Filmhouse’s new House Guest is… The Skinny!
The Skinny have programmed an eclectic series of films to screen at Filmhouse throughout February, from Martin Scorsese’s prescient satire The King of Comedy to riotous music-filled comedy The Blues Brothers
We at The Skinny love Filmhouse’s House Guest initiative, the ongoing season where the Edinburgh cinema invite some of the most interesting artists working in Scotland to curate their own mini film programmes, giving us a fascinating insight into the films that have moved and thrilled them. Previous House Guests have included filmmaker Mark Cousins, author Irvine Welsh, playwright Jo Clifford and the mighty Young Fathers. We love House Guests so much, in fact, that we’ve been asking Filmhouse to programme our own set of films as part of the season. After cornering some of the Filmhouse team at the opening of Edinburgh International Film Festival, they finally acquiesced, and as a result The Skinny will be presenting a selection of six movies close to our heart at the cinema throughout February.
Each film is chosen by a different section editor at The Skinny and their brief was simply this: choose a film that you love that also connects to your section. Some of our editors were more literal than others with their choices, but the final six we settled on are an eclectic bunch that take us from the ideological battlegrounds of future New York to a madcap Japanese noodle joint via the backstabbing (both literal and figurative) of London’s theatre scene and the tawdry sleaze of LA’s film underworld.
Below, our section editors explain their choices:
Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
“Radical. Furious. Provocative. Director Lizzie Borden came of age when American feminist, Black Power, and socialist movements were at their height, and she poured everything she saw into her 1983 feature Born in Flames, a kaleidoscopic, dystopian sci-fi where everything from genre to politics to filmmaking itself intersects.
“In Intersections we aim to not only reflect the current cultural climate, but mould it, lead it, and most importantly challenge it. The uncomfortable is embraced, so leave convention at the door and come rage with us. Born in Flames is punk rock filmmaking at its finest.” Katie Goh, The Skinny’s Intersections Editor
Screens Tue 5 Feb – tickets here
The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1982)
“For many The King of Comedy is a farsighted look towards our age of instant celebrity. For anyone who's worked with comedians it is more like a documentary. When onstage, comedians are self-effacing and genial. But this film lets us in to an offstage world. A world where comedy is a serious pursuit that requires a singularly focussed madness to make it.” Ben Venables, The Skinny’s outgoing Comedy Editor
Screens Wed 6 Feb – tickets here
Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985)
“Soup training montages, etiquette satire, a young Ken Watanabe – Juzo Itami's 'ramen western' has it all. Seriously, this thing's stuffed to bursting with fourth-wall breaks, comic vignettes and saucy asides. At its heart it's a tale about striving for culinary perfection, but the comically circuitous route it takes to get there is a treat.” Peter Simpson, The Skinny's Food & Drink Editor
Screens Mon 11 Feb – tickets here
Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
“I should probably say that choosing a film about theatre and theatre criticism for this screening was hard. But Theatre of Blood was the first film that I thought of, and in many ways, it was the only film that I wanted to screen. Why? Aside from fantastic turns from the likes of Vincent Price and Dame Diana Rigg, and a multitude of hilarious and over-the-top deaths, this film is a love song to theatre as much as it is to horror comedy.
“Theatre can be a huge source of good, but it can also be pompous, self-important and exclusive, much like some of the critics that review it. As gatekeepers of sorts, critics hold theatre to account as much as theatre holds us to account, and that should never change. While the days of critics living luxurious lifestyles may have gone the way of Price’s Edward Lionheart's career, we remain, as needed but as (un)popular as ever. Sure, Lionheart's twisted plan of bloody, theatrical revenge against London's media establishment is far-fetched, but it's a deliciously hammy cinematic dish that served ice cold.” Amy Taylor, The Skinny’s Theatre Editor
Screens Mon 18 Feb – tickets here
Body Double (Brian De Palma, 1984)
“If aliens landed on Earth tomorrow and asked to see the 'moviest' movie, I’d show them this self-reflexive thriller about a claustrophobic Z-list actor whose voyeuristic tendencies get him in a whole lot of trouble. With its gleeful perversion and baroque murder scene (death by giant drill), the film acted in 1984 as writer-director Brian De Palma’s thinly-veiled provocation to the critics who clutch their pearls at his previous films like Dressed to Kill and Scarface (“OK, you want to see violence? You want to see sex? Then I’ll show it to you,” said De Palma at the time). But it’s also a paean to filmmaking, from its winking film-within-film opening (and its porn film-within-film middle) to De Palma’s feverish set pieces paying homage to Hitchcock. Cinema has never been so trashy and so intelligent all at once.” Jamie Dunn, The Skinny’s Film Editor
Screens Mon 25 Feb – tickets here
The Blues Brothers (John Landis, 1980)
“This 1980s classic from John Landis was a favourite in my house growing up, and likely a major catalyst for my love of soul, blues and rock’n’roll music. Featuring guest performances from Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway and John Lee Hooker, join Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) on their mission from God as they attempt to get the band back together in order to save the orphanage where they were raised. Cue outrageous car chases, synchronised dancing in the street, a guest turn from a bazooka-toting Carrie Fisher and one heck of a soundtrack; I can’t wait to see and hear this on the big screen.” Tallah Brash, The Skinny’s Music Editor
Screens Thu 28 Feb – tickets here
The Skinny's House Guest line-up and more details can be found at filmhousecinema.com/season/house-guest-skinny