Friday  June 15th


I have not yet decided which part of this summer I am enjoying the most so far. The wind, the rain or the permanent chill in the air the choice goes on and on, stopping short only when it comes to warmth, sunshine and balmy evenings more traditionally-or perhaps that should be delusionally- associated with summer. All this caring for the environment by recycling, repackaging, re-usable carrier bags going to the bottle bank etc. is to little avail if the way the environment repays us is with such awful weather. I have even been known to wear the same outfit twice in public in some misguided attempt at preserving or conserving something and still it rains constantly. The constant wind and damp necessitate the use of hair spray and other products so it really is a Catch 22 situation.

Let us hope that the weather brightens up a little for the Edinburgh International Film Festival starting next Wednesday and continuing until July 1st. At least this year under the guidance of a new artistic director Chris Fujiwara some evidence of a film festival taking place will be apparent after last years understated- read dull-effort at stripping things back to basics. There will be some return to the glitz and glamour which most associate with the movie world and whilst it is not the most important thing-the films need to stand up on their own merits- it gives it a much needed sense of mystique and prestige to an event which last year passed by almost unnoticed.

So far on my must see list are the new William Friedkin film Killer Joe, which also acts as  festival opener, Anton Corbijn’s Inside Out, Future My Love, Demain and God Bless America. I will be posting a more comprehensive post regarding the films on show at the beginning of the week and, of course, reviews will be arriving for the duration of the festival on a daily basis.

Interestingly a film I saw at the Film Festival two years ago the Film Festival Blank City only made it into the cinema this week. A rivetting document about the New York No Wave scene it has amazing rarely-if ever- seen footage about scenesters-Debbie Harry, Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi- whose myth and legend hangs heavy and unrecognised over our cultural landscape. If you get a chance to see this film or at least the DVD then I strongly recommend that you do. A full review can be found here.

This last week saw a great performance by local band Her Royal Highness at the Voodoo Rooms who have stepped up a gear with their act and pursued their avant-garde leanings rather than sticking to the uber-pop aesthetic many were expecting. Full review here. Rumblings are also being heard around town about Opium Kitchen fronted by ex-Scar Robert King and his equally talented cohorts. From the brief snippets I have heard they are an extremely interesting proposition. Definitely one to watch out for in the coming months and I will keep you informed of any updates. It is good to see Edinburgh’s live music scene throwing up such an interesting mix at the same time its club scene is dying a slow and drawn out death. Power to live music!

I also visited an amazing shop called Iconic in the Grassmarket this week which was inspiring on several levels. More of an experience than a shop it houses a treasure trove of objects, memorabilia, design classic and things you previously thought existed in your imagination or at least the darkest recesses of your memory. A great place to pick up a gift which will allow you as much fun in choosing it as the recipient will get when they receive it. A more detailed insight into this emporium of treaures can be found here.

The Institute gallery in Marchmont is another venue which also has a lot of interesting things going on almost on a weekly basis. This week saw a collaborative exhibition by two different photographers –Ross Fraser McLean and Rima Otilia Qvale- which involved both choosing works from each others portfolio and presenting the results as a collective work. Curated by Talia Moscovitz who talked-and talked- about the concepts, theories and evolving results of such a process it was an interesting insight into how an exhibition arrives at its destination and how those involved feel about having their own work selected by another who is obviously approaching it from a different perspective and a more objective point of view.

That is it for this weeks round up and as noted before the QT will be covering the EIFF and all its attendees and attendant parties almost as soon as they occur. Or at least the parts of them which can be remembered!

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