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Glasgow Film Festival 2024

Whether you live in Glasgow or are passing through, celebrating 20 years of the GFF by taking in a movie or soaking up the party atmosphere is highly recommended. We’ll see you at the GFT!

One of the biggest UK events of its kind, the Glasgow Film Festival this year marks its 20th birthday. There will be celebrations in various venues around the city, including the annual film quiz and a ceilidh. A wonderful line-up of films of all genres, styles, and countries of origin awaits the avid moviegoer. As you read this, the GFF will be in full swing, so here are our picks of the latter part of the festival.

The biggest star to grace Glasgow this year is none other than Viggo Mortensen, aka the iconic Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The move from acclaimed actor to director has been natural for Mortensen: his new film, The Dead Don’t Hurt, is a western with romance set against a brutal time. The picture sounds beautifully shot, tragic, and violent.

For those who love the documentary form, the GFF has you covered with two docs about legendary cultural figures. Billy Connolly: Big Banana Feet documents the comic at the height of his powers, during a 1975 Irish tour, and Opus: Ryuichi Sakamoto captures one of the legendary composer’s final concerts before his death last year. Both films sound like they convey the genius of their subjects with aplomb.

Billy Connolly: Big Banana Feet, Directed by Murray Grigor and Patrick Higson

Southeast Asian cinema is still going strong, and the latest offering from actor and director Jason Yu sounds promising. Sleep is a psychological horror with echoes of genre staples such as The Babadook: a young couple’s domestic bliss is disrupted by an unseen force. Only the River Flows is a grimy neo-noir murder mystery from China with a rich seam of dark humour. Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai’s 90s queer cinema classic Happy Together also gets a special screening.

Only The River Flows, Directed by Shujun Wei

From our own Scottish shores comes the world premiere of Tummy Monster, a blackly humorous psychological thriller that sounds as bizarre as it is wildly entertaining. In that vein, The Invisible Fight and Baby Assassins 2 Babies will whet the action fans’ appetite, with both featuring a hefty dose of off-the-wall style.

Tummy Monster, Directed by Ciaran Lyons.

The FrightFest is always a part of the GFF that generates buzz and sells a lot of tickets, and this year will be no different. The Deep Dark looks to be a claustrophobic creature feature with The Descent vibes, and if it’s half as scary as that classic, you’re in for a treat. Kill Your Lover takes the body horror route, with the plot revolving around a toxic relationship.

Closing gala Janey is an intimate documentary whose subject is Glasgow’s own comedian Janey Godley. The film  intersperses footage of her recent tour with interviews and stories, in the wake of her cancer diagnosis. Expect belly laughs and a deep dive into her colourful yet troubled life.

Whether you live in Glasgow or are passing through, celebrating 20 years of the GFF by taking in a movie or soaking up the party atmosphere is highly recommended. We’ll see you at the GFT!

The Glasgow Film Festival runs from 28th February till 10th March.

Main Image: The Dead Don’t Hurt, Directed by Viggo Mortensen.

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