Reviews & features: Paul Gallagher

28 reviews

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Chaos Walking author Patrick Ness set for 2014 Edinburgh Book Festival appearance

15 Aug 2014

Key writer in British young adult fiction scene discusses new novel More Than This

Chaos Walking author and Book Festival favourite Patrick Ness will soon deliver the first Siobhan Dowd Trust Memorial Lecture. He tells Paul Gallagher why truth in storytelling is more important than ever. Patrick Ness is one of the shining lights of…

Profile: Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series

14 Aug 2014

The author appears at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

Diana Gabaldon is the Arizona-based author of the Outlander books series, a historical-fantasy-time travel mash-up of epic proportions begun in 1991. Now into its eighth instalment, it’s amassed global sales of over 20 million copies and she’s appearing…

Scott Pilgrim writer Bryan Lee O'Malley to attend Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014

14 Aug 2014

The graphic novelist attends the fest to discuss his new project, Seconds

Canadian comics artist Bryan Lee O’Malley is the writer and illustrator of the bestselling Scott Pilgrim series, a six-volume epic that established him as a master at combining intimate, personal characterisation with fantastical storytelling on a huge…

Castles in the Sky

23 Jun 20142 stars

Eddie Izzard stars in Gillies MacKinnon's hamstrung WWII drama

It's receiving its world premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival, but this BBC Science commissioned pre-WWII drama feels very limited in cinematic potential by both its budget and its story. Directed by Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) and…

Cathedrals of Culture

23 Jun 20143 stars

A '3D film project about the soul of buildings' featuring moments of inspiration and poignancy

This documentary portmanteau film comes laden with a pretentious subtitle (‘a 3D film project about the soul of buildings’) and a 165-minute running time, but for audiences willing to dive in regardless, it’s an interesting and unique film experience…

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Authors Helen FitzGerald and Sophie McKenzie explore dark territory at EIBF 2013

22 Aug 2013

The most recent books by the writers (The Cry and Close My Eyes respectively) explore parental fears

Here are two writers taking steps out of their comfort zones into darker territory, as Australian-born, Glasgow-based writer Helen FitzGerald explains: ‘I’ve never started with an inciting incident as terrible and as overwhelming as this before. It set…

Margaret Atwood set for Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

22 Aug 2013

Discussion of The Blind Assassin and her newest work MaddAdda

Margaret Atwood makes a welcome return to the Book Festival with MaddAddam, the concluding book in her disturbingly credible dystopian trilogy, begun in 2003 with the Booker-shortlisted Oryx and Crake. This is the first time one of her novels has…

Melvin Burgess & Jeremy Dyson

14 Aug 2013

Hauntings and hunger at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

One of the pleasures of EIBF’s many double-headers is the way they uncover connections between disparate writers. Melvin Burgess is best known for his award-winning YA social realist fiction, while Jeremy Dyson is the non-performing writer from The…

How To Make A Killing in Bollywood

13 Aug 20132 stars

Glasgow theatre company NLP disappoint with this poorly-scripted show that starts out as a fun musical-comedy but comes unstuck as it attempts to develop more serious themes. The highlights by far are the joyous song and dance sequences that appear out…

Five writers inspired by faith and religion at the 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival

7 Aug 2013

Colm Tóibín, John Tolan, Marina Warner, Rowan Williams and Steve Jones

Religion and faith continue to provide rich veins of inspiration for writers the world over, as well as offering endlessly debated and provocative areas of discussion. These five events are guaranteed to provide food for thought for truth seekers of…

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Choose Your Own Documentary by Nathan Penlington

5 Aug 20133 stars

Funny and nostalgic interactive show based on cult 80s books

The Choose Your Own Adventure books were a publishing phenomenon, offering re-readable stories with multiple outcomes and potential death or glory at every page-turn. Writer and performer Nathan Penlington hits on a rich vein of pre-internet nostalgia…

Writer, composer and performer George Lewkowicz presents Superbard: The Flood

1 Aug 2013

The multimedia spoken word performance will take place at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Superbard, a futuristic storyteller played by writer, composer and performer George Lewkowicz, returns for his fourth consecutive Fringe appearance with this spoken-word show, imagining an apocalyptic future through stories of characters surviving in a…

Magic Magic

24 Jun 20134 stars

Sebastian Silva's psycho thriller, starring Juno Temple and Michael Cera, will mess with your head

From the moment its repeating title flashes momentarily onto the screen, writer/director Sebastian Silva’s dark and unsettling drama runs deep with themes of perception, paranoia and tricks of the mind. Did we really just see that, or was it our…


21 Jun 20133 stars

A Britpop comedy that has its faults but succeeds on a sweet and funny performance from Jonny Owen

This good-natured British music industry spoof began life as a series of short YouTube skits, and consequently runs out of steam a good while before its 90 minutes are up. But it is nonetheless a likeable showcase for its writer and star, Welsh comedian…

What Maisie Knew

19 Jun 20134 stars

Well-crafted drama starring Julianne Moore showing divorce from a child's point of view

In an upmarket Manhattan apartment, rock singer Susanna (Julianne Moore) and her art dealer partner Beale (Steve Coogan) are having an explosive argument. The camera quickly moves to an adjacent room, where the couple’s infant daughter Maisie (Onata…

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Take One Action Film Festival 2012 returns to Glasgow and Edinburgh

16 Aug 2012

Groundbreaking festival to open with Martin Scorsese produced film and features workshops and Q&As

Returning to Glasgow and Edinburgh for the fifth year in a row, the Take One Action Film Festival’s aim is as much to celebrate great work that is being done around the world to fight injustice, as it is to provoke audiences to get up and do something…

How should the EIFF move forward?

27 Jun 2011

Reflections on Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011

When the lights came up on The Guard, this year’s opening film, my overriding thought was, 'that was fine'. It was quite funny and had a good cast, but was entirely unadventurous filmmaking. Fine, but nothing more. As a tone-setter for the 'reinvented…

Weekender - Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Jack O’Connell interview

25 Jun 2011

Film charting 1990s British rave scene

“We’re a bit like a double-act”, quips Jack O’Connell, referring to himself and his co-star Henry Lloyd-Hughes, and it proves true as they talk to me. They’re ostensibly discussing Weekender, which has it’s World Premiere at this year’s Festival, but…

Troll Hunter - André Øvredal interview

23 Jun 2011

Director of the Norwegian moc doc taking film festivals by storm

Something that’s pretty thin on the ground at Edinburgh this year are genuine ‘festival finds’; films from unknown filmmakers that seem to come out of nowhere and really impress audiences. TrollHunter is perhaps the closest thing to that in this year’s…

Project Nim - James Marsh interview

21 Jun 2011

Man on Wire director charts 1970s chimp experiment in extraordinary film

‘I’m here bleary-eyed straight from four weeks of shooting a feature film in Dublin!’ So claims Project Nim director James Marsh when I meet him, but you wouldn’t know it from the espresso-fuelled 30 minutes of rapid discussion that follows, in which…

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Perfect Sense an ambitious film that demands a lot from audience

20 Jun 2011

David Mackenzie’s feature thought-provoking and quietly moving

The weekend saw one of the biggest events of this year’s EIFF programme, as the massive Festival Theatre played host to the European premiere of David Mackenzie’s new film, the Glasgow-set sci-fi romance Perfect Sense, on Saturday night. I interviewed…

Reel Science events programme among highlights of Edinburgh Film Festival

17 Jun 2011

Tomboy, My Brothers and Project Nim among film highlights

After my fearless leader’s less-than-generous appraisal of this aged Festival’s opening night, I’m hoping to bring a little bit of love for EIFF back to these web pages. Admittedly, the pared-down nature of this year’s Festival is most noticeable in the…

Modern Love, Get Low, Aaron Schneider and the fragility of film-making at EIFF 2010

26 Jun 2010

Edinburgh International Film Festival Blog

Friday 25 June Friday was my last day at the Festival, and I decided to use it to take a walk off the beaten EIFF track and check out Modern Love, a short film made by a bunch of teenagers from Fife in conjunction with a company called Media…

The Quay Brothers' Maska plus film without images - HP Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror

25 Jun 2010

Edinburgh International Film Festival Blog

Wednesday 23rd June. While EIFF’s programme focuses mainly on conventional feature-films, there are several one-off events scattered throughout the Festival’s 10 days, so I decided to investigate a couple of the more adventurous ones. The first was a…

Up close with Cherry Tree Lane, Skeletons and Ollie Kepler's Expanding Purple World

23 Jun 2010

Edinburgh International Film Festival Blog

Tuesday 22 Jun Paul Andrew Williams’ Cherry Tree Lane was one of the first films I saw here this year, and I did not like it. No sir. As I watched the London to Brighton director’s brutal tale of suburban home invasion playing out in real time, I…