Examining The Evidence – A Preview Of Derby Film Festival 2015
Derby. Film. Festival.
You might be sceptical that these three words should ever go together, yet if you’ve been sensible or fortunate enough to have visited the brilliant Derby QUAD over the past few years, you’ll know that Derby does indeed have a film festival, and an increasingly excellent one at that.
As a boutique festival, DFF has specialised in big-screen outings for archive classics, coupled to smart retrospective seasons and guest speakers. Indeed, I’ve been privileged to hear talks by the likes of John Hurt, Terry Jones, Paddy Considine, Mike Hodges and the mighty Brian Blessed over recent years.
The only thing lacking up to now has been the quantity of previews on offer, but Derby Film Festival 2015 is really going for it with an outrageously good line-up of quality films from around the world, way ahead of their proper UK release dates. Films I’m particularly looking forward to seeing are The Tribe (a drama about deaf teenagers told entirely in sign language) and Clouds Of Sils Maria (starring Juliette Binoche but reportedly eclipsed by a stand-out turn from Kristen Stewart), but there is a huge variety on offer.
I can vouch for two films: the eccentric ‘rapping gangsters’ hip-hop musical/thriller Tokyo Tribe (as crazy as that description sounds) and the skateboarding Iranian vampire thriller A Girl Who Walks Home Alone At Night (even more awesome than that description sounds, and genuinely one of the year’s finest films).
If that wasn’t enough, you can still gorge on classic movies, all under the theme of evidence. Highlights include noir classic Out Of The Past (one of my favourite films) and Antonioni’s swinging Sixties thriller Blow-Up.
Oh, and the epic courtroom drama Anatomy Of A Murder, directed by Otto Preminger and starring James Stewart at the peak of his powers. It has long been on my wish-list for my Epic! season of movies you must see on the big screen, so I’m delighted to say I’ll be introducing the screening on Sunday 3rd May at 11:30am.
Last but certainly not least, Derby Film Festival continues its enviable record of attracting brilliant filmmakers and stars to talk about their careers, with Brassed Off director Mark Herman and cult icon Jenny Agutter attending. To coincide with the latter’s appearance is a season of her finest achievements – The Railway Children, Walkabout, Logan’s Run and An American Werewolf In London – which is as strong and eclectic a line-up as you could ever wish for in a single career.