Scottish Film Events: February 2023

February sees a Sarah Polley retrospective at GFT, a Weimar season at Cameo, and Andrew Black finally screens his Margaret Tait Award commission

Article by Jamie Dunn | 31 Jan 2023
  • On Clogger Lane

February sees the welcome return of Sarah Polley, whose fantastic fourth feature Women Talking is released 10 February. To mark the occasion, GFT have programmed Polley’s three previous films (Away from Her, 15 & 23 Feb; Take this Waltz, 16 & 22 Feb; Stories We Tell, 26 & 28 Feb) as part of their CineMasters series. They’ll also be showing a bonus film from Polley’s acting career: Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead (17 Feb). While this 2004 remake can’t hold a candle to George A Romero’s masterful original, this is an undeniably fun action horror, Polly is terrific in it and, best of all, it screening from 35mm.

The final two weeks of the Catalan Film Festival continue into February with screenings still to take place at GFT, CCA, St Peter’s Episcopal Church Hall in Edinburgh, and DCA. Highlights include Albert Serra's Pacifiction (GFT, 5 Feb), which Cahiers du Cinema proclaimed the film of 2022, and One Year, One Night (GFT, 11 Feb), a bittersweet drama following a couple who experience a terrorist attack. 

With the Oscars around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dig into DCA’s Hollywood on Hollywood season, which features movies set in Tinseltown. The series comes to a close with Oscar-winner The Artist (2 Feb) and Nicholas Ray’s knockout In a Lonely Place, in which Humphrey Bogart's booze-soaked, misanthropic Hollywood screenwriter gets accused of murder (5 Feb). If classic German cinema is more your scene, Cameo has a cracking season in February of films made during the Weimar era. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (5 Feb), The Blue Angel (12 Feb), Metropolis (19 Feb) and M (26 Feb) all screen.

Andrew Black won the Margaret Tait Award back in 2021, but the film he made with the commissioned prize fund, titled On Clogger Lane, is only getting the light of day this month (GFT, 21 Feb) thanks to pandemic-related delays. Shot in a valley in Yorkshire, we’re told the film explores the infrastructures of capital on land haunted by accusations of witchcraft and populated by indecipherable prehistoric carvings and the graves of child labourers. Cheery stuff. If you’re interested in what sparks Black’s dark imagination, he’s heading to CCA on 16 February to present A Vision of Hell, a programme of short films that influenced On Clogger Lane and touch on similar themes.

Oh, and it’s Valentine’s Day. So if you must buy into this commercial holiday, you might as well watch great films. Before Sunrise and Portrait of a Lady on Fire at GFT or True Romance at Cameo should do the trick (on 14 Feb, obvs x).