GFT Blog: October Picks


October brings colder weather, and darker nights. So what better time to get to the cinema?!

This month, the GFT team have been talking about what we are most looking forward to seeing on the big screen in October. Have a read, then tell us your October Pick! 

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The Handmaiden

Wed 24 (20.00) & Thu 25 October (17.00)

A tender and intimate, sweeping and erotic, baroque masterpiece from Park Chan-wook, adapted from Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith. In 19th-century Japan-occupied Korea, the lives of two women intertwine in a truly beautiful, sinuous mystery that unravels like a silk thread. What secrets lurk beneath the shelves of a locked library, ruled by an ink-tongued masochist? An ingenious plot device that arrives mid-way is a mind-bending inversion of everything that came before. A soaring soundtrack, sumptuous period detail and subversive sexual currents make The Handmaiden an ornate, corporeal, criminally underseen work of art from a master. Cephalophobics beware.

Charlotte Ashcroft
Film Hub Scotland Programme & Marketing Coordinator  

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Oldboy

Wed 10 (20.15) & Thu 11 Oct (17.45)

Being a huge fan of Park Chan-wook, I am looking forward to seeing all of his films in our latest Cinemasters season, especially Oldboy. Much is made of its visual flair, darkest humour and exquisitely choreographed violence. But for me, it works because of its beautifully-drawn characters which make its final reveals even more gut-wrenching. Despite this, its ending is still one in which I find tenderness and even hope. In my view, if there has been a better film made this century (so far), I haven’t seen it.

David Gattens
Finance/Commercial Director

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John Carpenter: Master of Horror

I love John Carpenter's films, having discovered them as a teenager on late night tele. Their energy and imagination held me wrapt; from the tense, taut, claustrophobia of Assault on Prescient 13 and to the overblown gusto of Escape From New York they were always vivid, always exciting. He is a master maker of genre films whose schlocky trappings belie their cutting cultural commentary.

They Live is perhaps his film where his social critique is closest to the surface – malevolent forces influence our behaviour (encouraging us to CONFORM, CONSUME, STAY ASLEEP and OBEY) through subliminal messages delivered via the media and advertising – but its message rings true (if not truer) today than more than ever. That’s not to say this is some boring polemic against the evils of capitalism; this is a film about a secret alien invasion uncovered thanks to a pair of truth-revealing sunglasses which features a ludicrous, hilarious, 6-minute-long low-fi back-alley fight scene between “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Keith David that’s worth the price of entry alone.

But the films remarkably striking imagery and bigger message means this sci-fi fable continues to engage and entertain 30 years after its release.

A chance to see any of John Carpenter films in the cinema should be embraced, and They Live is the one I'm most looking forward to seeing on the big screen. To paraphrase the film's hero, I have come here to chew bubblegum and watch great movies. And I'm all out of bubblegum.

Sambrooke Scott
Film Hub Scotland Manager

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Black 47

Screening until Thu 4 Oct

A classic revenge Western set against the horror of An Gorta Mor, the Great Irish Famine which killed a million and displaced a million more. If you like your films along the lines of Unforgiven or Django Unchained, or have any interest in Irish history, then this is definitely a must watch.

Andrew Kane
Glasgow Short Film Festival Assistant

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They Live

Wednesday 31 October (20.30)

Featuring the most successful wrestler turned actor, Rowdy Roddy Piper (The Rock? Who?) They Live is an absolute classic. Aside from the fact that it is still startlingly relevant today, it is full of amazing one-liners and has one of the best fight scenes in film history. Whenever I get a little sad that Roddy Piper is no longer with us I just remember that his charisma and kick ass fighting spirit lives on through this wonderful film and that is something we can all be grateful for. 

Chris Kumar
Festival Programme Assistant

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Make Me Up + Q&A 

Sunday 14 October (12.50)

I’m really excited to see artist Rachel Maclean’s first feature film (sadly one of the last projects produced by NVA that has recently closed down). Her deceivingly dark  films are both delicious and disgusting, filled with politics amongst the sugar sweet visuals. Also, Rachel is always brilliant in a Q&A so that will be a treat too.

Adam Castle
Film Audience Network (FAN) Training Co-ordinator

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CineMasters: Park Chan-wook

I was excited to find out that this October’s CineMasters programme is celebrating the work of Park Chan-wook and I’m particularly looking forward to enjoying the so-called “Vengeance Trilogy” - Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance

These three films aren’t linked by narrative or characters, but instead share the central theme of revenge (surprisingly!), each focusing on the lead character’s quest for retribution with a few twists and turns on the way. Oldboy was my introduction to South Korean cinema and quickly became one of my favourite films – steeped in mystery, violence and intrigue, it kept me gripped throughout before reaching one of the most memorable film finales I’ve ever seen. 

Sadly, I’ve not yet had the chance to enjoy Sympathy for Mr Vengeance or Lady Vengeance so this month I’m planning on revisiting an old favourite whilst hopefully adding another two to the list!

Kirsty Campbell
Development Manager

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I Am Not Your Negro + Q&A

Thursday 18 October (18.00)

I am really looking forwards to our screening of I Am Not Your Negro as part of Black History Month. I first saw this film earlier last year and left my comfy cinema seat feeling very uncomfortable. This profound, provocative film left me feeling heavy and havering around the question, just how far has the race conversation evolved?! It’s been 50 years since the civil rights movement and how has the narrative changed. Whose stories are we hearing the most and is this for the right reasons?

I am hopeful this screening attracts a range of people who either saw the film last year, or who are seeing it for the first time, so that we can experience this important documentary together, and get to better grips with where Scotland is at in the race conversation right now.

Jodie Wilkinson
Public Engagement Coordinator

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First Man

Friday 12 - Thursday 25 October

Neil Armstrong didn’t really go to the moon. Stanley Kubrick filmed a fake moon landing somewhere in the Nevada desert. We know this from The Shining when Kubrick dressed Danny in the Apollo 11 jumper. It was a subtle apology for hoodwinking the majority of the world.

Nevertheless, I am still very much looking forward to First Man.  I’ve really enjoyed both Whiplash and La La Land from Chazelle and in my personal opinion you can’t go wrong with Gosling. Fact or fiction, it looks like it will be an intense and in-depth look into the life of Armstrong.  I expect it to be emotional, patriotically American and slightly cheesy when he tells us “it’s one small step for man...” but I am sure I’ll still cry. 

Laura Lawson
Festival Industry Coordinator

Tell us in the comments, what are you most looking forward to this month? 


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