Glasgow Film Festival 2013: Day 1

New year, new clutch of films.

Ordinarily, the first festival which received any modicum of my attention would be Bradford, but one thing has changed that this year.

That thing was From up on Poppy Hill.

The new Studio Ghibli film, which I had an outside chance of catching midway though 2012 (but only if I snuk out of a works 'you are required to have fun' event and catch the train to London, which predictably didn't happen) was on at the Glasgow Film Festival, and I wasn't about to miss it a second time.

Fortunately, it was on on a weekend.  Just early enough on the Sunday to watch and then get back on the train to sunny Yorkshire.  We could get down and back without stepping on any work days.

So we quickly got ourselves a city centre hotel sorted out, a few cheap seat tickets on the most direct train, and on the Friday evening, hoofed the poor pup onto the parents for a few days, and set off.

Glasgow is large, and it is lumpy.  An American-style grid system of all the colours of the architectural rainbow sit atop a large and uncompromising hill - the roads approach a 1 in 3 climb in places, as we made our way up towards the Glasgow Film Theatre - the main Festival venue, and our place to stay.

The lumpiness extended to the interior of the hotel.  A sequence of interconnected Victorian houses with a hobbit-sized door knocked through for access.  Our room was functional and plain, and there was a reason the beds weren't on castors - they would have slowly rolled into the corner if they had.

It was just as well we weren't staying there for much of the day.  It was late on friday evening, and we'd just lugged our bags over hills of poorly-maintained roads.  But the festival catalogue gave us temptation, and we could not resist.

Ferris Buellers' Day Off (US) (wiki)

There wasn't much that would get us out that night, but an horrendously late night showing of the seminal 1986 comedy encouraged us to get out there.  I had only seen it as an innocent child, and remembered little about it other than the famously calamitous scene at the end. Certainly not the nightmarish day spent by the school dean (played to neurotic perfection by Jeffrey Jones) as he attempts to find proof that the endlessly charismatic student Bueller is not ill, but is in fact truanting his way around America with his friends.

I just hadn't appreciated back then just how good the film is, and this sparkling new reprint made it feel as fresh and new as a film containing a range of 80's synth hits could.  Director John Hughes, who would go on to do Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Uncle Buck makes a fresh and intelligent comedy with the audience brought along for the ride as the fourth wall is repeatedly broken by Matthew Broderick playing one of his first, and perhaps his best roles  Many nostalgic films of the period are watched because they are cheesy or naff in a so-bad-it's-good way, or just too dumb to hate but Ferris Bueller is genuinely good entertainment. 8/10

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