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Glasgow Film Festival: Opening night party

Glasgow Film Festival blog

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Jean-Pierre Jeunet introducing Mic Macs. Photo: Stuart Crawford

List festival correspondent Paul Gallagher's daily festival reports from the 2010 Glasgow Film Festival.

Paul Gallacher

Paul Gallagher. Photo: Dan Mayers

Picture the scene: the upstairs bar at the Glasgow Film Theatre, the party’s in full swing. In the main auditorium the tunes are pumping and lots of hip Glaswegians with big glasses and sculpted hair are shuffling ironically on the dance floor, but in here it’s all about canapés and chat. In one corner I spot ace actor and director Peter Mullan telling stories like only male Glaswegians can, while at the bar I clock someone who was definitely in a Harry Potter film. The Scotsman’s Alistair Harkness is trying to convince me that Transformers 2 is a better movie than GI Joe, but I’m having none of it, when suddenly behind me there’s a massive crash. I turn round to see two members of a prominent listings free sheet’s editorial team splayed like goldfish amidst the splinters of what used to be a GFT coffee table. It’s a strange sight, but the moment is oddly appropriate, continuing as it does the slapstick theme set by the opening night gala film -- Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s armaments industry satire Mic Macs. Is this a portent of farcical destruction to come? Probably not, but it made a memorable night all the more entertaining.

They know how to throw a great party at Glasgow Film Festival, broken furniture and all, and last night was no exception. Festival Co-Director Allison Gardner seemed to be having a great time when I caught up with her, although she had been momentarily distracted from revelling by a group of much-too-young looking youths who were attempting to crash the party (probably friends of those baby faced volunteers I mentioned yesterday). She headed off to give them all a stern look and I caught sight of someone flaunting this year’s GFF10 canvas bag – I’ve got to get me one of those! There was no such youngster trouble at the Zombie Zombie gig, which I managed to pop into to soak up a few minutes of synthy madness. Looking around the crowd it was immediately clear that this was a gig for people who know how to ‘appreciate music’. The amount of facial hair on display was positively record-breaking, and each member of the crowd nodded intently to every fizz and squeal from the speakers. It struck me that this was a pretty different crowd to those who might go to the movies at the festival, but then I glimpsed a couple of familiar GFT faces. I’m not sure what Cary Grant would have made of it, but the fact that this gig is sharing programme space with North by Northwest is pretty cool to me.

Opening night party

Opening Night Gala. Photo: John McDougall

I ended the evening getting a lift home in the company of Thomas Ikimi, the director of the Festival’s closing film Legacy, which he revealed he will still be putting the finishing touches on even as you read this. It’s impressive that the GFF can claim an all-out world premiere with this movie; the audience that sees it next Sunday night will be the first ever, bar none - an incredibly rare occurrence for a UK film festival. Ikimi, a genuinely nice guy, was taking it all in his stride; more bothersome to him seemed to be the general perception that comes with being a filmmaker. As we walked out of the cinema I asked him if he enjoyed the party and he said it was ‘interesting’. With a little prodding he sighed and said ‘it’s funny how people think I’m something that I’m not – they have this idea that [because I’m a director] I must be…’ He didn’t take that thought any further, but firmly stated ‘I’m just an ordinary guy who somehow managed to get a film made’. He then naively enquired whether there would still be any chip shops open in Glasgow at this time of night, which certainly confirmed him as an all-round decent bloke to my mind. And now, back to the movies…

Paul’s Gallagher’s next blog will be posted later today.


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