Daily archives "June 28, 2017"

EIFF 2017: Part III



Teenage Superstars: *****

Director Grant McPhee, UK. 2017. Running time 110 mins.

Grant McPhee returns with a follow up tohis EIFF award winning The Big Gold Dream, which focused on the Edinburgh based indie labels Fast Product and Postcard Records. This documentary focuses on 80’s Glasgow bands and labels including Creation Records, Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits, The Pastels, Jesus and Mary Chain,  Primal Scream and the Vaselines.

McPhee along with co-writer Angela Slaven have made an incredibly researched documentary which is comprised not only of interviews, but also archive footage and music videos charting the success and friendship amongst the band members. Enlighten get antic dotes from Stephen McRobbie, Alan McGee, Eugene Kelly, Duglas T Stewart and Norman Blake ranging from how they they started to being idolised by Kurt Cobain. The film is also narrated by Kim Deal from The Breeders / Pixies.

A minor flaw is some of the people mentioned, do not appear in the film notably Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie. However this is a throughly entertaining and educational piece of work even if not being aware of the bands or scene itself.


The Dark Mile **

Director Gary Love. UK. 2017. Running time 87 mins.

Veteran TV director Gary Love makes his feature film debut with a dark psychological thriller set in the Highlands. 

Claire (Deirdre Mullins) and Louise (Rebecca Calder) decide to take a holiday to spend more time together, onboard a small boat. Claire is a  workaholic who relies on modern luxuries, while Louise likes quiet and natural things as well as hiding a secret. During the journey they meet and even appear to be stalked bystrange local characters and are terrorised by a large black barge which is following the girls.

All the hallmarks of the genre are there and the filmmakers are clearly influenced by such classics including ‘Deliverance’ and ‘The Wicker Man’. However the pieces feel disjointed. The locals are depicted in a patronising stereotypical way as countryside folk out of touch with everything who abuse their family. The two leads who give great performances are so unsympathetic, as they belittle the other people they encounter and are fuelled by their selfishness that it is really hard to care what happens to them. 

The well executed tension that is built throughout the piece is wrecked by an anti climatic ending which is badly realised and makes no sense whatsoever. Which is a shame as the film is beautifully shot, some of the twists are interesting and the performances are good.

Reviewed by Paul Logan