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Kristin Scott Thomas and LuckyMe on day one of the Glasgow Film Festival

Glasgow Film Festival blog

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Kristin Scott Thomas and LuckyMe on day one of the Glasgow Film Festival

Claude Speed of American Men, who performed at the GFF opening party.

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

Paul Gallacher

Paul Gallagher. Photo: Dan Mayers

Mellow greetings, fair reader. It was the first full day of the festival yesterday, and while it was a little quiet in some of the earlier screenings, by the time evening came around the ticket queues were swelling and the GFT could rightly be referred to as a bustling hub of activity. This morning, the sun is shining brightly in Glasgow, and to my romantic imagination it’s aptly reflecting the sense of bright hope that this first weekend of the festival is bringing with it. Heck, even the little cabal of film journalists I discovered yesterday in the corner of Café Cosmo seemed positively bright-eyed and eager to dive into the sea of celluloid on offer. Remember this moment, I told myself, as it is a thing of rare beauty indeed.

Anyhoo, I made it into a few films yesterday, one of which was Partir, a very good French drama with Kristin Scott-Thomas, who seems more brilliant with each successive film. I bumped into GFF co-director Allan Hunter before the screening and asked him if there was anything I needed to know about this movie going in, and in response he offered me an eyebrow-raising insight into the differing tastes of this festival’s two directors, saying, ‘well, Allison thought it was too steamy, but not me – the steamier the better I think!’ Say no more, Allan, please say no more.

I forgot to take my chance to confirm or deny this opinion with Ms Gardner when I saw her briefly at the Short Films Festival opening party in the evening, probably because I was too distracted by the frankly awesome sounds of American Men, who were busy blowing the minds of the packed CCA Courtyard crowd with their music – lots of synths and guitars played live through lap-tops, given a dynamic punch by some sensational drumming. While my tolerance for watching men stand and gently press synthesizer keys has never been the greatest, this band seemed to have actually thought about looking as well as sounding interesting, placing the aforementioned drummer front and centre, and using various video projections, including clips from seminal ‘90s hip-hop movie House Party. Like so many things, it was crazy, but it just about worked. I spoke to one of the members of the band before they went on, and discovered that as well as being a hairy post-rock performer he moonlights as a Phd student in Mathematical Logic (or something along those lines). Turns out schoolwork is the new rock n’roll, kids.

You can always depend on the Magic Lantern’s Rosie and Matt – the programmers of GFF’s Shorts strand – to come up with films and events that are truly special, and last night’s party was just that. And, they’re both always immaculately dressed, which is also quite excellent. Today the short films competition screenings are getting underway, as well as a really interesting looking event with Ray Tintori from Court 13, a New York-based filmmaking collective. That’s as much as I know about them at the moment, but I’m hoping to get a chance to meet Mr Tintori today, so should have more to say about them soon. Until then, cheerio.

Paul Gallagher’s next blog will be on Sunday 21 Feb.

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