Feature: The Best of EIFF 2012

Yesterday saw the launch of The Edinburgh International Film Festival’s 66th Programme and it sure is a good one. The programme has captured the diversity that the festival is known for, boasting 121 features from 52 countries, with 19 World Premieres, 11 European Premieres and 67 UK Premieres. Here are some of my personal highlights from this years’ line-up, which I will be covering for The People’s Movies, Cinehouse and Silver Screen Slags.

Dir: William Friedkin
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch & Juno Temple

It’s hard not to be excited by the arrival of a new William Friedkin film, after all this is the man who brought us The French Connection and The Exorcist. Killer Joe promises to be an intense and superbly crafted black comedy/thriller, sure to be the perfect opening for the Festival.

Dir: Harmony Korine/Aleksei Fedorchenko/Jan Kwiechinski
Stars: Val Kilmer, Igor Sergeev & Darya Ekamasova

These vibrant filmmakers have crafted three unique stories reflecting the concept of enlightenment and showcasing a distinct reflective character journey for each segment. Perhaps Val Kilmer’s most exciting project since Top Gun?

Dir: Gabe Torres
Stars: Stephen Dorff, Tom Berenger & Chyler Leigh

Poor Stephen Dorff, it’s just not his day – he has been kidnapped and locked in a car boot by terrorists. Chuck in some nasty mental and physical tortures including some Stephen Dorff hating- wasps, and you have a tense claustrophobic psychological thriller.

Dir: Richard Ledes
Stars: Elliott Gould

Fred has been compared to a Woody Allen film, which surely is all the praise one should need to hear. Showcasing the comedic skill of Elliott Gould and touching, heartfelt subject matter, Fred is definitely one to look out for at The EIFF.

Dir: Luis Prieto
Stars: Richard Coyle & Agyness Deyn

The EIFF showcases the world premiere of Pusher, a British remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s debut feature of the same name. Pusher promises to be an energetic and gritty, British crime drama, as well as faithful retelling of its namesake.

Dir: Stephanie Robelin
Stars: Jane Fonda, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniel Bruhl & Guy Bedos

Several screen icons feature in this tale of long-term retiree friends, who decide to move in together. However, tensions begin to size and new issues are brought forward. This delicate comedy is set to deal with several complex issues in a touching and light hearted manner. And of course Jane Fonda is amazing.

Dir: Bobcat Goldthwait
Stars: Joel Murray & Tara Lynne Barr

A terminally ill man sets to rid the world of its most obnoxious, repellent inhabitants. Bobcat Goldthwait proved himself one of the masters of the black comedy with his 2009 feature, World’s Greatest Dad and looks set to continue this with the incredibly exciting God Bless America.

Dir: Benicio Del Toro, Gaspar Noe, and Others
Stars: Daniel Bruhl, Josh Hutcherson & Emir Kusturica

7 Days In Havana showcases one week in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, each day chronicled by a different director. This looks set to be a fascinating portrait of contemporary Havana and also a reflection of several exciting directorial styles.

Dir: Nicolas Provost
Stars: Issaka Sawadogo & Stefania Rocca

This struck me for its visually magnificent trailer, where we see a surreal shot of naked woman wandering a desolate beach to Un Ocean Pour Fuir. This provocative, striking reflection of the film is set to intrigue many blurring the lines between art and narrative.

Dir: David Bruckner, Ti West and Others
Stars: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughs & Adam Wingard

Ti West’s House of The Devil was in my opinion, one of the finest examples of recent horror cinema. His involvement in V/H/S this dark, anthology based found footage horror is set to be one of the most exciting genre pictures of the year.

Dir: Amy Seimetz
Stars: Kate Lyn Sheil & Kentucker Audley

This hypnotic road movie follows two lovers on the run in rural Florida. They are held together by a guilty secret, both consumed by their growing paranoia. That sounds fun, doesn’t it.

Tickets are available to buy from the EIFF website or at The EIFF Box Office based at both Edinburgh’s Filmhouse Cinema and Festival Theatre.

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