1996 Edinburgh Film Festival Diaries
Edinburgh Diary - Day 12
Debut no-budget feature "Eliminator" has been heavily promoted
by its makers, so I take a look first thing. This action spoof does not
make my day. I know, however, that many good filmmakers had equally dubious
beginnings. Peter Jackson, director of 'Frighteners', started with 'Bad
Taste', a no-budget horror/schlock that took years to finish.
Next I make for a print-rehearsal of Angelica Huston's "Bastard Out
of Carolina". There are less than a dozen in the audience of a very
large cinema. The film is incredibly moving. I don't find the graphic representation
of sexual abuse anywhere near as disturbing as the emotional truth at the
core of the film. "Bastard Out of Carolina" is a melodrama; after
all, it was made for TV, but it is beyond the movie-of-the-week tear-jerking
genre. Huston's aim is true and I cry buckets.
This is not a movie to take your girlfriend to, it is a movie your sister
and your mother should see. For once the complicity of families, including
mothers, in the matter of incest is shown on the screen. It is also good
to see Jennifer Jason Leigh stretching, and young actor Jena Malone is extraordinary
in a role that would be demanding for the most seasoned professional.
Recovering from "Bastard Out of Carolina" could take half a day,
but I have an interview with director Nick Broomfield and his producer Michele
D'Acosta. They are here to promote "Fetishes", Broomfield's latest
documentary in which he moves away from his normal habit of pursuing his
subject. Instead Broomfield documents the activities of an up-market S&M
I am interested in Broomfield's choice of material - dysfunctional women
with power - given three earlier documentaries on Margaret Thatcher, Heidi
Fleiss, and serial killer Eileen Wuornos. Broomfield is uncomfortable with
this line of enquiry. It is not surprising that those of us who make a living
out of questioning and editorializing others get squeamish when the tables
Another party at 8 PM. This one is for the launch of something to do with
Liverpool and producer Nik Powell's new feature. I do try to get to grips
with the reason for the party as I wait for the room to fill but - like
everyone else - abandon all pretense once the first glass of wine reaches
my lips. One of my guardian angels introduces me to director Gillies Mckinnon
who is a lovely man but refuses to gossip on the basis that I might repeat
it. I consider losing my press pass.
A few hours later I return to the same room en route for the party of the
night. The Evening Standard is throwing a BIG party with really heavy security
and everyone wants to go. Freshly shucked oysters, champagne, beer, vodka,
hotdogs, hamburgers, haircuts, pinball, and much bonhomie are freely available
I am in bed by 4 AM.
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