Film4.com’s Editorial Assistant Beth Webb took a few days to enjoy an homage to Bowie, an Elvis impersonator and a giant mutant tortoise among other delights…
Seldom does a festival cling onto its roots in spite of its ever-growing popularity like Glasgow. Now in its 12th year and with attendance matching that of its closest peer Edinburgh, Glasgow remains faithful to its audience-focused programme, and the result is a vibrant, sincerely fun few weeks.
While the festival boasts an admirable selection of UK premieres and unique strands, it’s the events programme that truly sets it apart. Whether it’s Con Air in an old BMW factory with audiences assigned luminous orange jump suits, or David Bowie gazing down from the cosmos as The Man Who Fell To Earth played within the Glasgow Planetarium, Glasgow’s organisers are constantly finding new ways for their audience to enjoy themselves.
With Glasgow there’s no preferential treatment. Residents and industry members sit shoulder to shoulder for packed-out screenings and talks. This year’s surprise film, the wickedly funny Love And Friendship, was kept tightly under wraps and the shared reaction – eagerness peppered with only a few sighs for such an unconventional selection – proved worth the wait.
This year’s programme strands were particularly thoughtful. To say that there’s something for everyone would do disservice to the identity of the festival – Glasgow is as dedicated to bringing new and colourful cinema to locals as it is to celebrating the classics. Playing off the success of commercial hits like Wild Tales and The Secret In Their Eyes, the Argentine Cinema programme proved particularly interesting viewing with its experimental shorts and pleasing stories from the country roads.
The term “geek” has long since shed its unfavourable status, to the point where it received its own series of events at Glasgow under the proudly titled Nerdvana strand. Hosting films and events for the gamers (the inspirational Man vs. Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler) and graphic novel fanatics in the crowd the festival let its freak flag fly, with screenings and talks packed to capacity.
With Richard Gere swinging by to promote his film Time Out of Mind on the closing Sunday came the news that 2016 was the most successful year for Glasgow Film Festival to date. Bringing in over 42,000 admissions and with its sold out events dominating the fortnight-long programme, this festival has grown on a dedicated understanding of its city and an ever-expanding crowd of loyal attendees, a formula guaranteed to secure success for years to come.