Saturday night saw the 66th Film Festival close with a showing of new Disney movie Brave followed by a party at Cargo where industry insiders, press and actors all gathered for a shindig which was supposed to close the event in style. Unfortunately it did not quite live up to the hype-unless you count numerous black suits and gaudy, frilly dresses accessorised with matching ‘look at me I’m a slag’ shoes and nails as stylish- but was instead unfashionably dull.
After slightly less than an hour of talking to probably the only other handful of attendees who had not had a charisma bypass I made my way up to the Institute in Marchmont where there was the first public screening of a film by renowned photographer Gavin Evans called ‘The Audition’. This proved to be a far superior way of rounding off the Festival as well as a glimpse at some major ‘A’ List stars giving brief, spontaneous and –seemingly- unrehearsed performances. The fact that Evans was able to call on the favours of such luminaries of the calibre of Daniel Craig, Samuel L Jackson, Ewan Mcgregor, Richard Wilson, Derek Jacobi, Michael Sheen as well as one of the very last performances by Oliver Reed indicates how highly he is regarded in his field.
The film itself, shot in 1999, consisted of thirty odd brief scenes wherein facing the camera head on each of the actors auditions for the part of a lover- the interviewees are two teenage girls- and each approaches the part with a different perspective whether it be salacious, hesitant, sleazy or simply full on confrontational. It is a hilarious expose which shows even those at the top of their game are able to laugh at themselves and improvise on the spot. Everyone will have their own personal favourites- Samuel L Jackson and Daniel Craig were mine- and it is beautifully shot in an almost hazy like atmosphere where the actors seem to drift in on a cloud and then back out again as if they have never actually been there. This only adds to the fantasy element having so many recognisable faces chat us-the audience- up.
This may have been the evening’s central attraction but it was preceded by a set by regular contributors Electric Café. It was then succeeded by an impromptu party by the film attendees which saw the night take on a party atmosphere with spontaneous live music provided by one participant. Definitely a far superior option than the official festival closing party and if Evans does decide to show ‘The Audition’ again- and plans are indicating he will- then I suggest that this time you do not miss it.
A trailer can be seen by clicking the link below
The Institute is at 14 Roseneath Street, Marchmont, Edinburgh. EH9 1JH
The Audition is showing every night at 10pm for the duration of the Fringe.
Free entry, licenced until 10pm and featuring the ‘Naked Touch ‘ exhibition.