Scotland Loves Anime 2017: Preview

Each year, Scotland Loves Anime gives animation fans a chance to see an eclectic selection of Japanese fare on the big screen. This year marks the eighth instalment of the festival at Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, with tours across additional locations in Scotland to follow.

Though anime on the big screen in the UK is becoming more and more common thanks to the work of distributors like Anime Limited and National Amusements (both were behind box office hit Your Name, amongst others of late), many a notable feature slips through the gaps. As such, this year’s Scotland Loves Anime line-up is an appealing mix of wide-ranging titles for both hardcore enthusiasts and the anime novice; from European or UK premieres of new franchise entries to influential classics worth seeing big…

Full feature for The Skinny

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The Bad Batch (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2016)

In 2014, writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour made a striking debut with A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. That black-and-white vampire drama was a blend of many disparate influences, from spaghetti westerns to a Jim Jarmusch-ian brand of cinematic cool.

While Amirpour’s genre hybrid was a mixed bag in terms of lasting emotional resonance, A Girl Walks was a fully realised vision; the work of a filmmaker in complete control of their high concept. This is a trait sadly, and sorely, absent from her star-studded follow-up, The Bad Batch

Full review for SciFiNow

Una (Benedict Andrews, 2016)

A film adaptation of David Harrower’s play Blackbird has been in development for much of the decade plus since its premiere in 2005, but never quite got off the ground for various reasons. One of those may well concern the transition of a two-hander play, confined to one setting, into something more obviously ‘cinematic’. This is something Benedict Andrews, a Blackbird veteran of the stage, opens up considerably for Una, his directorial debut. There are new events, new locations, flashbacks, and new supporting characters…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Benedict Andrews on Rooney Mara’s powerful drama ‘Una’

“In retrospect, I understand what a motherfucker of a thing it is to get made.” We’re speaking to Adelaide-born, Reykjavik-based Benedict Andrews, who’s currently in London directing Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on the West End stage. The aforementioned “motherfucker” we’re here to discuss, though, is his filmmaking debut, Una, an adaptation of Scottish playwright David Harrower’s Blackbird, starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn…

Full interview for The Skinny

Five great British road movies

More than most genres, the road movie would seem to offer an easy route (sorry) for budding screenwriters. Though the individual style of a given film will differ, the basic narrative structure largely tends to stay the same. As such, it’s a little strange that the pool of notable British road movies is relatively small, especially when compared to the output of North America and mainland Europe – hell, Wim Wenders has made several entries on both continents.

Maybe it’s because the UK’s dual carriageways and motorways lack a certain cinematic appeal evidently in abundance in those other territories. Maybe it’s because few British road trips last more than a couple of hours, if you don’t mess them up. Maybe the M1 just isn’t sexy enough.

Whatever the reason, new Scottish road movie Moon Dogs, concerning a young trio journeying from Shetland to Glasgow, subsequently stands out a bit in the Brit-film marketplace. To mark its release, we decided to highlight five other British road movies, excluding documentaries, that offer either a unique spin on the genre or at least an endearing set of travelling companions…

Full feature for The Skinny

Still/Born (Brandon Christensen, 2017)

The subgenre of maternal horror gets a solid new entry from Canada in the form of Still/Born, the confident feature debut of director Brandon Christensen. There’s not a lot of innovation on display in its story (a dash of Rosemary’s Baby here, a pinch of The Babadook there), but there’s enough merit in the filmmaking itself to warrant a look…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Moon Dogs (Philip John, 2016)

Moon Dogs sees a young Scotsman, Welshman and Irishwoman venture on a road trip from Shetland to Glasgow. Michael (Parry-Jones) wants to reunite with his increasingly distant girlfriend who’s in the city for university; his stepbrother Thor (O’Donnell) wants to meet his estranged mother; Caitlin (Lee), meanwhile, is set to play at Celtic Connections. On the way, they’re involved in all kinds of silly and sexy mishaps…

Full review for The Skinny

Writing by Josh Slater-Williams