Posts Tagged ‘ Oh Boy ’

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013

 

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013

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Well that is it for another year then. The A-List stars have departed whilst the opening and closing galas provided a maelstrom of dramatic flourish, flamboyance and glamour to our usual grey days and the momentum of the event provided ceaseless conversations amongst the locals. Except none of the former really happened did it?

 In fact the whole event passed pretty much unnoticed to local residents- and even to me who was a participant- and if pushed for a comment many would even have failed to notice it was actually taking place. Matters weren’t even helped by the fact the weather was remarkably pleasant with sunshine days and warm balmy evenings being the norm. Compare and contrast with last year when it rained torrentially and incessantly.

 The ultimate disappointment though must lie in the choice of movies selected with few of the films making too much of an impression either way. If honest I must admit the best film I saw during the whole thing was the 1971 Richard Fleischer classic, shown as part of a retrospective, 10 Rillington Place starring a suitably creepy Richard Attenborough as serial killer John Christie. It was the only film among the many I attended that held the audience in its spell throughout with a tension which was palpable; a matter confirmed when at a crucial moment I tore my eyes away from the action to observe an almost trancelike state audience caught up in the drama. I witnessed nothing like this sort of effect at the many new films I attended.

Mind you this may be because I attended mainly press showings but everyone knows how cynical a group of film critics can be. I am not sure this still applies to the younger ones who appeared to be barely out of diapers but wore their miserabilist tendencies in plaid with carefully selected geek chic glasses.

 Of the new films premiered the best, in my opinion, were Svengali, The Great Hip Hop Hoax, Oh Boy, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks and a Russian offering, Betrayal. The latter I haven’t got around to reviewing yet but it is an Almodovar styled film with the vivid colours and fiery passions replaced with Soviet chill to disorientating effect. The plot is highly implausible and relies on the viewer’s suspension of belief, but somehow this works to its advantage as opposed to its detriment.

 The opening film Breathe In starring Guy Pearce and the patriotic, set in Glasgow, closer Not Another Happy Ending with Karen Gillan were slightly underwhelming if the truth be told. As were the opening and closing parties which followed if I am being even more honest. In fact the best party I attended during the twelve day duration down as the most memorable film festival of recent times it is also not the most forgettable was nothing to do with the film festival but was held in an empty art studio with a bunch of non celebrities who could show the organisers of these stilted industry affairs how it should be done

 On the plus side the event was still a step in the right direction away from the low key efforts of 2011 which abandoned all parties and celebrity attendances. It also had the best and most consistent weather of any Scottish festival in recent years and perhaps this onslaught of sunshine distracted from the event as who wants to sit in a darkened cinema when it is sunny outside. Particularly to a nation as deprived of vitamin D as us Scots are.

 Now that it is all over however I must say that the best summary I can offer is that although 2013 will not go!

OH BOY

 

Oh Boy

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Basically a tumultuous twenty four hours in the life of Niko Fischer(Tom Schilling) who after living the heavily parental funded lifestyle of a student finds his world collapsing  in a series of mishaps and disasters which befall him. More importantly he is constantly thwarted in his quest in trying to obtain an elusive cup of coffee.

 Waking up on what he assumes will be just another day Niko first of all finds himself dumped by his girlfriend. His day does not proceed to get any better as he fails to have his driving license re-issued after a blood test reveals he has been over the alcohol limit on several occasions. Adding insult to injury his counsellor proceeds to berate him in every way imaginable.

Later after having his bank card retrieved by an ATM machine he discovers that his father has discovered he dropped out of university two years previously and had been paying money into his account believing he was pursuing his studies but now after discovering the truth decides to withdraw his financial support. Matters don’t improve when he encounters a beautiful young girl who it turns out he used to taunt relentlessly when she was an overweight teenager.

 Things keep going from bad to worse and through it all Niko seems totally bewildered and unaffected by what is happening to his life but realises that things have to change but he is simply unaware, or perhaps unwilling, to make the necessary changes.

 A first time effort by director Jan Ole Gerster this black comedy is thoroughly charming and Schilling turns in a sterling, photogenic and likeable performance as the hapless Niko allowing us to share in his frustrations and setbacks whilst able to laugh and sympathise at the same time. Shot in black and white this somehow gives the film a classic feel and affords it more gravitas. Does Niko ever get his cup of coffee which he so desperately desires though? That is something you will have to wait until the end of this delightful comedy to find out.

Oh Boy is showing at the the Fimhouse on Sunday 23 June at 8.45pm and at Cineworld  on Saturday 29th at 7.25pm