The Kid, another one of those A Child Called “It” type tales. An abusive childhood, being moved from foster home to foster home, more family drama, a troubled transition to adulthood, and all kinds of dirty dealings along the way. For me it was a bit like a pendulum swing, I cared, then I didn’t, then I was impressed, then I wasn’t. At once dramatic and melodramatic, it was a good story, but didn’t have much in it that you haven’t heard before. If you like those kinds of stories, it’s worth a watch.
After ducking into the wrong cinema for the title sequence of Lola (magical!), I quickly joined The Good Heart, which stars Brian Cox and Paul Dano. Set in New York (without the glitz), it’s the story of a curmudgeonly old man and the young homeless kid with a big heart who becomes his hospital roommate. It’s a humorous drama with a guest appearance from David Cross and – my favourite part – a pet duck. Need I say more? If you’re only going to watch one Dano film this year, I’d go with The Extra Man, but The Good Heart is a good shout.
After an afternoon of leisurely work and a damn good burrito, I headed over to Hair of the Dog at the delegate centre. It’s an hour for relaxing and networking, which on this particular day was followed by the Delegate Film Quiz. An excellent time as always, although my team, The All Day Breakfast Club, was in the lead until we blew an entire round on a gamble. Who knew George Clooney wasn’t the only superstar from Kentucky?
A week in and still going strong! The summer solstice treated us to a frankly ridiculous 18+ hours of daylight but it was absolutely roasting.
It was a long afternoon with lots of work to be done, so I didn’t make it to any screenings until 5pm. In the meantime, though, I interviewed Mike McCarthy on Cigarette Girl, Amy Hardie on The Edge of Dreaming (one of the Best of the Fest to be rescreened on Sunday), and the incredibly cool John Stalberg, director of stoner-comedy HIGH School.
After all that, I headed down to the Cineworld for The Brothers Quay Animation Event. Despite having grown up in Pennsylvania and studying animation at Philadelphia College of Art, the identical twins reinvented themselves as esoteric animated filmmakers with a strong Polish influence. Three films were screened: a documentary and two animated films, followed by a discussion with Stephen and Timothy Quay. The event rounded off with a screening of their newly-finished film Maska.
Mr Nice followed, with a premiere screening and introduction from Howard Marks – notorious drug dealer and the subject of the film – alongside leading man Rhys Ifans, co-star David Thewlis, and director Bernard Rose. They also returned for a brief Q&A session after the film. The film itself didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. It’s a well-constructed biopic which glides through 25 years of Marks’ life; but the storyline was predictable with little tension and not much to set it apart from fictional films on the same topic. Ifans was excellent, though, and if it’s your kind of thing it may well be worth a watch.