Top Five: February Film Events

Feature by Becky Bartlett | 25 Jan 2010

Legendary film critic Mark Kermode is at the Cameo on 8 February and the GFT on the 9 February, discussing the experiences he's had during his lucrative, outspoken career. Recounting events such as insane/genius German director Werner Herzog getting shot during an interview (youtube it, honestly!) to being ejected from the Cannes Film Festival – and perhaps even mentioning a movie or two – this is one film talk not to be missed.

On 4 February at Scotland's oldest cinema, the Hippodrome in Bo'ness, is a rare chance to see The Shutdown, an award-winning short film by Adam Stafford and Alan Bissett recounting life beside Grangemouth petrochemical plant, and an explosion that occurred there. To make this night a complete event, both men will be performing other works – a solo concert by Stafford (frontman of Y'all is Fantasy Island) and a sneak preview of a play by Bissett.

At the Filmhouse The Middle Eastern Film Festival runs from 12 Feb - 1 Mar. There's a specific focus on film from Egypt and a chance to see recent successes as well as old classics. One in the latter category is Youssef Chahine’s Cairo Station – a highly-regarded work from 1958 about people scraping a living around the station of the title, touching on themes of sexuality, violence and repression.  A more contemporary depiction of the capital can be seen in Eye of the Sun seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl living in one of the city's poorest areas, Ein Shams. Director Ibrahim El-Batout will be attending for a Q&A after the film.

Squeezing into the GFT before the festival frenzy is Cutter's Way on 16 and 17 February, one of the cinema's selected cult classics. Starring Jeff Bridges (always worth a watch) and John Heard (recognisable even if one struggles to work out where from), this is a highly underrated film noir following two friends who, after one spots a man dumping a body, work together to discover his identity.

Finally, at the CCA on 11 February is a rare chance to see Michael Powell's 1937 film, The Edge of the World. By no means his first film, but considered one of his first great works, the tale of the inhabitants of a remote island off the Scottish coast (loosely based on true events) and their decision to abandon their homeland is essential viewing for anyone familiar with Powell's later, highly influential films.