Tuesday 22 May 2012

ID Fest 2012 - Preview

The Cannes Film Festival may now be in  full swing over on the French riviera, but who needs all that travel? This weekend I'm going to be visiting a festival in an equally glamourous and sun-kissed location; Derby.

You can check out the full programme here, but what follows is a rundown of the events and screenings I'm most eager to see, should you be at all interested in what I'm up to this weekend.

A bi-annual festival that covers different themes of identity (specifically this year, heroes) it all kicks off at Derby's QUAD cinema this Thursday with a screening of Get Carter along with a conversation with the film's director, Mike Hodges, as well as a showing of OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. Personally, I'd be more inclined to see OSS just for the sheer unabashed entertainment value, but the chance to see Mike Hodges speak about his filmography is one that many wouldn't want to miss. 

On Friday the action begins with a screening of this year's Bafta nominated short films, including the Michael Fassbender starring winner, Pitch Black Heist. Continuing the retrospective of Mike Hodges work, there is a screening of his 1974 film, the Michael Crichton adaptation The Terminal Man. Having seen the trailer, this looks like some freaky shit.

As well as Mike Hodges, the festival is honouring the recently departed Ken Russell with a selection of screenings. Showing the rarely seen documentary Angels and Devils before wading deep into Russell's work with an interview with his biographer and a screening of his classic rock-opera, Tommy. If that's not your sort of thing, the Italian produced Rupert Everett starring erotic zombie movie Dellamorte Dellamore is bound to be good for a gore filled chuckle.

Saturday has a packed schedule, including more rare screenings and some interesting Q&A's. A screening of 1973's The Outfit has caught my eye, a sequel of sorts to John Boorman's Point Blank and a revenge thriller through and through. If the festival wants to question the role of a hero in film, this looks like a pretty good film to help do that. The jewel in the crown of the entire festival is an 'illustrated seminar' with Paddy Considine about his approach to directing actors. With only one directorial feature under his belt, Considine might seem to be an interesting choice, but just the chance to hear him talk about his work (emcee'd by the always entertaining Chris Hewitt) will be worth the price of a ticket alone. Personally, I'd be intrigued to hear if he thinks Peter Mullan's character in Tyrannosaur fits the hero mould.

Later in the afternoon is another excellent film to examine the role of the hero in film, the 1968 superhero/spy caper, Danger: Diabolik. Follow that with a screening of John Cusack's Grosse Pointe Blank and you've got a double bill of complex and morally dubious anti-heroes.

There's also a conversation with Brian Blessed (whose name I have to stop myself from writing in all caps) about his work, followed by a screening of his magnum opus, Flash Gordon. Saturday rounds up with the choice of a screening of Paul Verhoeven's Robocop, or an advanced screening of Ti West's The Innkeepers, which from the look of the trailer, is bound to cause more than a few sleepless nights.

Closing out the festival on Sunday, one of the most intriguing parts of the schedule is a screening of FW Murnau's silent classic, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, brought to us in collaboration with HopeLies.com. As well as a screening of Psycho and a masterclass on the films of Sergio Leone (by the confusingly but impressively titled Professor Sir Christopher Frayling), there'll also be a live podcast recording which encourages people to contribute, should that be your sort of thing. The festival finally comes to a close on Sunday night with a choice of either a screening of Sergio Leone's epic western Once Upon A Time In The West, or what may be the more palatable after a whole weekend of film watching, a nice relaxing (read: fight to the death) film quiz.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about this festival is their desire to capture the opinion of me and my brethren; known to you and I as the lowly film blogger. As well as the aforementioned HopeLies, Derby Quad's resident expert Simon Kinnear (aka Kinnemaniac) will be in attendance, as will The Wooden Kimono and A Mighty Fine Blog with their excellent podcast Shot/Reverse Shot. If you haven't listened to it yet, it's highly recommended by me. There will also a bunch of other bloggers in attendance (including some of the big guns like Empire and Little White Lies), so for easy links to their sites, the festival website has provided a handy page that should point you in the right direction.

If you want to follow my journey through the festival, check back here for regular updates or, as always, you can catch me on twitter.

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