Today: April 10, 2024

Bowie Celebrated At Glasgow Film Festival

Glasgow Film Festival today announced their twelfth annual programme: an exciting, innovative, audience-focused festival packed with UK, European and World premieres, and the festival’s trademark pop-up cinema events making new use of some of the city’s most unusual venues. As previously announced, GFF16, which runs from 17-28 February 2016 and is supported by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, EventScotland, Creative Scotland and BFI, will open with the UK Premiere of Hail, Caesar! by Ethan & Joel Coen, and close with the UK Premiere of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s Oscar-nominated Anomalisa.  With 308 separate events and screenings and 174 films, this is one of the largest programmes the festival has fielded.

GFF is delighted to welcome a number of very special guests, including Richard Gere, supporting the UK premiere of his new film Time Out Of Mind, in which he plays a homeless man, possibly suffering from mental illness, adrift in New York. Natalie Dormer, best known for Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, walks the red carpet for the UK premiere of The Forest; director Ben Wheatley will also be in attendance for the Scottish premiere of High-Rise, the high-profile adaptation of JG Ballard’s dystopian novel starring Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller. Veteran arthouse director Peter Greenaway and über-stuntman Vic Armstrong will also be taking part in In Person events discussing their careers. Full list of confirmed guests below; further guest announcements will be made closer to the festival.

Other major UK premieres this year include Demolition, the new film from Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, Louder Than Bombs, the Cannes Palme d’Or nominee directed by Joachim Trier and starring Gabriel Byrne and Jesse Eisenberg, Sing Street, the new Dublin-set musical by Once writer/director John Carney, the brilliant, Oscar-nominated Mustang, Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s labour-of-love Miles Davis film, and the new Disney animation Zootropolis, created by the minds behind Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled. The programme of high-profile new films also includes Cannes Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, Norway’s Oscar entry, action-thriller The Wave, Miguel Gomes’ utterly majestic trilogy Arabian Nights, multi-award-winning indie James White, Truth, Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett’s tense take on the 60 Minutes George W Bush scandal, and Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s blistering follow-up to Blue Ruin, starring Sir Patrick Stewart playing against type as the leader of a neo-Nazi group. GFF is also thrilled to host the world premiere of Hamish, a documentary about Scottish poet, songwriter and intellectual Hamish Henderson.

Glasgow Film Festival is renowned for its special events and ‘total film’ experiences, where classic films are reinterpreted in unique and iconic settings, and this year’s programme brings a number of films celebrating significant anniversaries to life off the screen in some legendary Glasgow venues – in fact, it’s possible to have a different film experience in a different, iconic venue every night of the festival. While the all-action screenings of Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Silence Of The Lambs at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum sold out within days of being announced in December, the festival still has some aces up its sleeve, with a different and unusual experience possible every single night of the festival. Teen romantics of all ages might like to recreate the vibrant mid-nineties glamour of the Capulet masked ball from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (complete with fishtank and cocktails served in poison vials) in city-centre mansion house Trades Hall; wannabe newshounds can celebrate the fortieth anniversary of biting media satire Network in BBC Scotland’s hub at Pacific Quay, after hours. Thelma & Louise is 25 years old this year, and in celebration of those gals GFF invites you to travel to Glasgow’s own Deep South for a pre-screening line-dancing session at the Grand Ole Opry, Europe’s largest Country & Western Saloon. Or why not abandon all control and be hustled aboard the GFF prison bus, where you’ll be handed a regulation orange jumpsuit, handcuffed, and taken to a top-secret location for a very special screening of Con Air…?

Further highlights from the programme, along with comment from directors and funders, can be found below. Tickets for the main festival programme are on sale from 10am on Monday 25 January. The full brochure will be available online from 19.15 on Wednesday 20 January at Further guests attending will be announced nearer to the festival date.

The festival programme had been finalised well before the sad news of David Bowie’s death had been announced; by coincidence festival-goers have a number of chances to pay their respects to the man for whom the Sound & Vision programme strand was named. D A Pennebaker’s concert film of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (regularly named as one of the best live music films ever made) screens late night on Saturday 20 February, preceded by the documentary short Let’s Dance: Bowie Down Under, which follows the Thin White Duke in the early 1980s. GFF will also be using the Glasgow Planetarium for the first time, as you shoot out to space for a fortieth anniversary screening of The Man Who Fell To Earth (Tue 23 Feb), preceded by a guided tour through the galaxy and experimental Argentinean short film Contraluz, which was designed specially for the Planetarium’s 360° screen. A fittingly beautiful, outlandish and out-of-this-world salute to Bowie’s definitive film role as visiting alien Thomas Jerome Newton.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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