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Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010: Day One

EIFF.gifSo the first day at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2010 came and went, and it was a real mixed bag, currently sitting at 1-1 for good versus bad for films, but more on that in a moment.

From the festival side things were good. I may be sporting the beginning of a bad cold but the day was enjoyable for the most part, the staff very pleasant, the goodies surprisingly good, and everything seeming a notch up from last year.

The Videoteque is where we can watch films that have been stored digitally; if industry types like buyers or press want to catch a film and have missed the few press screenings they can nip down here into a darkened basement and watch what they like.

This year the EIFF have stepped things up a notch once again by ensuring just about every film is available on the list, there are a few that aren't on there but the numbers are very high, and that makes seeing more films even easier. Well done EIFF.

In the swag bag there are the usual offers, festival brochure, but this year there's a nice book with loads of contact details for delegates and other important details, as well as a little notebook and pen, nicely done.

The staff were very friendly and the two screenings I went to see today went without a hitch. So what were they?

The Last Rites of Ransom Pride was a terrible film, and it was getting worse and worse. Some couldn't stay but a lot of us did to give the film a fair chance, but it didn't happen. I wouldn't recommend going to see it. It's a western that's trying to be something else, perhaps too much, and the editing and style take over from it so much that it just doesn't work.

Monsters on the other hand, the second film I saw today, was a lot better and I really liked it. It's a clever film that tackles a huge issue on a very small and personal scale. The beauty of it, I think, is not the obvious message that runs through it, but the way the relationship between the two leads plays out, they way they act together, the dialogue and the natural feel between them. Then there's the fact that it does do well avoiding all the Hollywood ploys I had been expecting.

Provisional reviews for day one:
The Last Rites of Ransom Pride: One Star
Monsters: Four Stars and a Filmstalker Recommends

Drugs, writing and sleep. See you all tomorrow for day two. In the meantime here are the relevant messages across the social webosphere from and to Filmstalker, and you can always see the reviews and news stories from EIFF 2010 right here.

Filmstalker's Day One at the EIFF on the web:
: Facebook : Facebook Filmstalker Page
08:21: PingFM: Well #edfilmfest #eiff (not sure which is the "official" hashtag) hitting The Last Rites of Ransom Pride and Monsters for first press day

09:48: PingFM: Bus driver nipping off for a pee...a little delay for getting to the #eiff #edfilmfest press office and get my hands on that VTQ list.

10:19: PingFM: Confirmed, no press screening and no digital copy of Mr Nice for press to see at #eiff #edfilmfest strange isn't it?
Suma Das: I went to see a first cut of Mr Nice last year and I'd have to say it wasn't impressive at all...
6 hours ago
Stuart Wood: Rare that this happens, so a bad omen...
3 hours ago
Filmstalker: That maybe explains it, sad though, I was hopinng for a lot from that film.

10:22: PingFM: Just received my press pack for the #eiff #edfilmfest now off for a coffee, look through the freebies, and the first film

10:40: Foursquare: At the usual hangout during the #eiff #edfilmfest if anyone wants a meet, I'll be around here and the cinemas! (@ Costa Coffee)

11:02 Foursquare: Hitting The Last Rites of Ransom Pride screen 1 then Monster in screen 2 back to back. Should have eaten. #edfilmfest #eiff (@ Filmhouse)

14:32: PingFM: Quick update for #eiff #edfilmfest The Last Rites of Ransom Pride was horrendous and shoulld be avoided for sanity.

14:34: PingFM: Second film of the day at #eiff #edfilmfest was Monsters which was really rather cool and much more thoughtful than you might think.

14:39: Twitter: EGHoughton: yeah really enjoyed it. Very cool indeed.

15:06: Twitter: VTQ shuts at 3pm today!! #eiff #edfilmfest Monsters was cool.

15:09: Twitter: : Not what I expected at all. Still mulling it over too, which is a very good sign.

15:13: Twitter: Bodzy85: Hey, it can't get much worse than Ransom Pride.

15:19: Twitter: Woodo79: I know I said I was determined to find the worst of the Fest. Didn't expect it to be second movie on Day 1, lol.

15:20: Twitter: There might be another Boogie Woogie to surprise us yet!

15:24: Twitter: I thought we just had it. Is The Last Rites of Ransom Pride the new Boogie Woogie? #eiff #edfilmfest

15:25: Twitter: Woodo79: If Ransom Pride is the new Boogie Woogie, whats the new Long Weekend????

15:27: Twitter: Yeah, to be fair it really couldn't get any worse could it? Surely this means everything from now is going to be a winner?
Oh no, I retract that, Ransom Pride is the new Long Weekend!

15:37: Twitter: Bodzy85: oh god! The Long Weekend!

15:43: Twitter: El_Duderino81: Long Weekend was marginally ok, although a redundant remake. Can judge Ransom Pride on Fri night...

16:05: Twitter: : What, the deadly dead sea cow moving 2 foot a night? That was a long weekend indeed!

16:05: Twitter: Pistolerosa: What is the point of bloggers going on twitter to bad mouth a film after a press screening at #edfilmfest? Grow up or give your pass back.

16:08: Twitter: I think that's quite clear because we're here to talk about the films good and bad and promote discussion. #edfilmfest

16:13: Twitter: El_Duderino81: Haha! Original better but atmosphere was (just about) there. I can completely understand loathing it though.

16:15: Twitter: Tell us what you think, although I was told we shouldn't say anything about bad films and leave the fest!

17:06: Twitter: Pistolerosa: Question stands. Why not wait until actual paying customers are having an actual discussion?

17:49: Twitter: Because I'm not out to try and ensure paying customers avoid the film, I'm out to discuss it with anyone who have seen it.

17:50: Twitter: I also think you miss the entire point of being press and being able to review films for people who trust your opinion.


So the “discussion” went on. I say discussion but really it was the old case of a “journalist” looking down their noses at bloggers who obviously have no right to be writing and discussing film, after all they are just the audience.

21:50: Twitter: Pistolerosa: That's the 'entire point' of reviewing in Metro. Never has been the 'entire point' at a fest.

07:06: Twitter: I see it's because I'm a blogger I'm not entitled to review films at a festival the way I want. Didn't realise there were rules

07:31: Twitter: Pistolerosa: And we're done.

07:32: Twitter: Wow, talk about looking down at people. Arrogance and elitism are not very nice traits you know.

...and that was that. So in summary, the journalist believes that bloggers shouldn’t write or talk about bad films at festivals, he believes that the audience should pay the festival ticket prices to go and see the bad film even though the bloggers know it's bad.

Strange that the “journalist” displays the standard traits of a “troll” online when he’s rating himself above bloggers and the Metro. He needles, is arrogant and belittling and rather insulting, typical of the type of person who finds that freed of the face to face connection on the Internet, they can behave in a terrible manner.

No matter. I reviewed the film anyway, and while this kind of attitude really does make me sad for some people, it's a passing thought and I'll move on and continue. As I was.



i agree with you entirely richard us bloggers have got every right to review movies we also provide a 'service' that the mainstream ass kissing media meant to do. Its also the fear that we wont give decent reviews to the movies mainstream media want us to say, its all jealousy, so big thumbs up mate i got it at the glasgow fest a little as well.
sorry im not with you in edinburgh, i was working in greece right up to last week and missed all the press accredation so couldnt come through, if you want to show any of your festival diaries/reviews on my blog would be cool, anyway enjoy the fest, ill try come to one or 2 movies, if not next year ill b there!!

Thanks Paul. I did get that attitude once before, way back when I started, but since then I've not had it in public, just now and again in conversations face to face.

I was going to say sorry to hear you aren't here, but then it sounds like you're having a holiday, so lucky you!

Let's have a chat, maybe we could do something abridged for your site, you probably don't want my usual huge ramblings!!



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