With the 2018 edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival less than a week away, our writers have given the shortlist a good long look – and like what they see. Here’s a rundown of the some of the ones we think you should keep an eye on this June and July.
This noir thriller features a star-studded cast, with Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg and Mike Myers (!) playing characters caught up in a series of increasingly dangerous events. Whilst the revenge-driven plot is obviously a big draw, I’m more intrigued by the diverse cast (which also includes Dexter Fletcher and Max Irons), particularly regarding the inclusion of Mike Myers. It’ll be interesting to see if he can follow in the footsteps of Robin Williams and relaunch himself as a more serious actor.
This British entry concerns the conflicts faced by 19-year-old Leon (Marcus Rutherford) as he is torn between his relationship with the affluent Twiggy (Sophie Kennedy Clark) and his connections with his old friends. This film looks like it’ll be able to surpass other entries in the urban youth genre such as Noel Clarke’s Brotherhood, particularly regarding its interpretation of race and class in a London besieged by the 2011 riots.
This political drama set in Hong Kong interconnects teenagers caught up in the 1967 pro-Communist protests with an old man similarly entwined in a hypothetical protest in 2019, only this time concerning pro-democracy protesters opposing Chinese control. This appears to be an effective way of conveying the historical and current struggles facing Hong Kong, which have received little media attention compared to similar protests in the Middle East.
This drama concerns Havin (Halima Ilter), a pregnant Kurdish woman who leaves her husband Zagros (Feyyaz Duman) after villagers spread rumours that she is having an affair. However, her attempts to start a new life in Belgium are disrupted by the sudden arrival of Zagros, who wants to rekindle their relationship. I’m most interested in seeing how this film handles issues facing Kurdish women, as well as the topical issue of Middle Eastern migrants in Europe.
A distraught father searches for his missing daughter with the help of a tough-talking detective. It sounds almost exciting, but we’ve seen it before… except Aneesh Chaganty’s film takes place entirely on screens, as the story unfolds through Skype calls, messages and internet searches. In a similar way to Rodrigo Cortés’ coffin-based thriller, Buried, I’m looking forward to seeing how the film balances the tension of the plot and the claustrophobia of the shots.
One of the more unusual films on the bill, this surreal Dutch comedy follows friends Charlie and Hannah on a girls’ night out fuelled by a dose of “magic candy”. It seems like Girls but more fun, more innovative and beautifully shot.
David Jackson’s chilling drama begins with a teenager forced to go and live with his estranged father (played by Francis Magee, who fellow Peep Show fans may recognise as Russel a.k.a. The Orgazoid). With the combination of striking shots of British wilderness and the sense of slow-burning anguish, I’m expecting a thrill akin to Michael Pearce’s Beast, released earlier this year.
From the co-directors and screenwriters who brought us the unforgettable comedy Intouchables, this film sees a frustrated wedding caterer fluster against the backdrop of a seventeenth-century chateau. If it is a fraction as good as Intouchables, it will still be worth a watch.