Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017

edFilm_festival_logosmWith 151 features from forty six countries including seventeen world premieres, twelve international premieres, nine European premieres and sixty nine UK premieres, it can only be the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the longest continuously running film festival in the world, once again boasting a wide range of homegrown and international cinema, in-person events and a another genre-flavoured retrospective.

Running from 21st June to 2nd July, tickets go on sale to the general public from 10am on Friday 2nd June and are already available to members of the Edinburgh Filmhouse, the hub of the Festival. Many events will sell out, so it is always advisable to book tickets in advance, though some screenings will have encore performances.

edfilm2017finalsmA well-known face from genre cinema from Friday the 13th to Tremors to Flatliners to more recent features such as X-Men: First Class and R.I.P.D., Kevin Bacon will be in Edinburgh to support his wife, The Closer’s Kyra Sedgwick, whose directorial debut Story of a Girl will have its world premiere at the Festival on Thursday 22nd.

Kyra and Kevin will be attending the premiere and taking part in an “in person event” on the early evening of Friday 23rd which will be followed by a special screening of The Woodsman, the 2004 drama in which they appeared together after which there will be a discussion of the film with the stars.

edfilm2017badkidssmThursday 22nd also sees Richard E Grant in town for an “in person” at the Filmhouse, discussing a career from Warlock through Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Little Vampire (filmed in Edinburgh) to two roles on Doctor Who, Logan and Game of Thrones. Richard’s classic film Withnail and I will be shown after the talk while How to Get Ahead in Advertising screens on Friday 23rd.

His face perhaps less familiar, his contribution to cinema is unmistakable, and on Saturday 24th composer David Arnold will be at the Filmhouse to talk about his soundtracks from Stargate and Independence Day to Sherlock, including five James Bond scores from Tomorrow Never Dies to Quantum of Solace.

edfilm2017darkmilesmThe afternoon of Sunday 25th brings Stanley Tucci to the Filmhouse to talk about his broad career which includes The Core, Captain America: The First Avenger, Muppets Most Wanted, Transformers: Age of Extinction and his latest, Final Portrait, which enjoys a gala UK premiere that night at the Festival Theatre.

Lord Théoden of Rohan himself, Bernard Hill will be at the Traverse on the evening of Sunday 25th; the star of The Two Towers and The Return of the King who was also the captain of the Titanic will be celebrated in the HandMade Films retrospective with a screening of Bellman and True on Saturday 24th.

edfilm2017vampirecleanupsmTwo strands in particular will be of interest to genre fans, Night Moves, promising dark, thrilling and chilling cinema, and Brave New World: New Directions in Science Fiction Cinema, with big screen outings for classic features from between 1980 and 1985.

Many of them late night screenings, Night Moves opens with the directorial debut of Farscape’s Ben Browder, the bloody action horror Bad Kids of Crestview Academy on Friday 23rd and continues over the following days with Australian thriller Killing Ground, Takashi Miike’s The Mole Song, then both Highland horror The Dark Mile and Chinese comedy Vampire Cleanup Department on Monday 26th.

edfilm2017guardianssmThursday 29th brings Chinese crime thriller Operation Mekong and the highly anticipated Russian superhero epic Guardians, and the strand closes on Friday 30th when a night on the town goes badly wrong in Double Date.

Brave New World brings a plethora of dystopian glory including Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, Peter Hyams’ Outland, David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, James Cameron’s Terminator, Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames, Alex Cox’s Repo Man, John Sayles’ The Brother from Another Planet, Luc Besson’s The Last Battle, Lars Von Trier’s The Element of Crime, Bertrand Tavernier’s Death Watch, Geoffrey Murphy’s The Quiet Earth and a free talk on The Philosophy of the Future from the University of Edinburgh’s Jim Mooney.

edfilm2017attractionsmAlso screening are two classic animated classics by French director René Laloux, Fantastic Planet on Monday 26th and Gandahar on Wednesday 28th, while sure to land with a bang is Russian alien invasion spectacular Attraction the same day, and space is also explored by Voyager 1 in documentary The Farthest on Thursday 22nd.

Thursday 29th brings The Little Hours from Life After Beth director Jeff Baena, as a handsome fugitive posing as a deaf mute falls between the nuns of the convent and the witches of the coven, and also Japanese ghost story Snow Woman starring and directed by Kiki Sugino.

edfilm2017thefarthestsmThough not genre, also keep an eye open for Wonder Woman’s Danny Huston in drama The Last Photograph on Thursday 22nd, The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal in noir thriller Sweet Virginia on Friday 23rd, Berberian Sound Studio’s Toby Jones in psychological thriller Kaleidoscope on Saturday 24th and Godzilla’s Bryan Cranston in Wakefield on Friday 30th.

The cast of Irish medieval thriller Pilgrimage demands attention at the UK premiere on Saturday 24th, with Bernthal, The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage, new Spider-Man Tom Holland and The Hybrid’s John Lynch, as does that of Iraq war drama The Yellow Birds which receives its European premiere on Friday 30th, including Detour’s Tye Sheridan, soon-to-be Han Solo Alden Ehrenreich, The Sixth Sense’s Toni Collette and The Lost Boys’ Jason Patric.

edfilm2017littlehourssm** Update – The Yellow Birds has been cancelled **

As if that wasn’t enough, there are also screenings of classic films Time Bandits, Scott Pilgrim, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and this is only a fraction of what is on between 21st June and 2nd July with more guests to be confirmed in the run-up to the event.

Remember, many events will sell out, so it is always advisable to book tickets in advance.

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