The Best Film Events in Scotland in July

The Scottish film events you should make time for this month, from screenings based around desire and obsession to open-air cinema at Queen's Park

Feature by Jamie Dunn | 01 Jul 2019
  • Blinded by the Light

1. Film Feels: Obsession

Obsession and the movies go hand-in-hand. After all, if you blow beautiful, charismatic people up to the size of a double-decker bus, we’re all going to get a little consumed.

This summer, though, Glasgow Film Theatre are exploring onscreen obsessions. Think of the everyman shlub getting a tad too preoccupied chasing little green men in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (28 Jul), the young starlet letting her ambitions get the better of her in All About Eve (21 Jul) or the newspaper vendor who spirals into madness thanks to his obsession with a beautiful soda pop seller in Cairo Station (30 Jul).

The highlight of GFT’s Obsession season looks to be a double bill of Safe and To Die For (28 Jul), two studies of obsessive women from two of the leading lights of 90s queer cinema: Todd Haynes and Gus Van Sant. There’s also a rare screening of Mike Newell’s Dance with a Stranger (24 Jul), which tells the true story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain. The screening is followed by a great-looking post-film discussion.

21-30 Jul, GFT – more info here

2. Der Fan + Panel Discussion

From obsessive film characters to fanatical film fans, as Sad Girl Cinema and Matchbox Cineclub have teamed up to present a rare screening of the cult '80s German horror Der Fan, followed by a panel discussion.

Der Fan is a must-see, a sordid, screwy psychosexual horror that takes the idea of the obsessive fan to extremes. Following the screening, Claire Biddles of Sad Girl Cinema will chair a panel on obsession, thirst and fandom, with fellow Sad Girl Cinema member Bethany Rose Lamont, artist Liz Murphy and The Skinny's film editor, Jamie Dunn (aka, yours truly).

21 Jul, CCA Glasgow – more info here

3. Blinded By the Light + Q&A

It’s 1987 Britain, and a first-generation Pakistani boy’s life is about to change forever when he discovers the music of The Boss. That’s the premise for this spirited coming-of-age film from Gurinder Chadha, based on the early life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, who co-wrote the film with Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. Bursting at the seem with its love for Springsteen, this should have you singing the likes of Badlands, The Promised Land and the titular Blinded By the Light as the credits roll.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Chadha and Manzoor.

16 Jul, GFT – more info here

4. Charlotte Prodger: SaF05

Do you look enviously across to Venice every two years and wish you could soak up the work at the Biennale? In a first, the Biennale will be coming to you as the newly commissioned Scotland + Venice work is touring across Scotland while it’s also currently on international display at the world’s greatest celebration of visual art.

The Scotland + Venice piece for 2019 is the new single-channel video work from Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger. Last year Prodger made a major splash by winning the Turner Prize for BRIDGIT, a series of film vignettes shot on an iPhone. Prodger’s new film, the final part of a trilogy that includes BRIDGIT and 2015’s Stoneymollan Trail, builds upon their past explorations of subjectivity, self-determination, and queerness, and was developed at Cove Park on the Rosneath Peninsula.

This screening will include a short trailer documenting the project's development and will be introduced by members of the Scotland + Venice team.

3 Jul, GFT - more info here

5. Mean Girls 

Still one of the best teen movies this century, and the most quotable ("It's not my fault you're, like, in love with me or something!"), Mean Girls is the centrepiece to the latest House Guest season from Filmhouse, which this month sees standup Daniel Sloss take over the Edinburgh cinema in July.

Mean Girls’ violence is all verbal, but if it’s actual brute force you're after, Sloss’s lineup has it in spades. There’s MMA tear-jerker The Warrior, prison football smackdown The Longest Yard, brutal gameplay in Tag and the balletic martial arts mayhem of The Raid. If it wasn’t already clear Sloss is a total lad, he’s thrown in a Christopher Nolan movie (The Prestige).

11 Jul-7 Aug, Filmhouse – more info here

6. One Cut of the Dead

Think there’s nothing left to be done with the zombie films at this point? Then you’ve clearly not seen Shin’ichirô Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead.

The premise has meta-ingenuity. The setting is a film location in and around an abandoned processing plant where a low-budget zombie movie is being shot. To add realism to the set, a real-life zombie apocalypse breaks out among the crew, leaving the actors, the kick-arse makeup artist and the industrious cameraman (who keeps the camera rolling and whose found footage we’re supposedly watching) to fight off the horde. Then the film diverts off in even more meta directions than you might imagine. A film that needs to be watched with an audience: preferably one with no clue where the film is headed.

26 Jul, Filmhouse – more info here

7. Child’s Play

The Child’s Play remake is now in cinemas, which imagines a killer doll is created when a disgruntled factory employee surreptitiously disables the safety protocols on one of the new hi-tech “Buddi” dolls on the assembly line. The notorious 1987 original’s setup is a bit more fantastical: a serial killer uses a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul into a doll in an effort to escape the police.

You can compare and contrast when Uncanny Valley bring a 35mm print of 1987's Child’s Play to Filmhouse this month.

12 Jul, Filmhouse – more info here

8. Predator at Open-Air Cinema

Arnold Schwarzenegger leads an elite military force on a mission to save hostages in the guerrilla-held territory of a Central American country, but ends up being turned into the prey of a game hunting extraterrestrial with the face not even a mother could love.

Many have tried to recapture the feverish action thrills of the first Predator but none have come close to John McTiernan’s fat-free direction and the chemistry of the cast, who also include Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura and Shane Black (who made the most recent woeful film in the franchise).

You can catch it on the big screen at Queen’s Park on 14 July – try to resist the temptation to scream "get to the choppa!" before running into the Queen’s Park bushes. Two other great sweaty jungle movies screen over the same weekend: Jurassic Park (12 Jul) and Jumanji (13 Jul).

12-14 July, Queen's Park, Glasgow - more info here