Film Fund films at Edinburgh

Four films backed by the BFI Film Fund number among the 121-strong line-up of feature films at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Samuel Wigley
Updated:

Berberian Sound Studio

Berberian Sound Studio

Incoming artistic director Chris Fujiwara’s programme has done much to revitalise the festival, with films from 53 different countries delivering a broader, truly international flavour.

But the British Isles have not gone neglected, with world premieres of BFI backed films Berberian Sound Studio, What Is This Film Called Love?, and the first UK screenings of Jon Wright’s monster comedy Grabbers and James Marsh’s Shadow Dancer all among the highlights.

Berberian Sound Studio

Who made it? Peter Strickland follows up his leftfield thriller Katalina Varga with another atmospheric and original genre piece set in an Italian sound studio.

What’s it about? Working in Italy on the sound effects for a gruesome new horror film, a British sound designer (Toby Jones) becomes increasingly paranoid amid his unsettling surroundings. Strickland’s film is both a tribute to Italian horror cinema of the 1970s and a deconstruction of horror cinema’s tricks of the trade.

What people are saying

“If you were to drop Dario Argento’s cult oeuvre in a filmic blender with Roman Polanski’s flair for paranoia along with David Lynch’s surreal sensibilities, this would be the result.” Stephen Carty, empireonline.com

“A delicately detailed immersion into the world of Z-grade Italian horror cinema … Berberian Sound Studio is a tense, teasing triumph.” Guy Lodge, Variety

Grabbers

Who made it? Second-time Irish director Jon Wright joins a new wave of directors making throwback monster movies with their tongues firmly in cheek.

What’s it about? Tipping its hat to 1950s B-movies as well as jokey 1980s monster movies, Grabbers is the story of an Irish island beset by man-eating aliens. The invaders have one Achilles’ heel - alcohol in their prey’s blood - leaving the villagers no choice but to get steaming drunk.

What people are saying

“It plays its gleefully silly premise poker-straight, and could teach self-reflexive Hollywood projects such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a thing or six about irony.” Robbie Collin, The Daily Telegraph

“A curious half-breed between the rambunctious islander comedy of the charming Waking Ned, and Joon-Ho Bong’s grand, character-centric creature feature The Host, Grabbers is a thoroughly charming and welcome blend of terror and blarney.” Scott MacDonald, eyeforfilm.co.uk

Shadow Dancer

Who made it? Director James Marsh, best known for his celebrated documentaries Man on Wire and Project Nim, returns to fiction for this drama set in 1990s Belfast starring Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough.

What’s it about? Andrea Riseborough stars as an Irish Republican arrested for her part in a London bomb plot and given an ultimatum by MI5 operative Clive Owen: 25 years in prison or return to Belfast to spy on her hardliner family.

What people are saying

     

What Is This Film Called Love?

Who made it? Irish filmmaker and critic Mark Cousins describes his new film as an ‘ad lib’, a quickly made and highly personal documentary made to cleanse his palette after his mammoth, 15-hour The Story of Film.

What’s it about? Filmed in Mexico, Cousins’ film begins as a walking-tour documentary tracing the steps of Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein in the early 1930s, but develops into a freeform and pensive essay about landscape, memory and the pleasures of walking.

What people are saying

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