The Edinburgh International Film Festival gets under way tomorrow (18 Jun), screening an incredible 156 feature films over 12 days. Andy Revill takes a look at five of the most promising British offerings at the festival’s screens this month.
Hyena opens this years EIFF, and is sure to do it in style. Michael (Peter Ferdinando) leads a special unit tasked with tackling the worst offenders in London’s drug trade. But in the drug world the lines between police and criminals blur easily and his team are not above taking a cut for themselves, while an internal affairs investigation comes ever closer to uncovering the team’s dealings. Writer/director Gerard Johnson expertly unravels a complicated plot without letting it lapse into a generic, bent cop film.
Director: Gerard Johnson
Starring: Peter Ferdinando, Stephen Graham, Neil Maskell, Elisa Lasowski
A Dangerous Game
In a follow-up to the award winning You’ve Been Trumped, which delved into the controversial development of the Trump International golf course near Aberdeen, A Dangerous Game investigates the environmental impact that the creation of these luxury golf resorts have. Film-maker Anthony Baxter travels from Croatia to the US, and finally back to Scotland’s North East and eccentric billionaire Donald Trump, who is confronted with the facts. With the tycoon just having announced his acquisition of Turnberry, this film will raise plenty of uncomfortable questions.
Director: Anthony Baxter
In a futuristic world, biotechnology and mind control techniques are put to use in a classic battle between good and evil. Stuck in the middle of it all is writer/director Noel Clarke (Doctor Who), who plays a traumatised ex-soldier struggling to find answers. The Anomaly is an ambitious sci-fi thriller, and Clarke uses the futuristic premise to great effect, with some impressive action sequences and fight scenes along the way.
Director: Noel Clarke
Starring: Noel Clarke, Ian Somerhalder, Brian Cox, Alexis Knapp, Luke Hemsworth
This film was made back in 1964 by Peter Watkins. Even still, it offers an entirely new perspective on the brutal and bloody battle of Culloden in 1746. Filmed in a documentary style, the camera gets in close to the action as it unfolds in a manner not unlike television news war reporting, and gets live responses from the actors in character. It might have been made 50 years ago, but it’s still as fresh an approach to a documentary as you’ll see.
Director: Peter Watkins
Castles in the Sky
Eddie Izzard once again shows off his chameleon talents in his portrayal of Robert Watson-Watt in wartime Britain. Known to history as the inventor of modern radar, Watson-Watt was a maverick inventor, a dreamer and a pragmatist. Izzard subtly and expertly brings out the spirit of the now legendary Scottish engineer.
Director: Gillies Mackinnon
Starring: Eddie Izzard, Alex Jennings, David Hayman, Laura Fraser, Karl Davies, Julian Rhind-Tutt
EIFF runs from 18 – 29 June. See the full programme at www.edfilmfest.org.uk