GFT Blog: GFF Films


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Mid90s

Friday 12 - Thursday 18 April

 After the first ten minutes, I worried that Mid90s was only interested in dwelling in profanity, adolescent angst and destructive behaviour. But ultimately this is less a tale of toxic masculinity, more a description of how some (not all) "boys will be boys", and by its end, I had succumbed to its charms. This transformation is delivered largely by its incredible young cast - funny, recognisable and utterly convincing. There are also beautiful moments of subtlety - like the quiet glee of Sunny Suljic's character when he is first asked by the skateboarding gang to refill a water bottle - at last, his presence has been acknowledged by them. Suljic really is phenomenal in this. Director Hill thrills in situations that are best described as funny but uncomfortable - the most awful and juvenile "moral dilemma" ever debated, an awkward first sexual encounter and an impossible skateboarding trick are expertly played out, delivering killer "punchlines".

David Gattens
Finance/Commercial Director

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Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story

Friday 29 March - Thursday 4 April

Hand on heart, I had never heard of Frank Sidebottom far less his creator Chris Sievey – so I went in to this film with no expectations. In other words, I took a punt on it and I’m so glad I did; I laughed, everyone around me laughed – but there were a lot of bittersweet moments too. I loved all of the interviews with fans of Frank, VHS tape footage, notebooks, costumes and fanzines that Steve Sullivan used in the documentary to show the creative chaos behind the paper mache. Brilliant, not bobbins.

Debbie Aitken
Glasgow Film Festival Manager

I never saw the film about Frank Sidebottom that Jon Ronson did a few years back so I had no real cultural reference for the character and thought I’d see the film to educate myself. What I learned is that Chris Sievey is an utterly fascinating character; just a total maverick who created his own reality and didn't really care about money or prestige. As with a lot of genius creative types, Sievey led a troubled life so the film is definitely sad at points but is ultimately a touching tribute to a strange and wonderful mind.

Georgia Stride
Film Hub Scotland Knowledge & Network Coordinator

I grew up with Frank Sidebottom all over the TV and in magazines. He was this comical, fun character and I loved him! No one knew about the person behind the papier-mache head and really we never thought too much about it. For me, it wasn't until Chris Sievey's death and funeral, for which his fans had got together to pay for to avoid him having a paupers funeral, did the man behind Frank really enter my consciousness. The tragedy of this just becomes more apparent the more you watch and learn about Chris and his commitment to us the audience whether it was an audience of thousands or an audience of one. We learn from this labour of love of a documentary that Chris Sievey was an amazing talent both in music and art of multiple mediums as well as a comedy genius. In this film we see how often talent and fame are at odds with each other and how easy it is to quite literally lose yourself to what you create. Its a wonderful documentary that makes you mourn a man and an artist we'll now sadly never get to know, who had so much more to contribute than a paper head with a nasal voice. You know he did, he really did. 

Karlean Bourne
Front of House Manager

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The Merger

Thursday 25 April 

We are always so fortunate at GFF that so many great films are part of the line-up but every year one film truly resonates with me, and this year The Merger was that film. The screen adaptation of Damian Callinan’s stage hit finds former football star Troy Carrington (Callinan) trying to revive the fortunes of his football club in the tiny township of Bodgy Creek. The story of the football club is intertwined with the story of a group of refugees newly placed in the township and a family coping with grief. The script is pitch perfect and very, very funny and all the issues are seamlessly worked into the story in a natural way. I laughed and I cried and I urge you all to watch this heart-warming and relevant film on the way communities can live, work and love together.

Allison Gardner
Programme Director/Glasgow Film Festival Co-director

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Eighth Grade

Friday 26 April - Thursday 9 May

I was 16 when my best friend’s dad anxiously asked me if “anything important” was burning in their garden fire pit. Flushed with mingled post-exam anxiety and excitement it seemed logical to us to mark our movement from one phase of life to the next we must burn any English and Maths course work we could find. For years, we laughed at our theatrical coping mechanism as it faded into friendship lore. But, as Eight Grade’s, Kayla quietly burned her “hopes and dreams” in her back garden I was flooded with the same waves of anxiety, paranoia and self-consciousness we all experience in our teens. In a genre that feels dominated by nostalgia Burnham’s debut feels refreshingly modern. It captures the excruciating minutiae of every-day: where social media is neither a nefarious villain or social life saviour, but a mundane tool of existence. The humour comes from genuine relief at the “you’ll laugh at this when you’re older” moments, as it reminds you of when they weren’t funny... yet.

Becca McSheaffrey
Children and Young People Coordinator


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