The Bourne Id- Sup- Ultimatum

So, yeah, the first thing I do on visiting the Edinburgh Film Festival is go to a mainstream Hollywood blockbuster. I’m easing myself in gently.

I don’t believe that either. I just like big dumb action flicks. One last blast of Hollywood before the festival, courtesy of the cold, chill stealth indie styling of Paul Greengrass, and Matt Damon’s steely-eyed confusion (could be acting, could just be he can’t believe his luck) – pulling out all the stops on their crunchy action sequences, all tied up in plausible yet still somewhat ill-defined conspiracy – all that quick-cut computer screen “I want his location now!” stuff – David Strathairn doing sterling work as this film’s black-ops/wet-ops-happy patriot.

Yes, it’s all, comfortingly, more of the same, even if that includes the bit where you wonder why nobody can find Julia Stiles more stuff to do. It also means that it’s got just enough wit – particularly about the absurdity of some of the action sequences (“He’s driven off the roof!”) – although the contrast between said action and Damon’s glum “What have I become” reflection in the aftermath is starting to look a little predictable.

Other parallels with the previous films work better, including a chronological cross-over with the end of ‘Supremacy’ – although I’d be interested to know if that was always intended. And while I like the ill-fated Guardian journalist shtick, you have to be slightly worried at the motivation – are we laughing with or at? Because one suspects you wouldn’t react in the same way if it was an Indy or a Times journalist. Not to mention that Paddy Considine reminds me inescapably of his turn in ‘Hot Fuzz’…

Strike one for the Filmhouse

First cappuccino of the festival, and yes, it is overpriced, but at least it’s not gratuitously overpriced. I just felt I ought to use the Filmhouse Cafe for this occasion at least, and it turns out they have both wi-fi and plug points, although they’re not exactly shouting about it, so maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it…

Another resolution: I shall not despair at my inability to see any famous people, anywhere, ever…

I shall not feel guilty that, as an aspiring screenwriter, I am not going to (a) any of the many screenwriting appropriate events, or (b) any of the Anita Loos retrospective screenings. (See also the film festival’s theme)

I don’t feel guilty that I find the obviously industry attendees punchable, it’s just ironic, in context.

So it starts

East, then, on clattering stock. A few resolutions for this year’s Festival:

I will not give flyer distributors the least impression that I’m interested in their wares – nor will I scowl at them as if they are evil (I’ve been practicing my contrite ‘Sorry’ on the charity muggers of Buchanan Street).

I will not scowl, either, at overly loud English people talking crap. I will rise above it, so I will. (This particular resolution may not last long)

I shall not be suckered into paying over the odds for coffee and other refreshments – but will not become paranoid about the same.

I shall not succumb to the tyranny of the popcornless film festival attendee (but see previous resolution).

I shall seek out brave new worlds of free wi-fi, and actually keep this website updated in something approaching real time.

I shall not become jealous when it turns out I’ve missed the one true break-out hit of the festival (even if it turns out it was really obvious).

Likewise, I shall not become bitter when the Surprise Movie is, once again, underwhelming (particularly if it’s just something I wouldn’t choose to watch). However, if it turns out to be both crap and on release one week later…

I shall take the time to see the Warhol show. And visit the calming fish.