EIFF 2014 – Day 1

Jun 20, 2014 | Posted by in Edi Int Film Festival, Movies

Quite a short one for my first day doing press coverage of this event but the days will get longer and more intense as time goes on. Today I went to see the Joon-ho Bong directed Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Ed Harris followed by the Empire magazine sponsored Hero Hangout featuring Noel Clarke, producer of We Are Monster as well being the director and star of the upcoming The Anomaly.

In terms of the films that I’ve seen I’ll briefly talk about them day by day as I watch them and choose some to talk about in more detail at a later point, once I have more time. That’s the intended format for now.


After an attempt to stop global warming has wiped out most of the population of the planet, a small chunk of the population survive aboard a train named The Snowpiercer that endlessly circles the Earth in order to keep people alive. This was adapted from the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige” and focuses on Chris Evans’ Curtis leading a revolt to take over the train in order to ensure that those on the bottom rung of society are fairly treated.

This was very promising start to the festival for me. I really liked how the social classes were represented quite literally by what carriage they happened to be living on, as Curtis and his allies fight their way to the front of the train we get to see how the other classes live and there’s a clear visual difference in every carriage, many of them quite striking.

Strong performances, strong direction and a fascinating plot keep this film to a high standard and it is definitely worth a watch. I intend to do a more comprehensive review in the near future so keep an eye out.

Hero Hangout – Noel Clarke

As I mentioned above, Noel Clarke directs and stars in The Anomaly as well as having a producer credit on We Are Monster, both featured at the festival. For this event he sat down and had a chat with Empire Magazine’s Chris Hewitt where he discussed his career, how he approaches his films, his life and generally how he sees the world.

Like many, my first experience of Noel Clarke was on Auf Wiedersehen Pet and later Doctor Who, after that point I managed to have a look at some of his films -notably Kidulthood and Adulthood– which I really enjoyed. Basically whenever I hear that Noel Clarke is doing something I’m pretty much on board and ready to watch it.

What I didn’t know so much about was him as a person so this event was illuminating for me. It was fascinating to hear about his life and how he got where he is as well as the way he sees the world and the film industry in general. In particular I found it interesting how he managed to sell movies in territories that otherwise wouldn’t accept him as an actor in that role as well as his awareness of the reality of gender and racial politics in the global film industry. He doesn’t take offence to it and simply identifies it as the way things are but also points out the things he does to help change that.

When talking about The Anomaly he mentioned that if he hadn’t been in that movie then a white actor would have been cast in his place which would have done nothing to help shake the industry up in any way. I fully agree that there should be more positive role models for people of different races given the cultural diversity we see on a daily basis so I’m on board for anything someone can do that helps make this kind of casting more acceptable.

My interests being what they are, I was especially fascinated when he started talking about how he got cast in Star Trek Into Darkness and Doctor Who and really liked to hear his thoughts on what should be done to adapt characters like Black Panther. Noel is someone that Marvel should definitely be considering for this when it does come. Though Noel did say that the studio intervention that these films often suffer from isn’t something that he’d be able to put up with.

Image courtesy of Kate Bouchier-Hayes

When taking audience questions, after my T-shirt was noticed as being nearly the same colour as the chair I was able to ask which character he’d like to adapt and he answered definitively with Supergirl then gave us a small pitch of how he would like that film to go. It involves her being a teenage girl who thinks her problems are the most important thing and isn’t overly interested in using her powers to help people. In terms of villains he’d use someone like Parasite who would gain power throughout the movie, it’s a solid idea that would absolutely work for me. Warner Brothers and DC should be getting in touch about that.

That being said, he lamented that the films he mentioned would never be made the way he wanted them because that’s just the reality of the business. Noel definitely seems to have a singular vision for his films and his career that he’s unwilling to compromise on and that sense of integrity has gone a long way in getting him to where he is today. He’s a fascinating guy and I absolutely loved every minute of it.