Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Edinburgh Film Festival Diaries
Edinburgh Diary - Day 2

by Christine Harris-Smyth

August 12, 1996

Getting up isn't as easy as I would like. I have to meet "Dragonheart" digital effects supervisor Euan MacDonald in the Crush Bar of the Sheraton Hotel which isn't as luxurious or as full as the name might imply. Thankfully Euan is equally tired although of course neither of us had drunk to excess on the previous evening - Edinburgh just wears you ragged.

We talk of digital dragons, dinosaurs and virtual actors, then I take my leave and Euan gets back to the business of being a modest local hero.

My first film of the festival (and only film of the day) is Gillies MacKinnon's "Trojan Eddie" starring Richard Harris (remember "Camelot", "MacArthur's Park") and Stephen Rea. Rea is the 'Trojan Eddie' of the title, a likeable loser who is in the service of the charismatic but rather nasty self-appointed King of the tinkers (Irish gypsies). Trojan Eddie is the first unlikely hero I encounter - there will be more.

Totally tired and slightly feverish, I put myself to bed mid-afternoon with every intention of getting up to see the new REM road movie "Feeling Called Live". I drag myself from my lodgings in Fountainbridge (the road in which GOD - Sean Connery to you and I - was born) to find that the film is not to be screened. I am sure that I saw handouts to that effect earlier in the day but didn't register the meaning. I then attempt to purchase tickets to a late night screening which isn't on for another week. I am now convinced (as are the ticket sellers) I am not at my best.

Nevertheless a bus is passing going towards the city. I hop on and go in search of life outside the film festival. I find a bookshop open - buy some tacky souvenirs including a wee plastic Scotsman and some temporary Celtic tattoos. The authenticity of these products is of course in grave doubt. On close examination I find the tattoos hail from Canada and the wee Scotsman claims to come from Glasgow. I've looked under his kilt for the 'made in Korea' trademark to no avail. I can however confirm that he was not wearing underwear.

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