Edinburgh International Film Festival
Edinburgh Film Festival Daily Diary
Thursday 22nd August 2002

Get an eyeful of this
  Ralph Fiennes (above) in town with Cronenberg's Spider. Eddie Izzard and Alex Cox (below) "go commando"
  Photos: Simon Hollington

Hello there!

What a day! Excitement and exhaustion combined have taken over! Most of my afternoon was spent at the Sheraton, not taking afternoon tea, but waiting for the names to present themselves for photocalls and press conferences.

First up was Alex Cox's (Repo Man; Sid and Nancy) new film, a Jacobean tragedy no less, entitled Revengers Tragedy which premiered last night. A very bleary-eyed Eddie Izzard, who stars in the film, turned up for the press conference, nonetheless - such dedication!

"Comedy is like cocaine"

Trussed-up in kilts, they were asked what they were wearing underneath. A very bold Eddie Izzard proclaimed "I'm going commando!"

Izzard was highly entertaining throughout. He told us how he really just wants to act now, and leave the stand-up comedy behind, as it is far less satisfying. In fact, the analogy he used was "comedy is like cocaine, drama is like food" - we like it Eddie!

Lost Great Wilderness

After all that amusement, there was plenty of eye candy at the press conference for the world premiere of Scottish movie, The Last Great Wilderness. This is predominantly the work of brother duo, David and Alistair Mackenzie.

Actor Alistair, of course, we all know as Archie from BBC's Monarch of the Glen. The dapper siblings were joined by the equally easy-on-the-eye actor Jonny Philips, and producer Gillian Berrie. This is David's first feature film, and Gillian told us of all the disasters that beset them when making the movie. As much of it was shot outside (in the wilderness, no less), the foot and mouth crisis meant that they lost a whopping 90% of their intended locations!

  The Last Great Wilderness - left to right actors Jonny Phillips, Alistair Mackenzie, producer Gillian Berrie, director David Mackenzie; Ralph Fiennes (below)
  Photo: Simon Hollington

Nevertheless, the brothers said that despite the problems in making this untypically Scottish movie, they enjoyed working with each other, and it won't stop them from doing so again in the future.

Ralph's fine

As hard as it was to see these young men leave, in hot pursuit came the press conference for Spider, directed by David Cronenberg with a stellar British cast, including Ralph Fiennes and Miranda Richardson. Producer Catherine Bailey, and scriptwriter Patrick McGrath.

Of course, Ralph Fiennes turning up to the conference brought the afternoon some welcome glamour. Ralph told us how difficult it was to make a movie on schizophrenia. He had to meet a great deal of sufferers afflicted with the illness to research for the role. He would ask them about their condition, and in return they asked him how much he earned!

Ralph also quashed rumours that working with J. Lo was a chore and that she really isn't the diva she's made out to be (Ralph has just completed a movie in Hollywood with said diva).

More premieres

There were also several big premieres tonight, including Heartlands, directed by Damien O'Donnell, of East is East fame at the UGC. My old mucker from the other night, Sophie Fiennes (Ralph's li'l sis'), was showing her movie Hoover St Revival at the Cameo. Round the corner at the Filmhouse we had ex-Eastender Tamsin Outhwaite turning up for her new flick Out of Control with director Dominic Savage, and back at our old favourite, the UGC again, was Ralph again at the premier of Spider.

So you will excuse me if I now leave you to rest my weary head - I'm knackered!

Ta' Ra

Weegeet xx