Daily archives "April 18, 2012"

Killer Joe Set To Kick Off 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) announced today that William Friedkin’s thriller KILLER JOE will be the Opening Gala at the 66th edition of the Festival on Wednesday, 20 June. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church.

 

22 year-old Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch: INTO THE WILD; MILK) is a drug dealer down on his luck, but things are about to go from bad to worse when he hires the unexpectedly charming hit man Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey: THE LINCOLN LAWYER; HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS; A TIME TO KILL) to murder his own mother for her $50,000 life insurance policy. With barely a dollar to his name Chris agrees to offer up his younger sister, Dottie (Juno Temple: upcoming DIRTY GIRL; THE DARK KNIGHT RISES; ATONEMENT), as sexual collateral in exchange for Joe’s services until he receives the insurance money.  That is, if it ever does come in.

 

Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “We’re delighted to be opening this year’s Festival with KILLER JOE. For my first year as Artistic Director, I intend to deliver a diverse programme that will spotlight filmmaking of real artistic distinction. William Friedkin’s exhilarating, intense, and brilliantly crafted film is absolutely in keeping with this ambition.”

 

The film will have its UK premiere at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on Wednesday, 20 June, with William Friedkin and cast in attendance, and will open nationwide on 29 June.

 

KILLER JOE director William Friedkin said:  “KILLER JOE is about the Good and Evil in everyone, the struggle for our better angels to triumph over our demons. Often lost. The thin line between the policeman and the criminal. It’s also a riff on the Cinderella story, wherein she finds her prince, but he turns out to be a hired killer. I would also like to thank the Edinburgh International Film Festival for honouring our film with this screening, uncut. Of a film the Motion Picture Association of America has expressed a desire to censor.”

 

KILLER JOE will be released on 29 June. As previously announced, EIFF’s Closing Gala will be the European premiere of Disney-Pixar’s BRAVE on 30 June. The EIFF runs from 20 June to 1 July 2012.

Shinji Somai EIFF Retrospective

This year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival Retrospective will be the works of Japanese director Shinji Somai. The films of Shinji Somai (1948-2001) are a constant source of inspiration for Japanese filmmakers. His body of work spans the 1980s and 1990s, a period in Japanese film history that remains little explored by Western film scholars and largely inaccessible to Western audiences. Yet without an understanding of this period, and of Somai’s significance, it is impossible to understand the transition from the golden age of Japanese studio filmmaking to the recent explosion of personal, independent filmmaking in Japan.

A unique stylist in a variety of popular genres, Somai made films that were well received in Japan by both critics and the general public. Among the films to screen at EIFF will be SAILOR SUIT AND MACHINE GUN (1981); P.P. RIDER (1983); THE CATCH (1983); TYPHOON CLUB (1985); MOVING (1993); THE FRIENDS (1994) and WAIT AND SEE (1998). Further Retrospective titles will be announced at a later date.

Chris Fujiwara, EIFF Artistic Director, said: “Shinji Somai is one of the most personal and original Japanese filmmakers, and a master whose work has been almost completely neglected outside Japan. Just over ten years after his passing, I believe the time is right for Somai. Audiences and critics will be amazed by what they discover in this body of work, which I’m delighted to bring to the UK.”

Kanako Hayashi, director of TOKYO FILMeX, collaborator on the Retrospective with EIFF, said: “Last November, TOKYO FILMeX held a full retrospective of Shinji Somai’s films at the 10th anniversary of his passing. A large audience, including our filmmaker guests from abroad, enjoyed them a lot. He was one of the most important filmmakers in Japan at the end of the 20th century, and his films should be introduced all over the world at present, just as if he were continuing to make films today. (In fact, Somai was just one year younger than Takeshi Kitano.) I urge lovers of film not to miss this chance to follow Somai’s unique artistic trajectory throughout his works at Edinburgh.”