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Edinburgh Film Festival 2004 - Day 12 - Closing Day


By Douglas Bell - Posted on 30 August 2004

So we come to the closing day of the film lover's feast. Edinburgh's atmosphere has been at its most charged as the Scottish capital drew over a million visitors, twice the city's population, for the month-long festivals celebrating books, music, theatre, comedy, film and television.

Tomorrow will undoubtedly create something of a cultural vacuum as the film festival comes to an end. I'll have to find something other than cinema to fill the days. All suggestions are welcome.

It has been a real treat to indulge myself during the past eleven days, catching some of the very best of British, European and World cinema. Today was no exception and the festival's finishing feature, a tale of mischief and morality, Untold Scandal, proved a worthy choice to bring it all to a close.

The South Korean re-telling of the classic 1782 story Les Liaisons Dangereuses, reminded us all that many of Hollywood's exploits are tripe and we should do our best to try things from further afield. At least, if you think that Cruel Intentions is America's answer to the same story. It's not often that a film gets a clap at the end, but this one did. A big one.

It was good of Orange and Nokia, principle sponsors of this year's EIFF closing party, to pay for last night's drinks. I've often wondered what the real returns are on sponsorship - as in this case, I am no more likely to increase my spending on my mobile, nor likely to switch to a Nokia phone. Still, I guess that they must be nice people.

As you might imagine, there were smiles all round at the celebratory party, hosted by Edinburgh College of Art. All the festival and cinema staff were invited as a big thank-you for their excellent work and were understandably jubilant at the success of this year.

The filmmakers were there en force too, feeling confident at their own accomplishments and, having burned the candles at both ends over the last fortnight, probably looking forward to a lie-in tomorrow. The consensus was that next August can't come along soon enough.

My own conclusion, and the most notable observation I have made at the EIFF, is that people who work in film are much more human than I expected. The lack of pretence at the final party, and throughout the last few days, is testament to this. Those planning a trip to Edinburgh next year should feel confident that the mood at the EIFF is not one of business, but one of pleasure.

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