Hail, Caesar! to open Glasgow Film Festival 2016

Feature by News Team | 06 Jan 2016

Glasgow Film Festival will open with the new film from the Coen Brothers, and close with Charlie Kaufman’s celebrated stop-motion animation Anomalisa

On 17 February, the 12th edition of the ever-growing Glasgow Film Festival will kick off in grand style with Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail, Caesar!, fresh from its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on 11 Feb.

The Coens’ latest, a screwball comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age starring George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Channing Tatum, looks to be the perfect fit for GFF’s opening gala. The festival has, after all, made a point of celebrating Hollywood’s heyday, with past retrospectives paying tribute to stars such as Bette Davis, James Cagney and Ginger Rogers.

“We like to open the festival with something special to build audience excitement for the fortnight of films to come,” said GFF co-director Allison Gardner, “and Hail, Caesar! is as big and beautiful a film as you can get. We are absolutely delighted to be screening the Coens’ wonderful, all-star salute to Old Hollywood, and especially privileged to be hosting the film’s UK premiere. A rollicking good time to be had by everyone!”

The fizz of this opening gala will be balanced by the more downbeat notes of closing film Anomalisa from the master of melancholic comedy, Charlie Kaufman. Glasgow Film Festival co-director Allen Hunter nails Kaufman’s unique cinematic sensibility when he describes the Synecdoche, New York writer-director as having the “rare ability to blow your mind and warm your heart at the same time.”

Co-directed with Duke Johnson, Anomalisa is Kaufman’s first dip into animation and follows a depressed motivational speaker (voiced by David Thewlis) who begins an intense relationship with a woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) he meets on the road. Expect skew-whiff philosophy and puppet sex. Hunter calls the film a “one of a kind experience that finds incredible depths of human emotion in the plight of its stop-motion animated characters," adding, "I am so thrilled that we will be closing with the UK premiere of one of the year’s most unforgettable films.”

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Both movies were high on our list of the most anticipated films of 2016 and the screenings should sell out fast; tickets for both films will go on sale to the public on Monday 18 January.

No guests are announced at present, but watch this space for more details as they come in. The full programme is announced on Wednesday 20 January; tickets go on sale on Monday 25 January.

Glasgow Film Festival 2016 runs 17-28 February http://glasgowfilm.org