Edinburgh International Film Festival: 13 films to look out for
hyena

The Edinburgh International Film Festival’s programme has just been released, and even on a first look it is full of films we can’t wait to see in June. Here we look forward to just 13 of the 156 movies screening as part of EIFF.

If you like… sci-fi

Snow Piercer

snowpiercer

Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, this film from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (responsible for the brilliant Memories of Murder and The Host) takes place in world where the only surviving humans on earth are aboard a train that continuously loops around the globe. Tensions begin to fray and there are class wars, revolution and dark themes to be explored. The cast list boasts some impressive names – John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans and Jamie Bell – to name a few.

The Anomaly

the anomaly

Vampire Diaries heartthrob Ian Somerhalder takes a gritty turn in this sci-fi mind-bender from Adulthood director Noel Clarke. The story centres on a former soldier (Somerhalder), who is taken captive and wakes up in the back of black van with only a few minutes to work out how and why he got there.

If you like… crime dramas

Hyena

hyena

Developed in partnership with Film4, Gerard Johnson’s crime thriller is set in modern-day West London, examining power struggles between police officers and criminals and the complexities of gang warfare. The film stars Peter Ferdinando (Starred Up) and Stephen Graham (This Is England, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).

We Are Monster

we are monster

Based on a bleak true story, We Are Monster tells the stories of Robert Stewart and Zahid Mubarek, who shared a cell in a young offenders institute for six weeks. Stewart was a known violent racist and murdered Mubarek in an unprovoked attack hours before he was due to be released. The young men are played by Leeshon Alexander and Aymen Hamdouchi.

If you like… offbeat rom-coms

We’ll Never Have Paris

well never have paris

The grand finale at this year’s festival, this comedy was written and co-directed by The Big Bang Theory‘s Simon Helberg, and his wife Jocelyn Towne. The film is loosely based on the couple’s own history and stars Helberg, Maggie Grace, Alfred Molina and Zachary Quinto.

Life After Beth

life after beth

Audiences were first introduced to the ‘Zom-Com’, by the winsome Warm Bodies, starring Nicholas Hoult. Life after Beth looks likely to have a similarly off-beat comedic tone. Dane Dehaan plays the boyfriend who is grief-sticken after the sudden passing of his girlfriend Beth, played by Aubrey Plaza. When she returns from the dead, he strives to hold on to her and keep the relationship going, with hilarious, horrific and disastrous consequences. The film also stars comedy stalwarts John C. Reilly and Anna Kendrick.

If you like… comedy dramas

The Skeleton Twins

the skeleton twins

In what looks to be a touching comedy drama, a pair of estranged twins freakishly cheat death on the same day, and feel compelled to re-connect and work out what went wrong in their lives. The brother and sister are played by Kirsten Wiig and Bill Hader, who are both Saturday Night Live veterans with sparkling comedic talent. This films promises emotional depth while still having light moments of relief, and also stars Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell and Luke Wilson.

 Still Life

still life

A bittersweet comedy drama, Still Life follows a council worker (Eddie Marsan) who is tasked with finding the next of kin for those who seem to have died alone. Also starring Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggart, this promises to be a poignant yet darkly funny take on loneliness in Britain.

A Practical Guide to a Spectacular Suicide

practical-guide-to-suicide

An unconventional topic for an indie comedy, this films tells the story of Tom, who has repeatedly tried and failed to end his own life and is now determined to come up with a spectacular suicide. His journey in finding the perfect suicide makes him re-evaluate his life. Shot in Glasgow on a budget of £3,000, this film will be full of quirky surprises.

If you like… biopics

Set Fire to the Stars

set-fire-to-the-stars

Set in the 1950s, this biopic tells of the fractious relationship between poet Dylan Thomas and his fellow friend and poet John M. Brinnin. Directed by Andy Goddard, viewers can expect a glitzy period drama with an emotional core. The film also starts Kelly Reilly and Shirley Henderson, and the legendary Welsh writer is played by Celyn Jones. Interestingly, the film’s score is provided by Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame.

Castles in the Sky

castles in the sky

Filmed in locations around Scotland, this factual drama centres on Scottish engineer Robert Watson-Watt and the obstacles he faced in his efforts to invent radar technology in the run-up to World War II. The central character is played by comedian turned actor Eddie Izzard and the stellar supporting cast includes Laura Fraser, who played Cat Mackenzie in Breaking Bad.

If you like… documentaries

A Dangerous Game

a dangerous game

In the sequel to the hit documentary You’ve Been Trumped, Anthony Baxter follows billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump and other filthy rich moguls in their attempts to build new sites and create new empires, including luxury golfing resorts in Scotland and the historic city of Dubrovnik in Croatia.

Finding Vivian Maier

finding vivian maier

The fascinating true story of a nanny whose photography habit went unnoticed until over 100,000 negatives were found at an auction after her death. She is now considered one of America’s most accomplished street photographers.

EIFF on WOW247

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Chris Fujiwara on EIFF 2014: