As the Edinburgh International Film Festival drew to a close last night we thought it would be worthwhile to look at some of the films that graced our screens over the past two weeks, and we start with the opening film which is in cinemas now - Killer Joe.
When a debt puts a young man's (Emile Hirsch) life in danger, he turns to Joe (Matthew McConaughey) to take out his evil mother in order to collect the insurance. However, he doesn't have the money up front and has to offer his 12 year old sister as a deposit. Directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) and based on Tracey Lett's play this is a very dark film noir.
Next up is the horror anthology V/H/S which contains five different found footage films with another wrap around segment. Each film is directed by an up and coming horror director and you shouldn't let the found footage put you off as the anthology allows some fresh life to be breathed into this tired format.
Along the horror lines we also review the British film Berberian Sound Studio. Set in the 1970's it follows Gilderoy (Toby Jones), a sound engineer from rural England who has moved to Italy to work on a Giallo style horror film (in the vein of Suspiria and Balck Sunday). It's an interesting premise but lacks a bit in execution in the final third, and is almost certainly not for those who have not got an interest in cinema / Italian Giallo.
Second from last we caught God Bless America, a very, very black comedy from Bobcat Goldthwait, which looks at our obsession with celebrity culture and our relationship with TV and the media. Not for everyone but if you have a dark sense of humour it may be for you. If we were to compare it to anything it's like an even more over the top version of Falling Down, or the Black Mirror series which was recently on TV.
Finally, one of the best films we saw at the festival this year was Shadow Dancer. The first fictional film from James Marsh (the director behind the excellent documentaries Man on Wire and Project Nim) it focuses on the relationship between an IRA terrorist (Andrea Risebourgh - Brighton Rock) and her MI5 handler (Clive Owen) after she has been turned. It is very low key, but the performances are excellent and it is incredibly tense at time. It asks a lot of the audience and you have to pay attention but it is ultimately a very rewarding experience.
Also in this episode, we run down our top 5 movies of the year so far now that we are at the mid way point. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know via twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.