Glasgow Film Festival 2016 Preview

Glasgow Film Festival (GFF 2016) is back next month, brightening up our fourth consecutive month of winter, or is it fifth?  I was at the Festival programme press launch last night and I can confirm that GFF 2016 is going to be the biggest, most innovative, star-studded, premiere-filled festival to date. Press launches – you know the drill.

But, here’s the thing. It is ALL that! The GFF team sure know how to deliver a programme and Glasgow audiences – living up to their Cinema City title – sure know how to pack out a screening. It’s a dream team akin to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

GFF 2016 includes 308 events, a belter of an opening gala with the UK premiere of the Coen Brother’s latest offering, Hail Caesar!, special guest Richard Gere (“I got nowhere else to go… that would compare to Glasgow!”), and multiple offshoot sister festivals, including the only youth film festival in the UK to be programmed by 15-18 year olds.

Most excitingly is the Festival’s continued commitment to ‘Total Cinema’ events, with classic films reinterpreted in unique and iconic settings across the city. So for those of you looking for something a bit out-of-the-ordinary from your film experience, check out my top five picks of the fest:

  • Romeo + Juliet, Trades Hall, (Sat 27 Feb) –  The city’s opulent Trades Hall will be turned into the Capulet mansion costume ball, complete with fish tanks and angel wings, for this screening of Baz Lurhmann’s visionary adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. I was 14 when this film came out – and I wanted nothing more in life than to lock eyes with a floppy haired boy through a fishtank. I owe it to my teenage self to make this happen!
  • Network, BBC’s Glasgow HQ at Pacific Quay (Mon 22 Feb) – An intimate screening of biting media satire Network, within a perfect setting. Peter Finch took home the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of the troubled news anchorman, who delivers one my favourite film speeches of all time: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”.
  • Con Air, Secret Location (Thu 18 Feb) – Audience members will be collected at the GFT, assigned a uniform, handcuffed to their partner, and loaded onto the prison bus! Expect to be put through a convict’s paces as you head to a secret location for a screening of a 90s action classic starring the deliriously talented Nicolas Cage.

  • Thelma and Louise, The Grand Ole Opry (Sun 21 Feb) – Ridley Scott’s ultimate road trip movie will have a special 25th anniversary screening at Europe’s largest Country & Western saloon, The Grand Ole Opry; complete with lasso-work and lined-dancing. I take it Brad Pitt will be there in a cowboy hat, surely, right?
  • Where You’re Meant to Be, Barrowland Ballroom (Fri 19 Feb) – Glasgow based raconteur, Aiden Moffat, best known for his songs about sex, drugs and male anxiety, decided to rewrite his country’s oldest songs during the historic year of 2014. I saw Moffat perform these songs in the Barrowlands in the euphoric summer of 2014, pre the Commonwealth Games and Referendum. It was magicial, witty and relevant. Moffat will return to the Barras for a live performance and world premiere of the documentary which captured his journey that year.

The full Festival programme is online now. A limited number of tickets are on sale now, but the vast majority of tickets will go on sale from 10am on Monday, January 25.



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