A Brief Blog on films seen at Glasgow Film Festival 2014 – Day 2.
Saturday kicked off with another documentary, this time the fabulous 20 Feet from Stardom. There had been rumours that Merry Clayton was going to appear at the festival, but it turned out to be Claudia Lennear, once known as “The Hot One” from the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, the woman who inspired Brown Sugar and Lady Grinning Soul. The film was a love letter to the little known women (they are mostly women), who provided the backing vocals for the great songs and records from the 60s to the present day. As well as some great songs and amazing voices, the film explored the life of a backing singer, back in the day. Merry Clayton recorded her best known, (and probably the best ever backing vocal) to Gimme Shelter at three in the morning, in her pyjamas, with her rollers in after getting a two am phone call. So many amazing singers, who never became great names in their own right. Imagine those 60s and 70s hits without them, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Lennear was a gracious interviewee after the screening, but unfortunately her microphone wasn’t working when she stood up to sing with The Glasgow Gospel Choir. Top Trivia: Claudia Lennear voiced the possessed Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
I don’t really know how to describe my next film, Cannibal, and I know it’s being screened again today so I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who might see this blog post. Carlos is a lonely tailor, harbouring a very dark secret. But this time, he falls in love with his potential victim. It’s not exactly a horror film (although there are horrific scenes). A quietly dark thriller, I suppose, with some superb understated acting from Antonia De La Torre and Olimpia Melinte.
In 2009 I fell in love with a vibrant giallo homage, the brilliant Amer. And last night I saw the next film from Cattet and Forzani, The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears. As a thriller, I’m not sure if the story works (I’m still processing it, more than 12 hours later), but as pure visual and aural horror it’s immensely unsettling and effective. Kaleidoscopic colour, gory images, sound that sets your teeth on edge, and actually had me putting my fingers in my ears on more than one occasion, it’s nightmare material. A businessman returns home from a trip to Frankfurt to find that his wife has disappeared, and is drawn into a nightmarish hallucinatory world in the apartment block he shares with some mysterious neighbours. My first impression on leaving the cinema was GIALLO GIALLO GIALLO, and I’m sticking to that, forget the story, and stick with the look and the style.