Edinburgh 2009: The Tomato Report - Dario Argento's Giallo Premieres
While, staying on the colour theme, Disneynature's The Crimson Wing is more family-friendly.
Edinburgh Film Festival has played host to any number of world premieres over the years, but few have been as without fanfare as last night's screening of Dario Argento's Giallo, the latest film from a director who defined that titular genre in the 70s and 80s.
The tale of a loner cop (Adrien Brody) on the trail of a killer with yellow skin who's been kidnapping pretty girls and disfiguring them for his own pleasure is every bit as outrageous as we've come to expect from Argento, whose high-profile fans include Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino and George Romero. But unconfirmed rumour flying around Edinburgh suggests that Argento may have fallen out with his producers over the edit of the movie and this could be the only chance audiences will have to see the film on the big screen.
"Giallo, sees the director return to his roots," says Becky Bartlett for The Skinny. "It is reminiscent of his works during the seventies, such as Suspiria, but lacks the abstract originality he is so well respected for." But in the final analysis she finds herself won over. "Giallo is instantly recognisable as an Argento film, and is entertainingly bloody, funny and visually retro."
Also screening yesterday, on a decidedly different topic, was the first film from new Disney imprint Disneynature. The Crimson Wing is a documentary about flamingoes and premiered for family audiences at the festival.
In Variety, Jordan Minster explains. "Flamingos is less an educational documentary than a kind of all-natural bird spectacular, with more emphasis placed on sleek photography than raw facts." It, he says, "offers up a visually captivating flight through a little-known realm of the animal kingdom."
A handful more films will premiere at the festival tonight, but preparations are well underway for the closing night party tomorrow night, with stars including Hugh Dancy, Claire Danes, Jaime Winstone and Sir Sean Connery expected to attend.
What's On Today
Roger Corman Retrospective by Kim Newman
Every day during the festival, Edinburgh will be showing one of B-movie legend Roger Corman's classics, leading up to a Q&A with the man himself - hosted by our very own Kim Newman - on Wednesday 24th. In celebration, Kim will be reviewing each of the films playing as part of our coverage of the festival.
Roger Corman with Kim Newman
- The St. Valentine's Day Massacre - Screening at 13:00, Filmhouse 1
A rare major studio Roger Corman film (made for Fox, with a healthy budget), this is a meticulously-researched, names-dates-times-and-map-references account of the circumstances surrounding the famous murders of a group of gangsters in a Chicago garage in 1929. It casts a slim Jason Robards as a combustible, scarfaced Al Capone, whose rivalry with florist Bugs Moran (Ralph Meeker) is the root cause of the killings, and gives George Segal a decent turn as a Cagney type who, for a change, gets beaten up by his gun moll. Cronies from Corman's back-list, including Dick Miller, Bruce Dern and Jack Nicholson, pop up as trigger-men.
Keep an eye out for these films amongst those playing at the festival today, Friday 26th June.
- The Crimson Wing -- Screening at 18:15, Cineworld
Disney's Nature imprint kicks off with this documentary about flamingoes.
- Boogie Woogie -- Screening at 19:30, Cameo 1
This ensemble drama set in the art world has a stellar cast including Gillian Anderson, Heather Graham, Jaime Winstone and Christopher Lee.
- Adventureland -- Screening at 20:30, Cineworld
Another chance to see Greg Mottola's autobiographical tale about a teen's summer in a rickety theme park.
To book tickets for these films, click here. Join us again soon for more on these films and the Edinburgh Film Festival 2009.