Cinema is without doubt the most popular art of our modern world. Museums are visited primarily by duty-plagued tourists; popular music is but a clamourous ruckus; books are an entertainment sadly lost on many and fine theatre is a luxury, which cannot be easily reached by the provincial. Film is entertaining, cheap, and easily accessed by folk of both urban and rural habitations. It is an art of swift movement which appeals to our poor attention spans. Most contemporary films are trivial and pointless, but others may contain great profundity and meaning. Cinema is the pinnacle of modern popular culture.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival has now reached its 62nd year. In past years the festival it corresponded in time with the hectic August Fringe. This year, however, it is to be run from 18-29 June to allow movie-goers to focus their energies on film alone. It is the last true festival around. All the others, to quote the hit King of Ping Pong (showing at the festival) are about “money, politics, and drugs.” It is the last “egalitarian” festival. The others (including Tribeca, Sundance and Cannes) have been mauled by Hollywood.
Director: Paolo Marinou-Blanco
Cast: Robert Pugh, Nuno Lopes, Rita Loureiro
September 6, 2008
An exotic place, an eccentric character and enticing story make Goodnight Irene an excellent motion picture – perhaps the best shown in the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Robert Pugh brilliantly plays an aging actor, expatriate and drunkard called Alexander Corless, who lives a life of solitude in Lisbon. No longer able to act on stage or screen, he makes his living doing voice-overs for travel films, “helping idiots from one part of the world get along with idiots from another.” He lives simply and alone until a beautiful young artist, Irene (Rita Loureiro), moves into the flat next door.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is one of the more light and high-budget films of the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival. But its trivial, whimsical air can be misleading, for the film is not bereft of its serious subtexts. Besides, superficiality can be rather calming.
The picture, as the title suggests, takes place over the of a day. It follows Miss Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand), a governess recently sacked, as she accidentally enters the employ of Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), who has no children but is in definite need of a personal secretary. Lafosse is an opportunistic actress on the rise from America, who may be classified as loose.