"Motorcycle Diaries" and "2046" Bookend 58th Edinburgh Festival
by Brian Brooks
Two Cannes 2004 competition films will bookend the 58th Edinburgh International Film Festival next month. The event will launch with the UK premiere of Walter Salles' Ernesto "Che" Guevara biopic, "The Motorcycle Diaries," which had its world debut at Sundance in January. Six world premieres and more than 80 films from over two-dozen countries will screen at the 11-day event in the Scottish capital, which runs August 18-29. Closing Edinburgh is Wong Kar-wai's futuristic romance, "2046," starring Tony Leung, Gong Li, and Maggie Cheung.
Fifteen sections of films of varying genres as well as special events are planned for the fest. The world premiere of Shane Meadows' gangland drama, "Dead Man's Shoes" will screen in the event's "British Gala" sidebar along with Ken Loach's "Ae Fond Kiss," a Muslim-Catholic romance, which will have its U.K debut, as well as Terry Loan's world premiere of "Mickybo and Me," a story of friendship between two boys in Northern Ireland who are separated by the sectarian divide.
Eight titles, including one surprise screening, make up Edinburgh's red-carpeted Gala section. Chinese director Zhang Yimou's story of two assassins, "Hero" (Ying Xiong) will have its U.K. premiere. Two Americans will show in the section as well. Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee & Cigarettes" will have its U.K. debut, while Brian Dannelly's "Saved" will screen as an international premiere at the fest.
Edinburgh's "Director's Showcase," which includes new features from international directors will present 18 titles, including the U.K. premiere of Brad Anderson's hypnotic psychological thriller, "The Machinist," which debuted at Sundance. Also screening in the section is Sylvia Chang's "20: 30: 40" from Taiwan, described by the festival as "the story of three very different women," as well as Catherine Breillat's dark tale of seduction, "Anatomy of Hell" (Anatomie de l'enfer) from France.
More than a dozen documentaries in addition to two short docs programs will comprise the Documents section. Robert Stone's "Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst" (U.K. premiere) is among a host of American docs showing in the sidebar, including Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me," Stacy Peralta's "Riding Giants," and Xan Cassavetes' "Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession." Also slated is Yoav Shamir's "Checkpoint," (Israel) a look at the contentious border checks that separate Palestinian and Israeli areas in the West Bank and Gaza.
"We adore cinema -- so much so, we want it all: the multi-million dollar blockbuster and the intimate French ensemble flick, the languid Taiwanese art film and the sharp, funny teen movie, 'Evil Dead' and 'Notting Hill,'" Edinburgh International Film Festival artistic director Shane Danielsen commented on the event's website. "Our appetites are insatiable, and our tastes are broad; we don't confine ourselves to one style of filmmaking, or one country. We're democratic, because we have to be: the fact is, great movies come in many forms, and from many places -- some of them surprising."
[For more information on the Edinburgh International Film Festival, including the full line-up, please visit: http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk]