Heads Up: Daily guide to the best films at GFF 2018

Struggling to get your Glasgow Film Festival schedule straight? This daily guide to the festival – which picks out the best films screening each day of GFF – should help

Preview | 14 Feb 2018
  • Isle of Dogs

Films of the Day at GFF18

21 Feb: Isle of Dogs

The world’s most fastidious director, Wes Anderson, switches his dolls’ house aesthetic for literal dolls with this return to stop motion that should delight everyone who loved his melancholic adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox. This animated adventure, set in a futuristic Japan, follows a young boy and a band of shaggy canines voiced by the likes of Ed Norton, Bill Murray and Bryan Cranston. GFT, 7pm (also 22 Feb, 3.25pm)

22 Feb: Wonderstruck

Todd Haynes returns with another vivid piece of filmmaking. Based on a novel by Brian Selznick, it dovetails the stories of two 12-year-olds living 50 years apart. One section (in black in white and silent) follows a young deaf girl in the 20s, and the other follows a boy in the 70s. The brilliant cast includes Michelle Williams and Haynes regular Julianne Moore. The title is an apt one, prepare to be awed. GFT, 5.45pm (also, 23 Feb, 3.15pm)

Runners-up: Columbus, GFT, 3.35pm; Western, GFT, 1.15pm

23 Feb: The Breadwinner

The Secret of Kells director Nora Twomey is back with a much darker prospect: the story of an 11-year-old girl who has to cut off her hair and pretends to be a boy to navigate life under Taliban rule in 2011 Afghanistan after her father is wrongfully arrested. Like Twomey’s earlier Celtic fairy tale, the animation here looks spellbinding. GFT, 6.15pm (also 24 Feb, GFT, 1.15pm) 

Runners-up: Thoroughbreds, Cineworld, 8.45pm; Prayer Before the Dawn, Cineworld, 6pm

24 Feb: Let the Sunshine In

Claire Denis continues to be one of the most mercurial filmmakers working today, easily moving from existential thriller, to vampiric horror, to tender family drama; her next project is a sci-fi movie starring Robert Pattinson. She’s ticking another genre off the list with Let the Sunshine In, a sophisticated romantic comedy with Juliette Binoche as a woman enjoying her single life. As you’d expect, Denis breaks every rule in the rom-com playbook. GFT, 6pm (also 26 Feb, GFT, 3.45pm)

Runners-up: The Party's Just Beginning, GFT, 8.30pm; Beast, GFT, 5.30pm

25 Feb: Faces Places

Octogenarian filmmaking treasure Agnès Varda takes to the road with a hipster doofus (photographer and muralist JR) for a sublime celebration of people and their faces. As ever, Varda finds the awe-inspiring in the quotidian. Through her humanist lens and JR’s colossal murals, everyday people (factory workers, dockers’ wives, defiant miners) become iconic. The style is breezy, but proves surprisingly moving by its knockout ending. Cineworld, 6.15pm (also 26 Feb, Cineworld, 1pm)

Runners-up: Zama, GFT, 8.30pm; A Fantastic Woman, GFT, 8.40pm

26 Feb: 120 BPM

Robin Campillo's blistering third feature centres on the people at the heart of the ACT UP advocacy group in 1990s Paris. As well as battling homophobia and the French government’s apathetic attitude to the AIDS epidemic, Campillo’s smart and sexy film also finds time to follow the romantic entanglements of the men involved in the movement. GFT, 7.45pm (also 27 Feb, GFT, 1pm)

Runners-up: Foxtrot, Cineworld, 8.45pm; Sweet Country, Cineworld, 6.15pm

27 Feb: Custody

This first-rate drama from debut director Xavier Legrand centred on the bitter custody battle between estranged spouses that manages the rare trick of being queasily realistic while also building in tension like the best Hollywood thrillers. Legrand takes his time in revealing with which parent our allegiances should lie, telling most of the story from the point-of-view of the ex-couple’s 12-year-old son, who looks shell-shocked every time he trundles off for weekends with dad. You’re likely to have a similar expression by the end of this nailbiter. GFT, 8.40pm (also 28 Feb, GFT, 3.50pm)

Runners-up: In the Fade, GFT, 8,30pm; Filmworker, GFT, 6pm

28 Feb: Surprise Film

Guessing what might be the surprise film at GFF is a mug's game, but we try every year anyway. What makes is so difficult is how wildly eclectic the choices have been in the past. Last year it was a majestic true-life adventure story (The City of Lost Z) while the year before it was a zesty Jane Austen adaptation (Love & Friendship) and before that a Ryan Reynolds horror-comedy (The Voices). Heck, GFF even had the cojones to spring David Lynch’s dizzying Hollywood fever dream Inland Empire on audiences back in the day. It’s anyone’s guess, but the thrill of walking into a movie knowing nothing beforehand makes it worth the gamble. GFT, 8.40pm

Runners-up: How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Cineworld, 8.30pm; Apostasy, Cineworld, 6.15pm

1 Mar: Ghost Stories

Based on the scary stage show of the same name from the twisted minds of Jeremy Dyson (co-creator of The League Of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman, this is an anthology of haunting shorts in the classic tradition of films like Asylum and Dead of Night. The collection of tales features the likes of Martin Freeman and Paul Whitehouse as well as Nyman himself, who’ll be in attendance with Dyson for the FrightFest screening. GFT, 9pm

Runners-up: Revenge, GFT, 11pm; Pity, GFT, 6.30pm

2 Mar: Love, Simon

LGBTQ cinema is going through an extended purple patch right now, and it seems like indie hits like Moonlight, Call Me By Your Name and Carol could be pushing queer stories into the mainstream. For evidence, see this sweet looking teen drama based on a cult YA novel about a not-yet-out gay kid who’s got a Shop Around the Corner thing going with another closeted boy at his high school. GFT, 8.45pm (also 3 Mar, GFT, 6pm)

Runners-up: Cold Skin, GFT, 8.45pm; Nico, 1988, GFT, 8.30pm

3 Mar: Super November

Josie Long's love affair with Glasgow continues with this romantic comedy-cum-Orwellian dystopia in which a blossoming romance is interrupted by a right-wing coup. The two shorts Long made with Douglas King – Let’s Go Swimming and Romance and Adventure – were delightful, so we’ve high hopes for their new ambitious-sounding feature. GFT, 8.45pm (also 4 Mar, GFT, 1pm)

Runners-up: The Third Murder, Cineworld, 8.30pm; Liquid Truth, GFT, 6pm

4 Mar: Orphans

One of the greatest and most underappreciated Scottish movies ever made, Peter Mullan’s wildly expressionistic and absurdly comic drama follows four siblings as they each experience a dark night of the soul on the streets of Glasgow on the eve of their mother’s funeral. This 20th anniversary revival will hopefully see Mullan reunite on the GFT stage with some of Orphans' brilliant cast. GFT, 4pm

Runners-up: Nae Pasaran, GFT, 6.45pm; Dog Day Afternoon, GFT 10.30pm

Read more about Glasgow Film Festival in The CineSkinny – in print at Glasgow Film Theatre and the CCA, and online at theskinny.co.uk/film/cineskinny