Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: the breakout contenders
Stories We Tell, Jiseul and Upstream Color are likely to be the runaway successes of EIFF 2013
Every year at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, there are a few breakout successes that get everyone talking. In recent years they've included jaw-dropping doc The Imposter, indie sci-fi Monsters and Lynne Shelton's mumblecore comedy Humpday. Here are five of the films we think look most exciting at this year's EIFF.
Sarah Polley’s first feature documentary has caught the eye of film critics after a warm reception at Sundance Festival. The multi-layered investigation of her mother Diane oscillates between home Super 8 footage, conflicting family recollections and witty recordings of her father’s memoirs. The result is a documentary on the nature of storytelling; we're left questioning what we remember, how we self edit our lives and what the process says about us.
Four Busan International Film Festival awards, the Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the Cyclo d’Or at Vesoul’s International Film Festival of Asian Cinema have made Jiseul the most awarded independent Korean film of all time. The monochrome, partially crowd-funded war drama is based around the 1948 Jeju Uprising, in which a group of villagers survived in a cave following a US military invasion.
The second feature from Shane Carruth, director of densely-packed sci-fi Primer, carries the viewer through a magical cinematographic journey, playing on fears of disease and parasitic infiltration. It's an experimental thriller, venturing into themes of reincarnation and perceived reality with unsettling yet beautiful crystal images. With Primer having established an enthusiastic cult following, we reckon there will be a lot of buzz about Carruth's next project.
Returning to his native Iceland off the back of a stint in Hollywood, Baltasar Kormákur recounts the real-life story of the sole survivor of a fishing boat which capsized in the perilous, freezing waters off the Westman Islands. The film's focus is split between Gulli’s (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) near death experience and his attempts to readjust to a society that seems wary of him after the event.
Mikael Marcimain’s debut feature unsurprisingly stirred great controversy upon its release in Sweden. Although a work of fiction, the film is based upon a political scandal from the 1970s which involved a prostitution ring and the Swedish Social Democratic government. This political thriller follows both the naïve steps of Iris (Sofia Karemyr) and Sonja (Josefin Asplund) into the arms of the notorious Madame Dagmar Glans (Pernilla August), and a police investigation that pushes ahead in the face of massive political pressure.