Things are look­ing up at Ed­in­burgh Film Fes­ti­val

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - By Don­ald Clarke dclarke@irish­times.com

We’re cross­ing our fin­gers and trust­ing that, af­ter a pe­riod of de­cline, the Ed­in­burgh Film Fes­ti­val is on the way up again. The pro­gramme was an­nounced on Wed­nes­day and jewels abound.

There is plenty of do­mes­tic in­ter­est. Paul Duane and David Cairns’s ex­cel­lent Natan, a study of French cin­ema pi­o­neer Bernard Natan, will be un­spooled to lucky pun­ters. Chris­tine Mol­loy and Joe Lawlor, founders of the Ir­ish art pro­ject Des­per­ate Op­ti­mists, fol­low up Helen, their fea­ture de­but, with a drama about iden­tity called Mis­ter John. Stephen Brown’s adap­ta­tion of John Banville’s The Sea stars the un­stop­pable Ciarán Hinds as an art his­to­rian re­turn­ing to the town where he spent ear­lier sum­mers.

High-pro­file re­leases re­ceiv­ing their first Euro­pean out­ing in­clude Sofia Cop­pola’s The Bling Ring, Noah Baum­bach’s Frances Ha and Kyle Pa­trick Al­varez’s COG.

The fes­ti­val launches with Breathe In, Drake Dore­mus’s fol­low-up to his much-ad­mired Like Crazy. Felic­ity Jones, star of that 2011 film, re­turns as a mu­sic stu­dent who be­comes in­volved with her teacher.

There will be a fo­cus on Swedish and Korean cin­ema.

The Michael Pow­ell Award for best Bri­tish film – can­celled for no good rea­son a few years back – is once again up for pre­sen­ta­tion.

So the omens are good, and it all kicks off on June 19th. See ed­film­fest.org.uk

Emma Wat­son in Sofia Cop­pola’s The Bling Ring

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