Glasgow Film Festival 2016 - 10 to see

How to choose between more than 170 films on offer at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival?

Samuel Wigley

Anomalisa (2015)

The Coen Brothers’ Hollywood-set comedy Hail, Caesar! and Charlie Kaufman’s Oscar-nominated puppet animation Anomalisa top and tail this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, which runs between 17 and 28 February. This 12th edition of the festival fits in some 308 events and 174 films in between. To help you tackle this enticing but overwhelming programme, we’ve distilled 10 highlights that still have tickets available.


High-Rise (2015)

Director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England) himself will be in attendance at the festival for the Scottish premiere of his hotly anticipated adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s cult novel about the escalating debauchery in an exclusive London tower block. Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons star.


Mustang (2015)

This will be the first chance for UK audiences to catch one of this year’s favourites for the Oscar for best foreign film. Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s directorial debut is set in a remote Turkish village, where five sisters are held captive by their elders in order to keep their sexuality under wraps. Mustang is one of the first two films to benefit from the BFI’s new scheme offering financial backing to the UK-wide distribution of foreign-language cinema.

Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights (As Mil e Uma Noites, 2015)

Ahead of its multi-platform cinema and online release, Glasgow offers a preview of this magical trilogy of films by Miguel Gomes (Tabu) providing riffs on the 1001 Nights in a contemporary Portuguese setting. Across over six hours of quirky, colourful and often very funny tale-spinning, Gomes takes the temperature of his nation in the years since the global financial crisis.

Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise (1991)

Glasgow is well-known for its imaginative expanded events – look up this year’s screenings of Network (1975), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991) to see what we mean. The 25th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s classic couple-on-the-run movie is excuse enough for some western-themed fun: a pre-screening line dance at the city’s Grand Ole Opry, Europe’s largest western saloon.

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)

The festival’s Bowie-related screenings were programmed well before the sad news of his death, but there will be added poignancy now to seeing a 40th anniversary projection of The Man Who Fell to Earth as well as this rare opportunity to catch D.A. Pennebaker’s extraordinary film of Bowie’s final on-stage appearance as Ziggy Stardust, which is regularly cited as one of the best concert films ever made.


Parabellum (2015)

The 12th GFF sees a focus on the wealth of great stuff coming out of Argentina at the moment. Highlights including Pablo Trapero’s brilliant and darkly funny true crime drama The Clan (a UK premiere) and this fascinatingly odd and deadpan vision of the future set at a forest camp where the paid-up middle-classes learn survival skills for the apocalypse.

The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

For anyone with a taste for classic Hollywood, the festival’s ‘Dream Teams of the Silver Screen’ retrospective will be where the real action is. In this 1938 Warner Bros adventure, the dream team in question is Errol Flynn as Robin of Locksley and Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian. Dazzling with its bright Technicolor, rousing score and witty repartee, this is still the best version of Robin Hood on screen.

Couple in a Hole

Couple in a Hole (2015)

Here’s a film that’s bravely out of step with most other modern British films, a completely unique drama set in a forest in the Pyrenees where a married couple are hiding out in a cave. Why they are there is a mystery that director Tom Geens reveals only very slowly, as their life of seclusion slowly comes under threat from the outside. There’s music by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow.


Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015)

Film critic Kent Jones’ documentary illuminates a historic encounter between the master of suspense and the young François Truffaut for the latter’s influential book-length interview with the director. Consisting of filmed footage from the meeting, clips from Hitchcock’s movies and comment from the likes of Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater on the significance of the book, Hitchcock/Truffaut is manna from heaven for film lovers.

Speed Sisters

Speed Sisters (2015)

A Scottish premiere for this new documentary about the first all-female racing car team in the Arab world, from occupied Palestine. The debut feature by Lebanese Canadian filmmaker Amber Fares, Speed Sisters traces the team’s determination to succeed in a male-dominated sport, despite alarming hostility from factions of a society eager to suppress female independence.

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