Friday, 13 February 2009

GFF Opening Gala

I attended the opening gala of the Glasgow Film Festival last night. The GFT had a red carpet laid out on the way in and through to the foyer. There were several photographers in action, lifting their cameras when someone came across the red carpet and dropping them again when they turned out to be no one.

Glue's photographer of choice Heidi was one of them and I'm sure she'll have some pics up on her site soon.

There were sundry complimentary drinks on offer. More accurately complimentary fizzy wine, no soft drinks that I could see. When I got into the cinema there were goodie bags on every seat. At first glance it appeared that someone had gone round pubs in Glasgow and chucked all the free magazines and brochures they could find into a cloth sack, on closer inspection however there were a couple of all right things in there.

A miniature Auchentoshan whisky, two copies of The List magazine (one to read, one for the bin), several vouchers for two for ones in fancy coffee shops, free passes for some club or other, a promotional DVD on Glasgow and a bottle of still lemonade. There was also two free passes to visit the Auchentoshan Distillery and that I may well do.

Although the time on the ticket said 7.15 by 7.30 the film was still nowhere near starting and the folk in my row were repeatedly getting up to go and get more free wine. This of course meant that I was constantly lifting up my jacket, bag and free bag of junk.

By 8 o'clock we got the opening speeches from the festival directors, then by some dignitaries. Finally Armando Iannucci came up to the mic to introduce his film and reminisce about "Dogging maths to come in here to see Felicity Kendall do a talk."

The film that I was there to see was, of course, In The Loop. Although not strictly a film version of The Thick of It, it does share a couple of characters and several actors.

It was abolsutely brilliant from the first scene on. Peter Capaldi is outstanding in his role as Malcolm Tucker. The rest of the cast too are on form from Tom Hollander as the hapless, bungling minister to Chris Addison, David Rasche, James Gandolfini, Paul Higgins and Gina McKie.

With the story crossing over into Washington it was interesting to see Tucker come up against Americans who don't have the same fear for him that his colleagues in London do.

After the screening there was an entertaining Q & A with Iannucci, Capaldi and Addison along with the writers and producers.

This is Iannucci's Sundance film diary when the film premiered over there.

On my way out I stopped to listen in to a row between two men probably both in middle age. One of them was shouting to the other that he had ruined the film for him by talking all the way through it. There appeared to be a half-hearted challenge to 'Take it outside'. One of them nearly spilled their free wine.

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