Allan Hunter: It is a small country whose films make a big impact in the world

The Glasgow Film Festival have announced its first events for the festival in 2020, which includes their Country Focus, Iceland. With many screenings including The County, a humanistic look at a small farm and the eagerly-awaited follow-up from Grímur Hákonarson, and a documentary about Bjork, as well as new feature from Yrsa Roca Fannberg, The Last Autumn. Film Festival Director, Allan Hunter, spoke with The Fountain about the Focus in more depth as well as some of his personal highlights that are programmed for 2020.

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Review: Conventiality Isn’t Me, ESFF 2019 Rating 87%

Review: Conventiality Isn’t Me, ESFF 2019

In the ESFF trailer that I mentioned in one review a tiny clip beguiled me: someone on a motorway bridge drawing an imaginary white line on the road below. I had to wait until the penultimate night of the festival to discover this was from a quirky film called On the Road where a man controls motorway traffic as if he is playing with toys, or a computer screen. Yet the cars are ‘real’ – which makes this five-minute film even more surreal.

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Review: In ? We Trust, ESFF 2019 Rating 95%

Review: In ? We Trust, ESFF 2019

Having said all the programmed screenings of the Edinburgh Short Film Festival have been well-balanced, the second Sunday night screening was a highlight. The selection of films was exceptional. With the theme of faith and belief, of humour and tension in religion, and with the usual contrast of styles and lengths, it was an evening of soul-searching, gut-wrenching, and thought-provoking films.

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Review: The Irishman Rating 95%

Review: The Irishman

WWII veteran Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) reminisces about his time as muscle to Philadelphia mobster Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and his friendship with legendary – and legendarily disappeared – union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).

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Review: Collective Consciousness, ESFF 2019 Rating 92%

Review: Collective Consciousness, ESFF 2019

Does film have the power to change society? With Ken Loach’s latest film, Sorry I Missed You now in cinemas, this seemed to be a very pertinent question when considering this selection of short films entitled Collective Consciousness. Co-hosted by the Cyrenians, it was clear from the start that there was an agenda: these films were intended to expose human rights abuse and exclusion, and to provoke discussion.

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Review: Love Be Damned, ESFF 2019 Rating 82%

Review: Love Be Damned, ESFF 2019

In my first review of Edinburgh Short Film Festival, I criticised the audience more than the films! For the second screening, at Summerhall, there was a whole different atmosphere. It felt more like a festival, and the audience were in the right mood. This was helped by the choice – and theme – of the films.

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Review: Out of Frame, ESFF 2019 Rating 78%

Review: Out of Frame, ESFF 2019

The good thing about a Short Film programme is that it’s a mixed bag. If you don’t like one film, you might like the next. If your concentration wanes at one point, you might soon re-engage. This said, if a programme is well-curated, the ebb of flow of moods and styles ought to keep anyone who loves ’films worth talking about’ rapt throughout.

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Review: Joker Rating 100%

Review: Joker

Joker is a sophisticated and complex movie, full of symbolism and connections that have multiple levels of meaning. The director (Todd Phillips) introduces a new representation of Joker’s character, which is completely different from any previous versions. Besides, the film is not dedicated to the representation of Batman and Joker’s fight, but rather to the depiction of the evolution of a lonely broken soul.

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Review: Midnight Cowboy Rating 75%

Review: Midnight Cowboy

In New York in the 70s, the character of Joe Buck played by Jon Voight, a Texan cowboy in search of fortune as a prostitute, is the personification of the naïve cowboy, characterized by the desire to be fulfilled but by the lack of rationality and common sense that make it incapable of building a future.

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