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Edinburgh Film Festival 2004 - Day Three


By Douglas Bell - Posted on 21 August 2004

Fri 20 August

Another busy day at the festival with no less than 24 different screenings and 4 red carpet photo calls, from noon till night. Beginning with Violent Summer, the Italian introspective which challenges the taboo period of 1943 when Mussolini fell and civil war ensued, the day took in the likes of Kenny does Dougal, the humorously titled interview of Festival regular Dougal Wilson (not to be mistaken as a gay porno flick) and finished with Natural City, South Korea's response to Blade Runner, at the Cameo from 11.30pm.

Celebrity stalkers and over-enthusiasts might want to hang around the lounge of the Sheraton where both Christian Slater and Colin Firth are getting 5 star treatments. Onlookers appeared stunned today at the appearance of Firth as he posed for the cameras in the late afternoon sun, promoting his new movie Trauma, which premiered at the UGC this evening.

Slater is the lead in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest at this year's Fringe, but bumped into Firth in the Sheraton lobby, scoring himself an invite to the cinema later in the day. Firth seemingly still has the sex appeal he's so famous for, managing to attract some screamers at the red carpet: "I love you Colin!"; "Look at me Colin, give us a wave!"; "Aaaaaagh, he waved, he waved!", and that was just the press photographers. For those in search of filmmakers and artistes, try the Cameo cinema's bar - open till 3am - frequented by the creative types who enjoy its relaxed and un-pretentious style.

Make an effort to catch the Scottish shorts, supported by Scottish Screen, the government-backed body for film in Scotland, as Baldy McBain and Noman's Land are extremely well done and a good sign of things to come. Strong points come through humorous and ridiculous events, and the photography on its own makes these films worth your hard earned cash. Naturally, these films have provoked much enthusiasm and will hopefully be the launch pad for their creative teams. It's good to see that the funding has gone to deserving projects and I wish the shorts every success.

Speaking of shorts, get yourselves to the Nokia / Orange cinema - inside the UGC at Fountainbridge - where the winning 15 second films from their big competition can be seen in the World's Smallest Cinema. It has but two seats. Very short, but very sweet. The young ladies wooing in the spectators are a winning formula on their own - you'll know exactly what I mean when you see how pretty they are. It's a free show too.

I've been trying all day to get some feedback on the pricing of this year's festival from the management, as ticket prices are averaging £6.45 a documentary! Understandingly, the marketing director has been extremely busy, but I was taken aback when asked not to speak to the Orange crew about the day's goings on. I haven't had a telling off like that since primary six... I hope that the marketing department isn't becoming too obsessive in its old age (58 this year). The matter shall not be left alone, however, and tomorrow, further enquiries into the first price increase in 3 years will ensue.

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