Edinburgh Film Guild celebrates 80 years

Starting in 1929 with the aim of being the place to go to see the kinds of films either ignored or forgotten about by mainstream cinema, the Edinburgh Film Guild this week celebrates its 80th season of screenings with 100 films coming your way from now until April.

Tucked away to the rear of Lothian Road’s Filmhouse cinema, the Guild has its own bar, club room and cinema where it will show 125 screenings of 100 different films (the most popular are shown twice) between 4 October 2009 and 16 April 2010.

Sixteen mini-seasons, each comprised of six films, with titles as diverse as Apocalypse and Beyond, Lost Classics of Irish Cinema and Mafiosos of the World, run on Friday’s, Sunday’s and Wednesday’s, with members able to sign up for as many, or as few, as they want for just a fiver each.

Much like trying to decide which film to see at any other cinema, picking the best of the choices on offer here is a near-impossible task.

For example tonight sees the Guild show two classic science fiction films from 1962, The Earth Dies Screaming and The Creation of the Humanoids, while Sunday’s Coyote Waits, part of the Native American Cinema season, is a detective story based on one of the Leaphorn and Chee mystery novels.

Coming up in future weeks are rare screenings of Sean Connery films The Hill and The Offence (Sydney Lumet season), a chance to see Laurel and Hardy’s Laurel on his own in The Stan Laurel Collection (Silent Comedy season), bizarre Italian cowboy flick Django Kill (Spaghetti Westerns season) and the otherwise banned in the UK horror, Fight for Your Life (Extreme Cinema season).

With the chance to meet other film fans before and after screenings and a maximum cost of £50 should you decide to sign up to all 100 films, this is one of those rare things in modern cinema: a bargain. Find out more at www.edinburghfilmguild.org.uk.

The Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, running from 1 – 22 October, aims to promote positive mental health in the context of equality and social justice through a series of film screening at the Filmhouse and Cameo.

Films on offer in include The Misfits, Bringing Up Baby, A Woman Under the Influence and Muriel’s Wedding. Go to www.mhfestival.com for details.

This article previously appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News on 9 October 2009.

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