EIFF 2015: Films to discover
Including Scottish Mussel, Chuck Norris vs Communism and Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me
The EIFF seems to have regained a sense of discovery in 2015; new releases from Pixar (Inside Out), Asif Kapadia's Amy and Ewan McGregor's turn as Jesus in Last Days in the Desert may be among its biggest draws, but here’s a short-list of ten less heralded but equally worthwhile items from EIFF director Mark Adams' first programme.
Oliver Hirschbiegel, the director of Downfall, came a cropper with his attempts at an English-language cross-over (The Invasion, Diana) before wowing audiences at this year’s Berlin Film Festival with his comeback. Returning to a WWII setting, this historical drama stars rising German star Christian Friedel as Georg Elser, who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1939.
Thu 18 & Sat 20 Jun
Every Secret Thing
Directing the late James Gandolfini opposite Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said has propelled Nicole Holofcener to global acclaim; here, she provides the script for Amy Berg’s look at the aftermath of infanticide with Elizabeth Banks, Diane Lane and Dakota Fanning.
Fri 19 & Sat 20 Jun
The Obscure Spring
Best known for his role in Pedro Almodovar’s I’m So Excited, Jose Maria Yazpik makes sparks fly with co-star Irene Azuela as star-crossed lovers in this erotic drama from Ernesto Contreras, director of festival-circuit favourite Blue Eyelids.
Sat 20 & Sun 28 Jun
Welcome to Me
Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig has established herself as a queen of indie-drama with last year’s The Skeleton Twins and Hateship Loveship. Shira Piven’s comedy/drama casts Wiig as Alice Kleig, who uses her lottery money to create a TV show that’s just about her. James Marsden, Wes Bentley and Joan Cusack support.
Sun 21 & 23 Jun
Sullivan Stapleton has gained leading-man status in Hollywood with 300: Rise of an Empire; director Tony Ayres (The Slap) brings him back to Australia for a terse Brisbane-set thriller about two ex-cons who find themselves tempted back to their old, violent ways.
Tue 23 & Thu 25 Jun
Outside of his mainstream hit Pineapple Express, David Gordon Green has made thoughtful low-ley drama his thing with George Washington, Prince Avalanche and Joe. A career-resurgent Al Pacino plays the Texan locksmith of the title, with Holly Hunter as the subject of his tentative romantic overtures.
Tue 23 & Sun 28 Jun
The First Film
Distributor, publisher, producer and occasion actor David Wilkinson is one of the great characters of British cinema; his latest documentary looks at the forgotten figure of Louis Le Prince, who kickstarted the medium of film in Leeds circa 1888.
Tue 23 & Thu 25 Jun
Chuck Norris vs Communism
Romanian writer/director Ilinca Calugareanu’s provocatively titled documentary looks at how the wave of VHS action movies in the 1980s may (or may not) have influenced the Romanian Revolution.
Wed 24 & Thu 25 Jun
Actress-turned writer/director Talulah Riley pulls together some disparate talents including Martin Compston, Harry Enfield and Paul Brannigan for this conservation-based local comedy.
Fri 26 & Sat 27 Jun