Glasgow Film Festival runs from Wed 17–Sun 28 Feb this year, and it's one of the largest programmes yet. With over 300 separate events and more than 100 films showing, GFF continues to go from strength to strength, no less in its attraction of big names in the industry, which in 2016 includes an appearance from Richard Gere in support of his new film Time out of Mind.
The festival has always given a nod to music in film, music and film and musical films, and this year is no exception. As well as the Sound and Vision strand – which features David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth and live concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, a documentary about soul singer Sharon Jones, Miss Sharon Jones!, and the premier of John (Once) Carney’s Sing Street – there’s also a workshop in film scoring with Malcolm Lindsay and a live music accompaniment of silent film Lucky Star. Here are the sonic delights we’re most looking forward to this year.
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
It's considered the best concert footage ever, but to be fair, D A Pennebaker had a spectacular subject to work with. Performing for the last time in his Ziggy Stardust guise, Bowie is on biting and essential form, blasting through classics from an era he’s set to leave behind. This screening is preceded by Let’s Dance: Bowie Down Under, a documentary looking at Bowie a decade later during the making of ‘Let’s Dance’.
Glasgow Film Theatre, Sat 20 Feb.
Where You’re Meant To Be
Musical raconteur Aidan Moffat embarks on a journey to rewrite some of the country’s oldest songs. What he doesn’t bank on is a roadblock in the form of Sheila Stewart, a travelling folk veteran, who’s pretty certain he should just leave well enough alone. It’s all kicking off – and afterwards there’s a Q&A with Moffat and director Paul Fegan.
Glasgow Film Theatre, Wed 24 Feb.
This is Now: Film and Video After Punk
With some exhibits presented for the first time in 30 years, This is Now explores what happened when punk died. Featuring films by Grayson Perry, John Maybury and Cordelia Swann, the early 80s DIY post-punk zeitgeist is brought to the screen. On Sat 27 Feb, there’s a live event, This Is Now: Crime Calls For Night and Music from Groan Vessel, a talk from author David Keegan about his new book studying post-punk transgression.
Tramway, Thu 25–Sun 28 Feb.
Lucky Star & Ela Orleans
In Frank Borzage’s 1929 silent classic, Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell play two lovers torn apart by WWI. Ela Orleans lends her sonic alchemy to the unfolding of this monochrome drama, performing a specially-commissioned soundtrack to the romance and heartbreak of love and war.
Mackintosh Queen’s Cross, Fri 26 Feb.
Not the most household of names, Danny Fields was nonetheless an influential figure in the music industry from the 60s until the 80s, getting The Ramones, Patti Smith, Lou Reed and others into the public’s conscience. Brendan Toller’s documentary gets into the head of the man who forced his way, unwanted, into the Beatles’ break-up and managed to get Alice Cooper in a fight with Donny Osmond via the pages of a teen music mag.
Glasgow Film Theatre, Sat 27 & Sun 28 Feb.
The definition of cult movie from director Bernard Shakey (or, you know, Neil Young to me and you), which flopped like the fever nightmare it was when it was originally released in 1982. Since then, Young has been tinkering around with the project, re-cutting and bettering, and this is a never-before-screened-in-the-UK special event for those who like their musical comedies post-apocalyptic and starring Devo.
Having launched in 2005, the Glasgow Film Festival has grown and grown: during that debut year, 6000 cinephiles passed through the doors, while 42,000 attended in 2016. Of course there are top-notch premieres, retrospectives and special guests (past visitors have
included Richard Gere, Joss Whedon and Alan Rickman) but…