Scottish Film Events: May 2023

This month GFT and Cameo go big on Wes Anderson ahead of the release of Asteroid City, transgender stories are explored in a travelling programme from SQIFF and things get spooky in Dundee with the return of DCA's horror festival Dundead

Preview by Jamie Dunn | 02 May 2023
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

If you’ve spent any time on social media these past few weeks, you’ll know there’s an obnoxious new trend in town: turning your life into a Wes Anderson movie. There are plenty of opportunities to see the real thing, however, with Glasgow Film Theatre and Cameo in Edinburgh showing the fastidious director plenty of love this spring ahead of his latest film, Asteroid City, which arrives in cinemas on 23 June.

GFT will be screening all ten of Andeson’s films, from 1996’s Bottle Rocket to 2021’s The French Dispatch, with his short film Hotel Chevalier thrown for good measure in a double bill with The Darjeeling Limited, which screen on 35mm; The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Royal Tenenbaums also screen on 35mm (see GFT’s website for tickets and details). Talking of double bills, Cameo will be serving their Anderson joints in pairs: Bottle Rocket x The Darjeeling Limited (13 May); Fantastic Mr Fox x Isle of Dogs (20 May); Rushmore x The French Dispatch (3 Jun); The Life Aquatic x The Grand Budapest Hotel (9 Jun); The Royal Tennebaums x Moonrise Kingdom (17 Jun).

Still from The Origin. A group of men wearing animal fur and holding spears stand on a hill
The Origin / GFF Press

If that sounds like your nightmare, how about something nightmarish with DCA’s horror festival Dundead (11-14 May)? Its opener couldn’t be better: Andrew Cumming’s “stone age horror” The Origin, which takes us back to palaeolithic Scotland where a band of early humans are being picked off one by one by a mysterious threat. Also look out for Satanic Hispanics, an anthology film from some of Latin America’s most exciting young horror directors, and a mini-retrospective dedicated to the master of body horror, David Cronenberg. Full Dundead programme here

But maybe any film is a horror film? That’s the premise of Glasgow-based artist filmmaker Daniel Cockburn’s lecture/performance ​​How Not to Watch a Movie (CCA, 3 May). We’re told Cockburn will take audiences down a cinematic rabbit hole through 90s horror films, the Y2K crisis and deep grammatical analyses of power ballad lyrics. The show’s been compared to the cinematic monologues of Spalding Gray by way of the warped mind of Charlie Kaufman; we’ll be first in line.

A woman in sunglasses looks into the distance.
Framing Agnes / SQIFF

Another highlight this month is the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (aka SQIFF)'s Trans-Generational Tour, a travelling programme of films coming to GFT (12-14 May); MacRobert Arts Center, Stirling (11 May); Cornucopia, Hawick (20 May); DCA (26-27 May); and An Lanntair, Stornoway (16 Jun). Included in the lineup are Framing Agnes, which uncovers buried trans histories, and Trans Parenting, a programme of short films portraying queer parenthood.

We’d also love to see you all at our free screening of the sorely underseen Matinee, Joe Dante’s joyous paean to the B-movie horrors he grew up watching as a kid, which we’re screening for free at CCA Glasgow (10 May) and Summerhall in Edinburgh (11 May). John Goodman is terrific in the film as a schlock director trying to tap into social anxiety around the Cold War and there’s a typically subversive streak to Dante’s knockabout comedy, which looks even sharper 30 years after its release.