Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012 Day Planner

Day-by-day highlights of the 2012 EIFF

List film editor Gail Tolley selects the highlights of this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. You can catch every one of these films in the order they’re listed.

Thursday 21 June

Future My Love Michael Powell Award Competition. Lyrical documentary that considers alternatives to the capitalist system and the work of futurist and social engineer Jacque Fresco.

Cineworld, 6.05pm; also screening at Cineworld, Fri 29 June, 8.30pm.

Fukushima: Memories of the Lost Landscape New Perspectives. Yojyu Matsubayashi’s compelling portrait of the Tanakas, a couple working to help those forced from their homes in the aftermath of the tsunami.

Filmhouse, 8.05pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sat 23 June, 6.50pm.

Midnight Sun: Insomnia Special Screenings. Taking place on the summer solstice is this special screening of moody Scandinavian thriller Insomnia, from 1997.

Filmhouse, 10.25pm.

Friday 22 June

Either Way New Perspectives. An Icelandic comedy of opposites following Alfred and Finnbogi employed to paint the lines on the country’s public roads.

Cineworld, 6.30pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sat 23 June, 1pm.

Fred New Perspectives. Imaginative Woody Allen-style comedy of errors about a man refusing to accompany his wife to a care home.

Cineworld, 8.30pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sat 23 June, 8.50pm.

Mondomanila or How I Fixed My Hair After a Rather Long Journey Philippine New Wave. High energy Philippine punk flick about the criminal underworld by one of the country’s most prolific filmmakers.

Filmhouse, 10.10pm; also screening at Filmhouse, Sat 23 June, 7pm.

Saturday 23 June

Dr Seuss’ The Lorax Special Screenings. 3D animation about a boy on a mission to find a real tree in a world where nature has almost been abolished, voiced by Danny DeVito and Zac Efron among others.

Cineworld, 2pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sun 24 June, 2pm.

Bestiaire Director’s Showcase. Visually striking documentary about animals in captivity. A meditation on the relationship between man, beast and environment.

Cineworld, 4.50pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sun 24 June, 9.15pm.

Tabu International Competition. Highly anticipated and distinctive feature from Miguel Gomes which won the FIPRESCI prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Filmhouse, 8pm; also screening at Filmhouse, Sun 24 June, 6.10pm.

Sunday 24 June

Coal Money & Brutality Factory Spotlight on Wang Bing. Two impressive short films from acclaimed Chinese documentary-maker Wang Bing, whose work focuses on the economy of exploitation.

Filmhouse, 1.20pm.

In Person: Bafta Scotland Interview with Robert Carlyle Special Events. The Scottish actor and EIFF patron talks about his career, from Trainspotting to The Full Monty to The World Is Not Enough.

Filmhouse, 5pm.

Jackpot Night Moves. Based on Jo Nesbo’s novel, this ultra-violent dark comedy is about three ex-cons and their supervisor who scoop 1.7m kroner on the pools.

Cineworld, 9.30pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sat 23 June, 9pm.

Monday 24 June

Kazahana Shinji Somai retrospective. The Japanese director’s final film. An elegiac road movie about two characters who make a suicide pact.

Filmhouse, 4.10pm.

Sauna on Moon New Perspectives. Stylised drama about the sex industry in China with sly commentary on the country’s entrepreneurial mindset.

Filmhouse, 6.30pm; also screening at Filmhouse, Sun 1 July, 9.30pm.

Los Marziano Looking South. Argentinean comedy drama about two brothers beset by mysterious happenings: one falls down a huge hole while the other suddenly loses the ability to read.

Filmhouse, 8.40pm; also screening at Filmhouse, Sat 23 June, 7.40pm.

Tuesday 26 June

What Is this Film Called Love? Films on Film. Local critic Mark Cousins’ personal journey through Mexico City with Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein as his imaginary companion.

Filmhouse, 6pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sat 30 June, 7.45pm.

The Mirror Never Lies New Perspectives. Poetic story of 12-year-old Pakis who lives on a small island inhabited by members of the Bajo tribe. An Indonesian coming-of-age story with environmentalist undertones.

Filmhouse, 8pm; also screening at Filmhouse, Fri 22 June, 8.05pm.

The Suburban Trilogy Black Box. Three experimental films by Abigail Child about gender and immigration. An anthropological collage using found footage and documentary material.

Filmhouse, 9.40pm; also screening at Filmhouse, Fri 29 June, 5.05pm.

Wednesday 27 June

7 Days in Havana Director’s Showcase. Seven directors, including Benicio Del Toro and Gaspar Noe, direct a day each in this celebration of the vibrant Cuban capital.

Cineworld, 6.20pm; also screening at Cineworld, Wed 27 June, 6.20pm.

Tetsuo: The Iron Man Spotlight on Shinya Tsukamoto. Newly restored version of this cult Japanese cyberpunk movie from 1989 about a new breed of people created from flesh and metal.

Cineworld, 8:40pm.

Tetsuo Ii: Body Hammer Spotlight on Shinya Tsukamoto. Action-thriller follow-up to Tetsuo: The Iron Man about a cyborg gang conspiracy. Regarded by many as superior to the first.

Cineworld, 10:30pm.

Thursday 28 June

Blue Black Permanent Special screenings. The only feature of esteemed Scottish filmmaker and artist Margaret Tait, 20 years after it premiered at the EIFF. A delicate and haunting film about a daughter’s grief.

Filmhouse, 4.05pm.

Berberian Sound Studio Michael Powell Award Competition. A sound technician from the UK travels to work at the notorious horror sound studios in Italy in Peter Strickland’s much anticipated second feature after Katalin Varga. Filmhouse, 8.20pm; also screening at Filmhouse, Fri 29 June, 6pm.

Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie Night Moves. Nutty US comedians Tim and Eric bring their unique, trashy humour to the big screen. With appearances from Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell and Jeff Goldblum.

Filmhouse, 10.45pm; also screening at Cameo, Sat 30 June, 11.15pm.

Friday 29 June

Sexual Chronicles of a French Family. Director’s Showcase. Frank French drama about 15-year-old Romain, whose virginity stands out among his sexually promiscuous family.

Cineworld, 6.10pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sun 24 June, 6.10pm.

Shadow Dancer Michael Powell Award Competition. James Marsh (Man on Wire, Project Nim) returns to the festival with his IRA-set thriller starring Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough.

Filmhouse, 8.15pm; also screening at Filmhouse, Sat 30 June, 7.30pm.

Wrong Night Moves. A surreal comedy about a man on the hunt to find his lost dog that leads to a series of absurd events, from Quentin Dupieux, the director of Rubber.

Cameo, 11.15pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sat 30 June, 6.10pm.

Showing cancelled.

Saturday 30 June

The Unspeakable Act International Competition. Excellent performances in this American indie about the relationship between a sister and brother.

Cineworld, 1.10pm; also screening at Cameo, Fri 29 June, 7pm.

God Bless America Director’s Showcase. Middle-aged Frank, diagnosed with terminal cancer, embarks on a cultural killing spree. A dark comedy about the madness of contemporary media.

Cineworld, 3.30pm; also screening at Cineworld, Fri 29 June, 8.20pm.

Brave Closing Night Gala. Pixar’s latest animation is a delightful Scottish-set fairytale about young Merida who rebels against her mother after she announces plans to marry her off.

Festival Theatre, 8.15pm.

Sunday 1 July

Family Shorts. Perfect Sunday-morning viewing for the whole family in this programme of short films from around the world.

Filmhouse, 3.15pm.

Chapiteau Show New Perspectives. A surprise hit across Russia, this four-hour epic interweaves a variety of stories all set in a Crimean holiday resort.

Filmhouse, 5.10pm; also screening at Cineworld, Sun 24 June, 1.15pm.

Private Worlds Gregory La Cava Retrospective. Unconventional melodrama set in a psychiatric hospital, one of the first films to tackle mental illness in the States.

Filmhouse, 9.15pm.




A police detective kills someone while attempting to catch a murderer. He conceals his crime, but his troubled conscience keeps him awake at night. Director Skjoldbjaerg inverts the familiar genre conventions of film noir, replacing neo-lit city streets with a bleak, bright coastal landscape.

Kazahana (Kaza-hana)

Slow moving road movie about a young business man who wakes up under a blossoming cherry tree with a hangover and a woman he doesn't know.


A rebellious Scottish princess defies her mother's marriage plans and unleashes a curse on her fairytale kingdom, then must complete a number of challenges in order to lift it. The kick-ass tomboyishness of Merida and luscious landscapes make up for a wavering story.

God Bless America

Recently diagnosed with a brain tumour, man on the edge Frank (Murray) decides to rid the world of rude and annoying people. After witnessing his first murder, schoolgirl Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr) becomes his sidekick as the duo embark on a killing spree. Dark and satirical, but disappointingly unoriginal.

Dr Seuss' The Lorax

Youngster Ted (Efron) discovers the grumpy but charming Lorax (perfectly voiced by De Vito) trying to protect his world from a greedy mayor and a ruined old hermit. Beautifully-designed 3D animation and uniquely odd Seussian characters are undermined by the script, which buries Dr Seuss’s sharp tale in a mish-mash of…

7 Days in Havana (7 días en La Habana)

Seven tragicomic short films by seven international directors sketching contemporary life in Havana, all of them written by Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura Fuentes. Inevitably, some are better than others but together they're a rich, vivid and non-stereotypical portrait of the Cuban capital.


Curious, compelling and compassionate, Denis Côté’s contemplative portrait of animals in captivity is, put simply, a series of beautifully framed and composed tableaux of a variety of animals at Quebec’s Parc Safari; but it’s also a complex meditation on the relationship between man, beast and environment. Côté lets his…

Chapiteau Show

A prize winner at last year’s Moscow International Film Festival that went on to become a surprise hit in cinemas across Russia. At a Crimean resort, various characters cross paths with one another across an intricate multi-story narrative. Among them are a mismatched couple who meet on the internet, a group of deaf…

Either Way (Á annan veg)

This character comedy, set in a barren, isolated landscape, follows two men spending their summer painting lines on roads.


Following his previous feature, The Caller (2008), director Richard Ledes again calls on the deadpan comedic skills of Elliot Gould to play the eponymous Fred – a man stubbornly refusing to accompany his Alzheimer’s suffering wife to her new care home. A comedy of errors akin to Woody Allen – if only for the casting of…

Fukushima: Memories of the Lost Landscape (Soma kanka: dai ichi bu - ubawareta tochi no kioku)

An empathetic and often beautiful documentary about those living in the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 tsunami from Tokyo-based filmmaker Yojyu Matsubayashi. Intimate and memorable, Matsubayashi captures the resilience and adaptability of the human spirit.

Future My Love

This experimental documentary explores the solutions to the financial collapse as proposed by 95-year-old futurist Jacque Fresco.

Jackpot (Arme Riddere)

Black comedy in which a syndicate of workers at a Norwegian artificial Christmas tree factory win big on the pools leading to friendships breaking down and violent characters surface. Not a game-changer, but still a sprightly low-budget film that will appeal to fans of the Nordic crime genre.

Los Marziano

Luis, a prosperous retiree, falls down a big hole dug in his community golf course by unknown malefactors. Meanwhile, his ne’er-do-well brother loses the ability to read due to an unidentified neurological condition. The family strains and buckles under the stresses of these two mysteries, which may not have solutions, in…

Mondomanila, or: How I Fixed My Hair after a Rather Long Journey

All-stops-out splatter-punk cinema from one of the most prolific and versatile talents of the Philippines. Based on an acclaimed novel by Norman Wilwayco, Mondomanila is a messy, grotesque, high-energy tour of a criminal demimonde. 'Khavn … exaggerates poverty, turning it into a carnival, a spectacle, an extravaganza. By…

Private Worlds

The flow of life at a progressive psychiatric hospital is disturbed by the arrival of the conservative new superintendent and his sister. This unusual melodrama, one of the first Hollywood films to deal with mental illness, is one of La Cava’s most visually arresting works.

Sauna on Moon (Chang'E)

Guangdong, China. The economy is racing forward, carrying the sex industry along with it. Taking as their watchword 'the customer is king', the idealistic boss of Chang Eh Sauna and his hard-working employees seek to transform their enterprise into a modern 'entertainment kingdom'. Director Zou Peng, aided by master…

Sexual Chronicles of a French Family (Chroniques sexuelles d'une famille d'aujourd'hui)

Sexual frankness of a very Gallic kind abounds in Jean-Marc Barr and Pascal Arnold’s wholly aptly-titled fifth joint directorial outing. Mum, Dad, Brother, adopted sister and Granddad are all at it – all but 15-year-old Romain, in fact, who fears there’s no end in sight for his virginity. But when he is caught in the act…

Shadow Dancer

An adaptation by Tom Bradby from his own 2001 novel, this thriller deals with the calamitous fallout when a young IRA member is forced to turn informant for MI5.

Tetsuo II: Body Hammer

The first sequel to Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo, The Iron Man, this film is considered by many fans to be superior to the original. Reinterpreting the premise of the first film within a more straightforward action-thriller context, Tsukamoto here depicts a conspiracy of a gang of cyborgs. Their target is a seemingly ordinary…

Tetsuo: The Iron Man

The seminal work of extreme Japanese cyberpunk, newly restored from the original negative by cult director Shinya Tsukamoto himself. 'Revolving around the transformation of people into grotesque hybrids of flesh and metal, Tetsuo is above all an overwhelming audiovisual experience, set to a brain-pounding score by Chu…

The Suburban Trilogy

Three films about girlhood and the immigrant dream. Veteran found footage filmmaker Abigail Child is well known for her radical reworking of established cinematic and cultural codes through an idiosyncratic use of montage and disjunctions of sound and image. This feature-length project renews these concerns with three…

The Unspeakable Act

Adolescent anxiety inspires a 'love that dare not speak its name' in Dan Sallitt’s frank and patient family drama. Jackie, a New York suburban teen, lives at home with her withdrawn, but loving, widow mother, her sister and her older brother, Matthew, with whom she just so happens to be properly, deeply in love. But…