A Brief Blog on films seen at Glasgow Film Festival 2014 – Day 4

After day 3’s films I felt like I needed to see more comedies, and then I saw The Hour of the Lynx and was broken. I decided I wanted to see it when I saw the photo of The Killing’s Sofie Gråbøl, in a strange archaic ruff. I love the whole Nordic Noir thing and decided that I needed to see it on that basis alone. When I choose my film festival films, I usually go for a mix of films that I’ll never see again on a big screen, something mad, a few familiar faces or styles and a sprinkling of FrightFest. The FrightFest tickets weren’t available with the Earlybird Pass this year (shame), so I think I have ended up with more than my fair share of the weird. Anyway, This wasn’t really one of the weird, apart from the ruff thing. Helen (Gråbøl), a priest, is approached by Lisbeth (Signe Egholm Olsen), a research psychologist, who has noticed that one of her patients at a high security hospital may benefit from the ministrations of the clergy. Helen is intrigued by the story of the disturbed young man in cell 03-07 and he opens up to her, with his devastating story of love and loss. The film also features Søren Malling as the chief warden of the institution, and it was great to see him team up with Gråbøl again after The Killing. In addition to a powerful and moving story, The Hour of the Lynx has some beautiful cinematography, making full use of the striking scenery of Northern Sweden. Take tissues, it’s quite a ride.

It’s been a long while since I saw Koyaanisqatsi, but when I saw there was a new film by the same director I knew I had to see it. Visitors is billed as “a painterly evocation of humanity’s relationship with technology slowly expressed across a stark black and white cinematic canvas,” I was intrigued. Featuring a score by Philip Glass, with his trademark repetitive, minimal lines, it is impossible for me to explain how this poetic piece of cinema evokes such strong emotion. The film itself is entirely in high contrast black and white, and features a gorilla, the moon, and a series of faces (and occasionally hands), young and old interacting with technology. The film is largely shot in slow motion and we see the faces of people watching sport and playing computer games. The footage of faces is occasionally intercut with slow sweeping shots of skyscrapers, dereliction, wilderness and waste, and when I left the cinema I wanted to apologise to Mother Earth, and Triska the gorilla.

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