After the excitement of Sheffield Doc/Fest a couple of weeks ago, Fohnhouse decided to board a bus heading further north to continue the adventure at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Arriving in the early hours of Friday morning gave us time to soak up the calm atmosphere of the city centre and enjoy a mouth-watering chocolate twist before our day got underway. After picking up the all-important press pass we hotfooted it over to the local cinema to catch Pixar’s latest creation Brave, which had its European premiere and closed the festival on Saturday night.
As expected Brave is another visually arresting, meticulously realised animation showcasing the astonishing capabilities of Pixar’s technology and further proving why they are head and shoulders above the rest, and why we love them. The narrative, about a girl who must learn the hard way that actions can have serious consequences, doesn’t resonate as much as previous Pixar stories, but the luscious, green, lifelike Scottish landscapes, the soundtrack, and a few furry animals make this a fairy tale that’s, nonetheless, far from average.
From a valiant tale we moved to a film about one of the most captivating cities in the world. 7 Days in Havana chronicles the Cuban city over 7 days with a different director bringing his eye to a day’s proceedings. Not every story in this montage is a triumph, but it’s an interesting way of looking at a region and highlights the diverse characters and experiences of the inhabitants.
More successful in its entirety was Day of the Flowers, a tale of two Scottish sisters who travel to Havana to lay their father (his ashes) to rest. Funny, sexy and vibrant with a spark of danger and misadventure, Flowers was a charming end to a very Latin afternoon.
We decided to end our film run with the French drama Le Reste du Monde (The Rest of the World). Now, seeing as how we Wandercats are self-confessed Francophiles, we were excited to see what Damien Odoul’s film had to offer. Sadly, it doesn’t offer as much as we would have liked. Based around a family with a few secrets and issues, Le Reste du Monde is slow, a little tedious, and not nearly as interesting as a dysfunctional family drama should be. The cast do put in good performances but ultimately the end couldn’t come soon enough.
After four films we had to say goodbye to the cinema in favour of an interview with Brave director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Safarian. The full interview will be posted in the coming months, but Andrews and Safarian talked about their challenges making a film set in the highlands of Scotland as well as the impact Pixar and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had on their lives.
Our interview with the Pixar duo brought us to the end of our time in the North, but before we boarded our bus back to the familiar streets of London Town we had a few hours to soak up the sights of the city and sample a so-called culinary delight: pizza in batter. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you sample the latter, but Edinburgh’s a beautiful city and we’ll definitely be back for future festivals.