Films at Hidden Door Festival

One of the disappointments of Hidden Door is that, unless you take a week’s holiday, you’ll be left wishing you’d seen more. This Festival has gone from pop-up to fully-fledged, this year spreading its wings into a second venue. I was particularly looking forward to seeing a selection from the film programme, being screened in the iconic, but dilapidated State Cinema.

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Review: On Chesil Beach

Question: should you read the book before going to see the film of the book? In the case of an author as popular as Ian McEwan, the chances are that you’ve read it already. When his novella, On Chesil Beach came out in 2007, I read it straightaway. I couldn’t help re-reading it when I heard about the film, and that was my mistake, perhaps.

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Review: Custody

For some reason I’ve found myself watching several films recently at the Filmhouse about dysfunctional families. At one end of the scale was Ladybird, a light-hearted take on a mother finding it hard to ‘let go’ of her near-adult daughter. At the opposite end was Loveless, a bleak portrayal of parents literally pushing their child away from them with their bitter wrangling.

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Review: The Edinburgh Easter Play 2018

Although the Edinburgh Easter Play has been around since 2005, you could say it’s a bit overlooked. I recall how one year (I think when the tramworks on Princes Street were having a bank-holiday break) the aural impact of this open-air drama grabbed the attention of shoppers in a powerful way. Since our city’s main shopping street has a unique feature, it seems sensible to capitalise on a potentially captive audience.

But on the whole, events like this are sadly swamped by the irritating ding of trams, the rumble of buses, and the general hubbub of consumerism. Moreover, it was a hardy bunch who ventured into the chilly depths of Princes Street Gardens West on Holy Saturday, down by the railway line, nearby the dismantled Ross Fountain, under dreich, grey skies. Clearly, the weather wasn’t celebrating the season.

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Review: You Were Never Really Here

To say I’ve seen Lynne Ramsay’s entire oeuvre is no great claim: she’s not the most prolific film-maker. Her early short films led to her poignant debut feature, Ratcatcher, which should have placed her as one of Scotland’s foremost emerging (female) directors. But it hasn’t been an easy path. You may ask why I put the word ‘female’ in parenthesis in the previous sentence… a point I will elaborate on, if not perhaps for the obvious reason.

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