The organisers of this year’s Glasgow Film Festival have announced their opening and closing films.
The annual festival runs in February and will open this year with the European premiere of the coming-of-age tale Handsome Devil. The film is directed by John Butler, and stars Andrew Scott (SPECTRE, Sherlock), as well as rising stars Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine.
Here’s the story.
Heading up a cast of bright new talent is Fionn O’Shea as gawky, sixteen year-old Ned, a bright, artistic lad who faces his own hell on earth when he is sent to an all-boys Irish boarding school where the manly pursuit of rugby is virtually a religion. He steels himself for the loneliness, ridicule and constant insinuations about his sexuality. Everything changes with the arrival of his new roommate Conor (Nicholas Galitzine), a star player in the rugby team, and inspirational English teacher Dan Sherry (Sherlock and Spectre star Andrew Scott). Ned and Conor bond over a mutual appreciation of cool music and an unlikely friendship blossoms and faces unbearable pressures from a school grimly attached to its narrow macho values.
Closing this year’s big event is the film Mad To Be Normal, which chronicles the astonishing life of world-renowned Scottish psychiatrist R. D Laing. The screening will be the film’s world premiere.
Featuring an all-star cast headed by David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) as Laing, alongside Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, High-Rise), Michael Gambon (The Hollow Crown; the Harry Potter series) and Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects; In Treatment), the film is directed by Robert Mullan (We Will Sing; Gitel).
There was no more charismatic or controversial a figure during the Swinging Sixties than Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing. Dubbed “the white Martin Luther King” and the “high priest of anti-psychiatry”, Laing was as famous as Dylan. In 1965, he established Kingsley Hall in East London as a medication-free community for those seriously affected by schizophrenia. His methods and theories flew in the face of a medical establishment who considered Laing a dangerous radical. Mad To Be Normal offers a powerful account of Laing’s Kingsley Hall experiment with a stunning performance from David Tennant that really gets under the skin of an utterly compelling figure. Tennant’s nuanced, complex work conveys a sense of Laing’s immense personal charm and the combination of intelligence and arrogance that made him revered and reviled. The film also captures the darker side of a mercurial man who rarely made it easy for those who dared to get close to him, especially his lover Angie (Elisabeth Moss).
The Glasgow Film Festival runs in the city from 15th February to 26th February, 2017. More information can be found on their official website.