Scottish Film Events: August 2023

EIFF is getting the east coast excited, but there's plenty of cinema action on the west coast too, with big screen epics, a Lars von Trier season and a new festival celebrating artists' films made in Scotland

Feature by Jamie Dunn | 31 Jul 2023
  • That Sinking Feeling

It looked a bit touch and go there for a while but Edinburgh International Film Festival will return this month (18-23 Aug) for its 76th edition. Pick up a copy of our August issue and read our supplement picking out some highlights. 

If you’re in Glasgow though, don’t worry, there are plenty of cinema happenings too. At GFT, there are two CineMasters retrospectives to keep you occupied. First up, there’s a seven-film retrospective of Danish maverick Lars von Trier. The season kicks off with his harrowing fable Breaking the Waves (4-10 Aug), followed by other masterworks like Dogville (11 & 13 Aug), Dancer in the Dark (29 & 30 Aug) and Melancholia (4 & 5 Sep) – the latter two screen on 35mm prints. 

The second retrospective is dedicated to the mighty Bill Forsyth, who’s having a busy summer. Local Hero was rereleased in May, and now GFT screen his scrappy debut That Sinking Feeling (13 & 15 Aug), his coming-of-age high school gem Gregory’s Girl (17-24 Aug) and his lesser-spotted Comfort and Joy (25 & 27 Aug). 

GFT also serve up a quartet of big-screen epics this August that demand to be seen on the big screen. The lineup includes the director’s cut of Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans (2 & 8 Aug), Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (12 & 15 Aug), and two films for the Russell Crowe heads: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (20 & 23 Aug) and Gladiator (26 & 28 Aug); both screen on 35mm.

If it’s local talent you’re after, seek out The Difference Between Us, the debut feature from Etienne Kubwabo, who’s best known for his comic Beats of War. The film runs at Glasgow's CCA until 5 August. And staying at CCA, there’s the Scottish International Short Film Festival (10-12 Aug), which will be showcasing shorts from all over the world across four programmes.

A look ahead too to CINEMA DESPITE (Tramway, 1-3 Sep), a great looking one-off festival attempting to survey the history of artists’ film and video in Scotland. Set over five episodes – the documentary, imperial legacies, protest, cultural identity and sexuality – screening over three days and featuring 30 works made over a 70-year period, the festival includes work by a who's who of Scottish artists, from Margaret Tait and Enrico Cocozza to Margaret Salmon and Luke Fowler. More info next issue...