Reviews & features: Paul Dale

75 reviews

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The Open Couple

7 Aug 20084 stars

This re-improvised restaging of Dario Fo and Franca Rame's superb, oft overlooked 1983 two-hander is a delight. Though too young for their roles (Fo and Rame played them in their 50s), Stuart Brennan and Jennifer Dean are brilliantly convincing as the…

Pete Firman

7 Aug 20084 stars

For a bit of straightforward, old-fashioned entertainment you can't go wrong with comedy magician Firman. With the giddy fakir style trickery skills of Tommy Cooper and the flirtatious warmth of Eric Morecambe, he's a northern crowd-pleasing wonder.

Time Bomb

7 Aug 20082 stars

It's 2017 and Westminster wants to go nuclear on Iran, but MP Victoria Clarke and her middle English family hold a secret that could change the vote forever. There's some nice ideas about where the personal and apocalyptic meet in Tim Burton's one-act…


7 Aug 20084 stars

A see and eye shotgun tale

Poet, playwright, actor and former judo champion Lynn Manning knows all about loss. Raised in penury in California, Manning lost his parents to the bottle and his siblings to the foster care system. Then in 1978, aged 23, Manning lost his sight in a…

Richard Jenkins - Exclusive interview

5 Aug 2008


At this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival I had the great pleasure of grabbing a chat with the American actor, and proud son of Illinois, Richard Jenkins. I have been a great admirer of Jenkins work as a character actor since his marginal…

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Errol Morris - Exclusive interview

5 Aug 2008


Paul Dale goes head to head with arguably the best documentarian and interviewer of his generation - Errol Morris. Morris was in town to promote his soon to be released film Standard Operating Procedure.

Little Feat

22 Jul 2008

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

Formed in 1969 by Lowell George, one of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Little Feat were always going to be different from the blues bands of the period. Small in stature, guitarist and lead singer George was a talented firebrand of R&B, country…

Bigga Than Ben: A Russian's Guide to Ripping Off London

19 Jun 20083 stars

Edinburgh International Film Festival

(SA Halewood, UK) 85min Allegedly based on the diary of a young Moscovite who came to London in the late 1990s, Bigga than Ben is, for the majority of its running time, a distracting black comedy. Cobakka (Ben Barnes) and Spiker (Andrei Chadov) are a…

Elite Squad (Tropa D'Elite)

19 Jun 20084 stars

Edinburgh International Film Festival

(José Padilha, Brazil) 118min Based on Luiz Eduardo Soares’ bestseller, Elite Squad is a favela thriller from the director of 2002 documentary Bus 174. It’s 1997 in Rio de Janeiro, months before a visit from Pope John Paul II. The rundown housing…

Matter of fact - Documentaries at the EIFF

19 Jun 2008

Edinburgh International Film Festival

When the Edinburgh International Film Festival opened its doors for the first time in 1947, documentary films were the only things on the menu. Much has changed since then, but the EIFF has continued its commitment to the feature documentary form. Every…

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Edinburgh International Film Festival - Jeanne Moreau

5 Jun 2008

Born between the wars to an English chorus girl mother and a French restaurateur father, Jeanne Moreau was born to play what feminist film critic Molly Haskell called ‘the glorious fantasy, appealing to both sexes, to men as eternal mistress, to women…

Ex Drummer

23 Aug 20074 stars

Based on the degenerate novel of the same name by the hugely popular Flemish novelist and poet Herman Brusselmans, Ex Drummer is like a checklist of the Belgian writer’s obsessions, noticeably alcohol, sex, disability, boredom, violence, punk rock and…

Hallam Foe

23 Aug 20073 stars

(18) 95min

As writer and philosopher William Gass once noted: ‘for the voyeur, fiction is what’s called going all the way’. No one knows this better than rural Scottish boy Hallam Foe (Jamie Bell). While his father (Ciarán Hinds) and stepmother (Claire Forlani…

Run Granny Run

23 Aug 2007

Don Ameche In the 20 or so years before his death in 1993, Ameche had become the über OAP in huge box office hits Trading Places and Cocoon. His best late great performance was as shoe shiner come ageing mafia don in David Mamet’s hugely enjoyable…

Time of His Life: The Films of Eddie McConnell

23 Aug 2007

1 John Grierson Feted Scottish documentary cameraman and filmmaker McConnell was mentored by the Stirlingshire documentary filmmaker Grierson in his early days in the profession. Much of Grierson’s dedication to the idea of cinematic truth and lyricism…

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Anita Loos Retrospective

16 Aug 2007

Name Anita Loos. Born 26 April, 1888, California. Died 18 August 1981, New York. Who was she? Loos was one of the most celebrated US screenwriters, playwrights and authors of the last century. Over her long life she experienced several…

Duncan and Wilma Finnigan

16 Aug 2007

Scottish filmmaking

Meet the Finnegans: Duncan and Wilma Finnigan, the John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands of Coatbridge. Scotland’s best kept filmmaking secret. The couple’s films inhabit a strange hinterland between community video amateurishness, Forsythian whimsy and…

Phantom Love

16 Aug 2007

One of the undoubted highlights of this year’s experimental Black Box strand is US filmmaker Nina Menkes’ black and white internationally roaming surreal familial drama Phantom Love. Menkes has been described as one of ‘the most provocative artists…

5 Reasons To Go To - Scottish Novels On Screen

9 Aug 2007

1 Andrea Gibb (pictured) No relation to the Bee Gees, Gibb (AfterLife, Dear Frankie) is one of Scotland’s most prolific and successful screenwriters. She will be chairing this event/debate which looks at the success of Scottish literature in its many…

John Waters: This Filthy World

9 Aug 20073 stars

(Jeff Garlin, US, 2006) 86min

The ‘Ayatollah of Crud’ speaks. Time was when John Waters used to stand for something. Alienation from the mainstream perhaps, a gothic outsiderness, suburban depravity. But now, with money coming in from the ludicrously successful stage (and screen…

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Anita Loos retrospective

19 Jul 2007

Anita Loos was an intellectual brunette who wrote about dumb gold-diggers. As a major retrospective of her work hits the Festival, Paul Dale explores her legacy

Komma, Ex Drummer

19 Jul 2007

A pair of Belgian movies at the EIFF will showcase the talents of Flemish superstar composer and actor Arno Hintjens. The 59-year-old’s surprisingly mature acting (for a pop star) can be sampled in Martine Doyen’s engrossing personality theft drama…

This Filthy World

19 Jul 2007

Edinburgh International Film Festival

As a new film about him comes to this year’s Festival, veteran cult filmmaker John Waters shows no sign of slowing down. Paul Dale does his best to catch up with him

The Directors

13 Nov 2006

It may not be very apparent yet, but Scotland’s summer festivals are feeling seismic tremors. On the one hand there are new chiefs heading up two of Edinburgh’s prestigious festivals. On the other, there’s a new, upmarket music festival outside Glasgow…

Colour Me Kubrick

25 Jul 2006

What do you get if you cross Six Degrees of Separation with Catch Me If You Can? The answer is, of course, Colour Me Kubrick. Based on a story by long time Kubrick friend, writer and fellow photography enthusiast Anthony Frewin, Colour Me Kubrick is the…