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David Jenkins

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Explore the films of Elaine May at the 2019 Glasgow Film Festival

A full retrospective of this beloved director’s work caps off a tantalising programme.

The Glasgow Film Festival is back for its 15th edition next month, and the full programme is now live for public perusal. And we reckon it’s something of a banger, even by their own sky-high standards. Those searching for something new and exciting can dive into seven world premieres, including new work from Matt Pinder (Harry Birrell: Films of Love and War), Alberta Whittle (between a whisper and a cry) and Jack McHenry (Here Comes Hell!, billed as Downton Abbey meets The Evil Dead).

There’s a chance to get the jump on a few indie treats from across the pond, including Bo Burnham’s charming Eighth Grade, Patrick Wang’s A Bread Factory and Stephen Merchant’s solo directorial debut, Fighting with My Family. Jonah Hill’s nostalgic skater drama Mid90s has already been announced as the festival opener.

The line-up contains more films than we could possibly mention here (no fewer than 102 UK and 49 Scottish premieres), but the scope for discovery is massive. As usual, there are lavish Special Event screenings of fan favourites, with Fight Club, Ghostbusters and The Blair Witch Project getting the treatment this year.

There’s also a focus on local talent, as well as a survey of the master auteurs currently on the scene. The always interesting Sound & Vision strand returns with focus on music in and on film – we’re excited to catch Lance Bangs’ Sonic Youth concert film, Daydream Nation, not to mention Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell (for the second time, because it’s so damn good).

Families are catered for with new animated and child-centric offerings, and on the other side of the spectrum there’s also space given to more challenging offerings from artists and experimental filmmakers in the Crossing the Line and Future Cult strands.

The cherry on the cake is a full retrospective of features directed by the great Elaine May, whose career was unfortunately derailed in the 1980s due to the commercial failure of the film Ishtar. The chance to see her work on the big screen is very rare, especially the long-unavailable The Heartbreak Kid, which is powered by an all-timer comic turn by the great Charles Grodin.

A focus on new cinema from Belgium and a hark back to moving image highlights of 1969 rounds out a bumper programmed. Leaves nothing more to say than get booking, and see you in the midnight sing-a-long screening of Team America: World Police.

The 2019 GFF runs 20 February to 3 March. Check out the full programme now at glasgowfilm.org

Published 23 Jan 2019

Tags: Elaine May

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