10 July 2011

Time for SIN? Too Late, Bangkok Has Them Now!

So, Bangkok has Donald and myself (flew over from SIN). I'm sure it won't be anything like the urban myths we've all heard. Let's see what my hotel's mini bar has to offer... Mmm, strawberry flavoured - oh!

5 July 2011

EIFF Has Died, Will Returning Home To August Resurrect It?

This year's Edinburgh International Film Festival has received a fair amount of criticism, not least of all from yours truly.  Fortunately things are looking up for the EIFF, in that they are looking bad.  The one-time Artistic Director & Producer, James Mulligan, who halved the number of films, scrapped red-carpet events, ditched several stalwart threads (including Best of the Fest, which was re-introduced at the last moment), lost several major sponsors (such as Standard Life, CityJet and the key venue of Cineworld) and replaced them with low-budget versions (downsizing Nokia, easyJet and George Square Theatre), oh yeah, and messed up the opening night gala with Festival Patron / 'I was never currating the EIFF' Tilda Swinton and her film "We Need to Talk About Kevin"...  Anyway, that guy, James, has gone after only six months in the position.  Phew.

The organisers of the EIFF are now publicly thinking about restoring the awards and moving back to August, as hinted at by The Hearld last month and recapped by yours truly!  Could this save the EIFF, without going back cap-in-hand to Shane Danielson and begging him to make it a real force again?  Who knows, but I wouldn't bet against an announcement during August about the EIFF's return the following year...

30 June 2011

I Can't Use My New Laptop Cover ... I'm Too Old!

There are many things I can pull off, even if I'm not supposed to. For example a laptop cover in people with the word 'miss' on it. However what even I can't pull off is when it arrives I see the full text is 'miss teenager'! I think I'd better return it and quick!

24 June 2011

One More Thing... We'll Miss You Peter Falk

Sad news, Peter Falk has passed away.  Five years ago I saw him out for his Sunday morning walk in Beverley Hills and he was in great shape (and very friendly too, especially to three strangers on Segways).

23 June 2011

EIFF Does "Best Of The Fest" U-Turn - Maybe You Missed It!

So, despite being told categorically on Monday (by staff from the Edinburgh International Film Festival) that there was no "Best of the Fest" this year, coupled with the fact that there is absolutely no mention of it in the brochure (despite the final Sunday being sparsely populated with films), I'm guessing this is either a very last minute decision / u-turn. This "Maybe You Have Missed" section comes out of nowhere today (time-stamped at 14:30), with tickets on sale at 10am tomorrow (although Filmhouse members could buy them since yesterday, before they were announce...).  Strange, for a festival that seems to be struggling with ticket sales (circumstantial evidence only for that, just reading their tweets and questions some journalists have posed to this year's Director), if it were planned you would have assumed they would have wanted a sales window as big possible, rather than just 48 hours.  Harsh people may say that smacks of not being able to organise a piss-up in a brewery, but then again, as someone who has actually organised a piss-up in a brewery (Stocks & Shots, Scotland's first Stock Market Bar in 2000 at the Caledonian Brewery), then maybe I should offer a comment...  But I won't.  It'd sadden me even more.

20 June 2011

The End Of The Edinburgh Film Festival?

Ticket sales weren't great last year, this year they are tweeting away that they still have tickets left for many shows (except for Troll Hunter that is). Monday evening, apparently a must-see horror, Rabies, and there are a fair few empty seats in one of the smallest screens in Edinburgh. Not a good sign. Worst yet I walked out half way through as this clearly wasn't the great film I'd b been promised (a good film), it was laughably over-the-top without any grounding of reality (45 minutes in I was so bored I left before it wasted more of my time). So you cut the number of films in half and still manage to pick bad films... Really not a good sign! I think the only hope of salvation is moving back to August and getting in a better artistic director, one just half as good as Shane Danielson would make me very happy! My other ticket is going to be posted back to this year's (only had a contract until July) artistic director with a letter saying I didn't want to be disappointed again so I'd rather not use the ticket. Good bye old friend,  it was nice knowing you...  It seems you are now the sole refuge of industry folk, rather than film-watchers... :(

There Is No Best Of The Film Fest In 2011's EIFF

Well, Monday has come and gone which means that there is no "Best of the Fest" for this year's heavily cut down Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011.  There is space in the cinemas for the final Sunday but there are no mentions of it in the brochure or on the website.  It was one thing, three years ago moving the EIFF to June, but ditching the "Best of the Fest" is madness ... unless this is all leading up to an August date for "Best of the Fest 2011"?  Not sure if I'm keen on that idea...

Following the bold move by Hannah McGill (someone I am not a fan of) to separate the EIFF from the rest of the Edinburgh Festivals seemed to work initially (although I wasn't hugely impressed with the films selected each year).  No more clashes in August due to the late release of the EIFF planner and no more missed films due to tiredness.  Well, it worked for me.  According to the Herald, the Glasgow Film Festival has almost twice as many unique visitors and it's not even married up with the film industry (which may explain why the EIFF has some questionable selections)!  With half as many films showing this year, no longer any red carpets and Cineworld (best cinema in Edinburgh) ceasing to be one of the main venues, it looks like the EIFF is really struggling.

You can tell it's a sad state of affairs when I only try to book three tickets this year (and one of those was sold out but I'll catch it on main release in a few months).  Three more films were interesting but when they are out on general release in less than two months *and* tickets are now £9 without any special offers (like the previous 'buy five get a sixth free') then it's hard to find a compelling reason to visit the EIFF, which is a little bit heart-breaking.  Under Shane Danielson the EIFF introduced me to good films, to diversity, to unknown directors, great moments and controversy - all in the name of art.  I hope you manage to survive old friend, I'm off to the first of my only two films this year...

This Birthday Will Be Number Six!

Wow, six years of PhillG.com and 600 posts (the six-hundredth was my great urinals gag yesterday).  It's been a long time with a lot of fun, some world exclusives (Toy Story 3 European premiere date, my various resignations during this time) and quite a few great pieces of humour (still love "what medicine cures a broken heart?").  As it stands this is my longest on-going relationship (with a non-male) and by my birthday next year it will be my longest relationship of all time!  Scary...

18 June 2011

16 June 2011

The Green Light Will Save The World!

In brightest day, in darkest night, no evil shall escape my sight...