A grand banquet of film has been laid out for the festival's 20th anniversary edition.
As the wintery, back-to-work blues of January finally begins to subside, we have news of a very bright near-future, as at the end of February the Glasgow Film Festival opens its doors once more for a special 20th anniversary jamboree of cinephile frolics. And we can tell you from experience that it’s a city that’s perfectly calibrated and designed for total immersion in that blissful festival vibe, and with their freshly-minted 2024 line-up all locked down and out in the world, we can’t wait to do it all over again.
Opening the festivities is Rose Glass’ violent opus, Love Lies Bleeding, the filmmaker’s follow-up to Saint Maud that stars Kristen Stewart and Katy M O’Brian, which comes directly off the back of a triumphant premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Things will round off in a more homely fashion with the world premiere of Janey, a profile documentary about the Scottish comedian and activist Janey Godley.
The festival is set to present 69 features culled from 37 countries this year, and we’re looking forward to the Greek-set drama, Drift, which stars Cynthia Erivo, Alia Shawkat and Honor Swinton Byrne (together at last!), as well as satire Coup! starring Peter Sarsgaard and Billy Magnussen, and the 16mm French vampire film The Vordalak starring the great Ariane Labed.
From the UK there’s Will Gilbey’s directorial debut, Jericho Ridge, a small-town policier about a sherriff under siege. There’s also The Old Man and the Land by Nicholas Paris, about an old man attempting to maintain his farmland despite the interruptions of his two adult kids (Rory Kinnear and Emily Beecham).
On the back of the massive BFI retrospective of Powell and Pressburger, there’s the chance to catch a new Martin Scorsese-narrated doc, Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger, from director David Hinton. There’s also another ace-looking filmmaking doc in the form of Jack Archer’s Bill Douglas: My Best Friend, on the life and work of the poetic Scottish maverick.
Of the things we’ve actually seen, we can heartily recommend trying to snag a ticket for Alice Rohrwacher’s graverobbing fantasia, La Chimera, in which a linen-suited Josh O’Connor dashes around Italy looking for signs of his lost love. We also love Bertrand Bonello’s eccentric, time-hopping AI romance, The Beast, and the ferocious debut feature Hoard by Luna Carmoon.
Elsewhere there’s a ton of amazing retrospective screenings tied to various local anniversaries (including 50 years since the inauguration of festival hub, the Glasgow Film Theatre). There’s a focus on Czech cinema and UK premieres of new 4K restorations of Scorsese’s After Hours, Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave and Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher.
Look, we we can’t namecheck everything because we’d be here all day, but you can peruse the line-up yourself via the festival website and dig out some of the gems that we’ve missed. Other than that, all that’s left to say is, roll on February 28…
The 20th Glasgow Film Festival runs from 28 February to 10 March 2024. glasgowfilm.org/home
Published 24 Jan 2024