With a new Artistic Director bringing a breath of fresh air into the festival, the line-up of 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival promises a diverse selection of what’s new in British and American indie cinema, mixed with some classic treats and a vast number of smaller gems from around the world that are unlikely to be coming to a cinema near you any time soon.
Running from 17 to 28 June 2015, the festival opens with homegrown feature film The Legend of Barney Thomson, about a Glasgow barber who accidentally turns into a serial killer, and closes with Scott Graham mild family drama Iona, with plenty of thrills on offer in between.
The Night Moves strand has been notoriously hit-and-miss in recent years, but hopes are high for this year’s selection, which includes Takashi Yamazaki’s adaptation of Japanese body-snatcher manga Parasyte: Part 1, Corin Hardy’s terrifying feature debut The Hallow, Bobby Roe ‘s mockumentary-mixed-horror-fiction The Houses October Built, Hungarian fantasy flick Liza, the Fox-Fairy, Australian futuristic action-adventure Infini, and Turbo Kid, a retro homage to sci-fi/horror films.
We also look forward to the final film by gothic horror master Carlos Enrique Taboada, Poison for the Fairies, which screens as part of a special focus on Mexican cinema alongside Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s <Santa Sangre and 60s supernatural drama Macario.
Standing out from the pack in the New Perspectives strand are low-budget Japanese sex comedy MakeupRoom, Austrian comedy Therapy for a Vampire and two German entries: Kafka’s The Burrow, adapted from the author’s 1923 short story, and Baran bo Odar’s Who Am I – No System Is Safe, starring Tom Schilling (Oh Boy).
Other highlights in the programme include US productions Dope, directed by Rick Famuyiwa, and Jon Watts’ B-movie Cop Car, while Simon Pummell’s sci-fi feature debut Brand New-U and David Blair’s supernatural thriller The Messanger both seem worth checking out from the selection of British films on offer.
In addition to all things new, this year’s main retrospective focuses on Walter Hill’s early career, including his car chase classic The Driver, the suspensful and sweaty Southern Comfort and The Long Riders, Hill’s take on the exploits of the Jesse James and Cole Younger gang. Running parallel to this, the Little Big Screen showcase features an eclectic mix of 1960s and ‘70s American TV movies and offers a rare chance to see Sam Peckinpa’s Noon Wine on the big screen, and a couple of vampire cult classics: Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot and John Llewellyn Moxey’s The Night Stalker. Other classic treats include Mark Christopher’s belated director’s cut of his cult disco film, 54, and a beautifully remastered version of Carol Reed’s classic The Third Man, ahead of its limited theatrical run across the UK at the end of this month.