Glasgow Film Festival 2010
once a circus acrobat in his ease with the slapstick demands of Bringing Up Baby or Arsenic and Old Lace.’
Those two screwball and slapstick classics are, quite rightly, included in the ten-film retrospective. The other films are: the romantic melodrama An Affair to Remember, the comedies Holiday, I Was A Male War Bride and His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks’ fastest- talking movie ever), the aerial adventure Only Angels Have Wings and a trio of Hitchcocks: Notorious, To Catch a Thief and, featuring Grant at his most iconic, North By Northwest. Given Grant made more than his fair share of truly great films, those ten titles are a far from exhaustive review of his impressive talents. Nevertheless, the certainly exemplifies the quality and diversity of Grant’s extraordinary four-decade film career. retrospective
‘The other thing about Grant,’ Hunter says, ‘is that his career has an abundance of great movies and so we were spoilt for choice, really. We’ve selected some of the most iconic films, and I think it’s no surprise that there is a real concentration on his work with Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock, two of the directors who really knew how to make the
most of his comic timing and romantic allure.’ Despite being, arguably, the most popular and most important actor ever to come out of Hollywood, Grant remains, rather curiously, neglected in terms of industry recognition of his talents. That’s something Hunter and Gardner picked up on. ‘We also wanted to celebrate Cary Grant because he still seems underrated as an actor,’ Hunter says. ‘It seems astonishing that he never won an Oscar, and maybe that’s because he made it all look so easy. He is so suave, so debonair, able to cope with crop dusters and dinosaur bones, romancing Ingrid Bergman and dressing in drag – without us ever feeling the effort of his performance or the sheer hard work that went into the creation of his screen persona. Off screen he was someone who worried and fretted, on screen he made everything appear effortless, and that is hugely appealing.’
Grant was belatedly recognised by his peers when in 1969, three years after he retired, he was awarded a ‘general’ Oscar for services rendered to showbiz. Grant never came out of retirement, saying he wanted fans to remember him the way he was. He was elegant till the last.
‘HE IS SO SUAVE, SO DEBONAIR . . . HE MADE IT ALL LOOK SO EASY’ Bringing Up Baby, GFT, Thu 18 Feb, 1pm & Fri 19 Feb, 11am. See Festival Highlights for more Grant films and www.gtf.org.uk for full details of all Grant films showing at the festival.
TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT
The GFF short film strand contains some of the festival gems, writes Miles Fielder
‘Short film is something of a catch-all term,’ says Matt Lloyd, co-curator of the Glasgow Short Film Festival and co-founder of Scotland’s independent shorts programming outfit The Magic Lantern. ‘It encompasses narrative cinema, artists’ film and video, music promos, fragments, experiments and works-in-progress. And that’s the way we, at The Magic Lantern, like it. Our programme for GSFF 2010 pulls all these disparate elements together into an intense weekend of cross-fertilisation of ideas and forms, celebrating Glasgow’s unique art, music and film scenes and promoting the most innovative new work from around the globe.’ That certainly appears to be the case. The core competition programme
showcases the work of 33 new and emerging filmmaking talents who contend for the inaugural Best International Short Film Award and a cash prize. Built around the competition are various screenings and events, among the highlights of which are the UK debut of American low-budget collective Court 13 (‘These guys are on the verge of hitting the big time with their various debut features,’ says Lloyd), GFF alumni Murray Grigor’s shot-for-shot remake/update of his 1972 architectural doc Space & Light Revisited, and weird and wonderful snippets from 100-year-old carnival-esque films in How’s the Ghost? Presents: The Movie Trailer. All that plus guest-curated programmes by the likes of the UK’s longest-running internet radio station Radio Magnetic and a closing night party hosted by Optimo. Remember: you can’t see this kind of stuff at your local cinema just any
night of the week. ■ See www.gft.org.uk for all screening dates, times and locations.
Tilda Swinton takes the lead as a matriarch attempting to escape her wealthy Milanese family in this stylish Italian drama. GFT, Wed 24 Feb, 8.15pm. GALA Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Werner Herzog relocates Abel Ferrara’s crime classic to New Orleans with Nicolas
Cage in the title role. GFT, Thu 25 Feb, 8.30pm. EVENT The List Surprise Film
GREAT SCOTS Director’s Cut With Kevin Macdonald The Oscar-winning Glasgow-born documentarian-turned- filmmaker (Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland) in conversation. GFT, Sat 27 Feb, 3.30pm.
Always the hot ticket of the Festival, previous surprise films have included O’Horten, Inland Empire and Son of Rambow. Cineworld, Sat 27 Feb, 8.15pm. STATE OF INDEPENDENTS Handsome Harry
the modern age directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Cypher), produced by Guillermo del Toro and starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley. GFT, Sat 27 Feb, 9pm. MUSIC & FILM Mogwai: Burning & Live DJ Set
Cult director Bette Gordon (Variety) directs Steve Buscemi and Campbell Scott in this tale of the dark heart of male friendship. GFT, Sat 27 Feb, 8.15pm. FRIGHTFEST Splice
Frankenstein fable for The Glasgow-based musicians are caught on film in a concert
movie shot in Brooklyn. DJ set with band members follows. GFT, Sun 28 Feb, 6.30pm. CLOSING GALA Legacy
The Wire’s Idris Elba stars as a disturbed Black Ops soldier in this political thriller produced by Glasgow’s Black Camel Pictures. GFT, Sun 28 Feb, 8.30pm.
4–18 Feb 2010 THE LIST 25