the requisite genre shocks and horrors while…


  • 4 stars
  • 2009
  • US
  • 1h 46min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Greg Mottola
  • Written by: Greg Mottola
  • Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig

Part fish-out-of-water comedy, part coming-of-age tale, Mottola's sweet and funny character driven, clearly biographical 'Adventureland', is a film out of its time, both literally and culturally. Unexpectedly forced to find a summer job, graduate James ends up as a coconut shy boy at the decrepit local amusement park in…

The Girlfriend Experience

  • 2 stars
  • 2009
  • US
  • 1h 17min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
  • Written by: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
  • Cast: Sasha Grey, Chris Santos, Glenn Kenny, Peter Zizzo

Soderbergh's low-budget drama about a high-class hooker in New York who offers her clients the titular relationship facsimile. Hard-core porn star Grey plays Chelsea, a 21-year-old professional who keeps a careful record of her clients and the services she provides them. Low-key styling combined with a plot-lite script…

Joe Dante: In Person

  • 1h 30min
  • E

No one mutates Hollywood's glo-bright dream gleam quite like Joe Dante. We're talking killer fish, suburban paranoia and Santa-strangling beasties! Now, see the director of 'The Howling' chitty-chat at EIFF! See the arch-Gremlin infester of Spielberg's toy house! See the man who made Looney Toons crash 'n' dash through…

Katalin Varga

  • 4 stars
  • 2009
  • Romania / UK / Hungary
  • 1h 24min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Peter Strickland
  • Cast: Hilda Péter, Tibor Pálffy, Norbert Tankó

Filmed in two weeks on a micro budget, Strickland's debut - a tale of revenge set in Transylvania - is proof of how good independent filmmaking can be. The film's slowly unfolding narrative, non-didactic approach and blistering central performance from Péter contribute to an utterly breathtaking film.