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Hail, Caesar! kicks off Glasgow Film Festival

Published 17/02/2016

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop arrives at the Glasgow Film Festival Opening Gala
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop arrives at the Glasgow Film Festival Opening Gala
Paul Higgins at the premiere of Hail, Caesar!

The first UK screening of the Coen brothers' Hail, Caesar! has kicked off this year's Glasgow Film Festival.

Two centurions greeted guests on the red carpet at the Glasgow Film Theatre - a nod to the costume worn in the film by George Clooney in his role as a film star kidnapped while shooting a Roman epic.

The film, described as an affectionate look at the 1950s Hollywood studio system, sees co-star Josh Brolin play a "fixer" tasked with keeping the acting talent out of the gossip columns. Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes make up the all-star cast.

The screening marks the start of a 12-day celebration of film in Glasgow.

Kelly Macdonald, who starred in the 2007 Coen Brothers movie No Country for Old Men, walked the red carpet along with fellow Scots actors Paul Higgins and Paul Brannigan at the opening gala.

The Thick of It star Higgins said: "I'm really looking forward to it, I love the Coen Brothers.

"I met Frances McDormand once and I'm in love with her as well."

Festival co-director Allison Gardner said: " It's a fantastic film and we are delighted to have the UK premiere. It's a great honour and we think people are really going to love this film.

"It's very funny and it's very dark."

Fellow co-director Allan Hunter said: " It's a love letter to Hollywood, but with the kind of sourness and melancholy that you'd expect from the Coen Brothers.

"It's the glories of Hollywood but some of the sins of Hollywood too. And film buffs will recognise so many things in it, so that's part of the fun too."

The festival will host more than 300 events and screenings before closing on February 28 with Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's Oscar-nominated Anomalisa.

Walking the red carpet will be Richard Gere - in Glasgow for the UK premiere of Time Out Of Mind, which sees him play a homeless man in New York - and Hannah Murray, star of teen drama Skins and blockbuster series Game of Thrones.

Murray features in Bridgend, Danish director Jeppe Ronde's take on the series of teenage suicides that put the Welsh town in the spotlight several years ago.

The film will receive its UK premiere at the festival, along with Urban Hymn, set against the backdrop of the 2011 England riots and starring Shirley Henderson.

Although the programme was finalised before his death, there will be a chance for audiences to remember David Bowie with a screening of The Man Who Fell To Earth at Glasgow Planetarium.

Showings are planned of the concert film of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and the documentary short Let's Dance: Bowie Down Under, which follows the star in the early 1980s.

Around 40,000 people attended the 2015 festival, with organisers expecting a similar audience this year.

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