Raindance to Open with a "Dead Man," and Close with an "Old Boy"
by Brian Brooks
Perhaps Park City gets its fair share of sun (when it's not snowing), but London is definitely synonymous with ubiquitous umbrellas. Embracing that fact, the Raindance Film Festival began their event 12 years ago, continuing this year with a program of features, docs, shorts, special events and programming for children.
Kicking off the event on September 30th is Shane Meadows' "Dead Man's Shoes," described by the event as a "genre-defying film, blending horror, the supernatural, comedy and social realism in Meadows' inimitable style. Set in a Midlands community where crime is unchecked and drugs, intimidation and power games are blandly accepted as the fabric of daily life, the film is a haunting exploration of the dark underbelly of rural Britain." Meadows will also serve as the festival's "director-in-residence," hosting a screening of his shorts during the event, followed by a Q&A on October 2nd.
In other highlights, Raindance will screen Jim Fields and Michael Gramaglia's doc on seminal punk band the Ramones in "End of the Century." French director Catherine Breillat screens her new feature, "Anatomy of Hell." The film follows a gay man who confronts female sexuality, while Spanish director Iciar Bollain screens his film about a couple who try to better their relationship, "Take My Eyes," which won seven Goya awards at home.
Sex is also the subject of debut British director Eleanor Yule's "Blinded," which explores the darker side of sexual desire, while U.S. director Steve Balderson's thriller "Firecracker," is the tale of murder lingering below the surface in a small town in Kansas.
Former Monty Python collaborator, Terry Jones, will screen a surprise film on October 9th of his choice. The event will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker.
South Korean director Park Chan-wook will close Raindance October 10 with a screeing of his Cannes grand jury prize-winning "Old Boy," about a man held hostage for fifteen years, but is then abruptly released and sets out on a quest for vengeance.
[ For more information and a full schedule, visit http://www.raindance.co.uk. ]