Monday, June 23, 2008

The first year I can actually recall attending the EIFF was 1979. In particular, the premiere of Alien, that's where I caught the bug and when I got the buzz. Uncle Lou is in the capital this week and like he said, "those were different times".

I'm not sure that I'm going to make the 30th anniversary scene next year. I might just sit it out and go with its smaller Glasgow cousin instead. Maybe I've just had my quota but I remain adamant that there's nothing better than watching something, maybe anything on the big screen. Not a costume drama though mind, I draw a line at those.

The Best of the Fest has been announced for Sunday and it seems decidedly calculated, even by recent standards. Maybe the switch to now has worked, maybe it hasn't. There were certainly plenty of people in FH last night to see the "Stone of Destiny" film and punters talked excitedly about seeing Robert Carlyle there.

So anyway, I’m feeling a little bit under the weather tonight, sort of relieved that there are no films. However, here are my findings on yesterday’s sojourn.

Ornette - Made In America was the first of the Shirley Clarke retrospective screenings. I’d love to see all of those but scheduling doesn’t permit it. As documents go, this is primo stuff. The free jazz aspect is one thing but there’s way more to it. Ornette Coleman is one of the few still living legends, now in his late 70’s I guess. During the film he tells us that Buckminster Fuller was his big hero. His “There is no up and down – only out!” is a credo his art has pushed the boundaries of at all times. Charles Williams of the Smithsonian talks about his “attack on the reed”. I’ve no idea who Chutney Dugan is, the name comes up in the credits, but it’s one cool moniker alright.

Next up was the international premiere of Strange Girls. I’d love to be able to tell you that I discovered some great new thing to recommend but in all honesty can’t. It’s not bad. There are echoes of Lynch and Waters but mainly it just made me want to see Eating Raoul because it’s more Bartel than anything else. The strangeness is pretty contrived but not without a certain charm in places. The security guard part (Max) would have been a great Dick Miller role. The guy who introduced the film reckoned that they’d coined the new “Under The Radar” strand to show films like this. I think this might be hovering there for a wee while yet and it registered a “meh” from where I was sitting. Would have liked to have hung around for the Q&A but it was a school night.

Tomorrow, I’m supposed to go see the Lee Perry doc but we’ll see. I’m feeling kind of weary. Like I’m coming down with something. Maybe I’m just od’ing on culture when all I really want to do is watch The Wire Season 4.
RIP - George Carlin