The UK premiere of David Mackenzie's "Perfect Sense" took place tonight to a sold out theatre as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. You can see early photos here from Wireimage, including ones of stars Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner. BBCfilms tweeted one of the enormous press and moviegoer crowd, where you can see Sigma's own and co-star Alistair Mackenzie in the background. Fingers crossed will see more soon, stay tuned, however please check out this HD VIDEO OF EWAN MCGREGOR introducing the film to the crowd tonight woot!
The PA has new video w/brief shot of Alastair, then nice interview with Ewan as he discusses working with David Mackenzie and Eva Green
UPDATE: Filmmaker Ian Robertson has joined team Sigma, and has some cool video of the huge crowd at the Premiere of Perfect Sense, awesome-thanks sooo much Ian! x
UPDATE: Via Ken Jack, here is one of David and Alastair! yayay!
Update: Journalist Lynda Hamilton was lucky enough to interview Al before the premiere and tweeted this great photo! Hope to post her interview with the star of Perfect Sense and You Instead when it is released!
Update: Thanks to SuperMiffy who has a photo of Gillian Berrie on stage with David Mackenzie at the introduction of Perfect sense last night at EiFF
Twitter was full of very postive, reflective and thoughtful comments from those who saw Perfect Sense tonight which was wonderful to read (plus lots of excited photos from those lucky enough to see and/or meet Ewan esp) In something of a marked contrast to Jan where there were overwhelming positive reviews from respected journalists, bloggers and websites worldwide, unfortunately there have been a mixed bag this go-round, alas (and in one extreme case a totally bizarre unprofessional rant so unlike anything previously that reeked with some sort personal malice I dont get 0_0 that frankly... I'm at a loss to understand it; just woah dude whatever please find some peace and move on) Great pity but absolutely they certainly do have their right to their opinion and you can't win them all of course...despite my uber fangirl cheerleader desires to do so, curses lol. On the positive side, there are indeed many many good ones, in particular a well written piece from Edinburghguide.com (4stars) Quotage:
"This is a boldly offbeat, original and ambitious departure for Scottish film-maker David Mackenzie, a regular presence at the Edinburgh Film Festival over the years with his various uncompromising takes on alienation, awkward intimacy, and shared suffering.
And whilst those themes are still very evident here, Perfect Sense is a richer, more polished and complex beast to digest with interesting ideas working on several levels and which linger in the mind long after the credits have rolled...
This is Mackenzie’s best film to date although I’m still a big admirer of Young Adam, which also starred Ewan McGregor in one of his best roles. It obviously wasn’t a fluke for under Mackenzie’s eye, McGregor is once again on top form in a down to earth and subtle performance peppered with moments of moving despair and rage.
Eva Green is also excellent as his soul’s mirror and the onscreen chemistry is palatable. There’s also notable support from Ewen Bremner as McGregor’s cheeky assistant and their working banter and behaviour made me think the whole film might have been just as interesting had it been entirely set in Michael’s restaurant.
It’s also Mackenzie’s most cinematic work to date. With an elegant and moody score, some great locations, powerful montages and a couple of boldly bizarre scenes where characters lose the plot (you wont forget the ‘hungry scene’). It’s a quirky and original take on an established genre with many inventive touches and plenty of provocative food for thought."
Ross from ReelScotland also weighs in on the positive (3/5) and writes:
Where the greatest strength lies is in the central relationship. It is one worth investing in as it flits from elation to tragedy, building to enough of a climax that other events seem almost insignificant. It’s certainly a love story above-and-beyond a genre picture. Whereas Fernando Meirelles’ thematically similar Blindness focuses on how people behave when they react to events, the focus here very much remains on ‘life goes on’ and as-such is ultimately far more positive about human nature.It’s certainly an ambitious undertaking and while it might not make perfect sense, it makes more than enough to have an impact at an emotional level.
Many more positive reviews are pouring in from tumbler, twitter and the blogs including one here from Charlie Moon who writes of seeing the UK premiere: "Before the movie, McGregor, MacKenzie and producer (and therefore my idol) Gillian Berrie gave a small introduction to the film, and were each blown away by the reception they were receiving...the twist in the story line took me completely by surprise. The ideas behind this film are Genius and nothing like anything I've ever seen before. Overwhelmed by the story it left me crying like a baby at the end, initially with happiness but then also with grief. I highly reccomend this film to anyone. An apocalyptic romance!"
Filmland Empire has a very good more indepth reaction, and they write: "The first aspect that immediately impresses is the art direction. The Michael Nyman'esque score by Max Richter strikes the right note (dare I say) between hope and melancholy. The photography is absolutely stunning, again finding the right balance between a certain coldness in scenes of panic and warmth for the intimate scenes...Instrumental in the success of the film however are its two leads, Ewan McGregor and Eva Green. They both give one of their best performance in a long time. They have real chemistry and the intimate scenes between them are the most successful, including a sweet and tender scene involving them affectionately eating soap in a bath, having lost their sense of taste. (sounds ridiculous? Trust me, it works) In fact, considering how little the supporting cast is given to do, I almost wonder if the director could have gone for a more radical approach and solely follow the two main characters...The film is out in October in the UK (no release date announced in the US as yet), and for all its originality and poetry, I cannot recommend it enough."
TV Bomb also gives high marks to the film (4 bombs which is a good thing lol), noting "MacKenzie’s second film with McGregor, after Young Adam, is one of the most original romance films to be played out on screen in years."
Screengrab is more reflective, with the following:
Beautiful and poignant, Perfect Sense offers a hauntingly bleak outlook on modern-day life. Billed as a sci-fi, the film is barely that. The reason behind the events is never found, it is barely even looked for. This is certainly no Independence Day, that’s for sure and similarly Perfect Sense has none of the hope, the gung-ho attitude or the introspection of other end of the world dramas. Although set in Glasgow, the film lacks any real sense of a clear location, and this widespread, almost global generalisation makes it all the more terrifying. The response to events in the film is incredibly human and the pervasive sense that we are not in control, much as we’d like to think so, taunts an ignorant audience.
The acting is spot on, and with such talents as McGregor and Green on board this is hardly surprising. In the centre of terrifying events we are presented with a highly moving and deeply engaging love story. The producer spoke to us at the start of the press screening, mentioning what an achievement it had been to get these big stars to work in such a small film. The usual struggle any British film faces to get funding had been there, but this Scottish film has been a success story and if the sell out of the first public screening is anything to go by, it is set to do very well.
Casta La Vista writes about the press embargo before the film screened, and how excited moved and glad they were to be able to now write freely about the film. MOST COMPLEMENTARY about acclaimed film composer Max Richter, highlights from this review include:
There are so many good things about this film that I’m really going to struggle to limit myself (for length’s sake) but if there was any one thing that really really stood out as being great about this film, it would undoubtedly be the score. Max Richter (who last year contributed to the excellent Shutter Island) has really pulled it out of the bag with this one; the music is subtle when it needs to be, poignant when it’s appropriate and is absolutely harrowing at the most emotionally involving moments. Outstanding.
Perfect Sense verges on having one of the most tragic endings I’ve seen, quite a drain after the emotional day I’d already had with Angels Crest and Project Nim – this isn’t a film to watch then when feeling vulnerable; but is one that will prompt you into appreciating what you have in life and, if you’re anything like me, cause you to re-evaluate the things you think are important. Top notch stuff."
From FlickFeast comes this honest and heartfelt review:
"Danish screenwriter Kim Fupz Aakeson for the most part keeps the love story absolutely real also. It’s really the centre of the film in a classic love conquers all story, with the epidemic serving as a series of extreme situations that propel them together and heighten their passion for each other, or pull them apart. McGregor and Green have a wonderful chemistry and while I wasn’t entirely convinced they would gel together they both do great work (Green in particular.)
Unfortunately Aakeson doesn’t nail the love story entirely. Without wanting to give anything away at one point one of the characters behaves completely out of, um, character for a good portion of the film. While watching it’s incredibly frustrating, and it becomes clear at the end that the only reason for this behaviour is to facilitate the end of the film. It’s like Aakeson had the ending in mind and then bent his characters all out of shape to achieve it.
But thankfully the ending is so powerful that all is quickly forgiven. Wow. I was fighting back tears.
Before the screening started we each had to sign an embargo agreement stating that we wouldn’t comment on the film until after the premiere. I was the first to leave the theatre and when I handed mine in – to what looked like an attractive woman but I couldn’t be sure through the tears in my eyes – I asked her “Not even if I want to rave about it?” “I’m afraid not,” she said, smiling.
Damn shame, as I cannot recommend this more highly."
NapiersNews: With a film that is as ambitious and brave as this one, it’s hard to be too disappointed. Setting a science fiction story not in London, Los Angeles or New York but in Glasgow, for a start, is a daring move on behalf of director David MacKenzie. It’s one, moreover, that allows us to feel that even the most normal of cities are being affected by the spreading pandemic. Also, with an unseen narrator who describes the stages of the phenomenon, quick changes in stylistic tone and montage sequences that capture how it spreads around the globe, Perfect Sense is noteworthy for it’s radically unconventional storytelling.
Furthermore, there are moments in the film that will stay with you long after the final fade to black and concluding narration, with members of the audience at last night’s premiere appearing visibly overwhelmed with what they’d just consumed. In particular, the final moments are guaranteed to grip you to the screen with a tear in your eye.
Like Reel Scotland, another 3/5 star review, this one from the Independent who despite the lower rating had this to say: "The storytelling style is deliberately restrained. Mackenzie cleverly approaches outlandish material in a subdued and intimate way. Gilles Nuttgens' cinematography emphasises greys and browns. The score by Max Richter (reminiscent of Arvo Part at his most lugubrious) adds to the mournful mood."
Several beautifully written thoughtful intelligent reviews wrap up this post and are well worth your time to read:
"Telling the story of a global epidemic where everyone starts losing their senses one by one, but focusing mainly on one couple (McGregor and former Bond girl Eva Green), the film has already been dismissed by some critics as overacted and pretentious. But this writer found it quite the opposite. It’s a uniquely ambitious work in which Mackenzie picks up some fascinating ideas and uncompromisingly follows them through, and his cast are all on exactly the same page. Mackenzie demands a lot from the audience, but if you go with it, the film is thought-provoking and quietly moving. ‘What I saw in the script’, explained Mackenzie, ‘was a poetic attempt to tell the story of a possible end [of humanity], and that felt interesting to me. It felt like a subtle and rather magical way of looking at these things as opposed to a bombastic and genre-led thing.’ One of the films co-stars – another Trainspotting alumnus - is Ewen Bremner, and he seemed to me to get it dead right with this assessment of the film: ‘It will divide the audience between people who want to or need to maintain objective distance and an emotional defence, and people that are more willing to engage and emotionally go with it, because there’s something quite fairytale-like about it. To me it’s not a completely realist film, it’s more like a fairytale or a parable, and because of that it’s easier to let yourself go, because [you know] it’s a story. And I think stylistically David has allowed that distinction to be clear.’ "
"The narrative is a gripping rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. One minute Susan and Michael are emphatically happy and in love, the next they’re facing their darkest fears and are in the throws of despair as they lose yet another sense. It’s shown how people have come to rely on their remaining senses, primarily touch, to make up for those they’ve lost. One enchanting scene shows a street performer demonstrating how to remember the smell of a leaf. The surrounding crowd watch, fixated, as she describes the rainforest; the noises, the taste of the air and the feel of the leaf’s smooth surface. This is what people have to do to keep their beloved memories alive.
Perfect Sense is a beautifully unique gem amongst its fellow ‘end of the world’ films. There’re no aliens, or explosions, or someone who rides in to save the day. The earth itself, as a physical mass, is unharmed. This apocalypse is fundamentally personal and to a large extent psychological. For a start, it’s set in Glasgow rather than a place like New York which has been destroyed so many times it’s hard to count. This gives it a feel of normality and a sense of every day life which makes the prospect of what’s happening all the more terrifying; it’s closer to home. Whilst the entire human race loses their senses together, each person loses their own personal memories as well. People forget the smell of their favourite perfume or favourite meal. This is what sets Perfect Sense apart from the rest. Yes, it would be scary if the world began to disappear and crumble away from underneath us. But isn’t it even more horrific to become ultimately helpless; being only there in mind and not body?"
"Beautiful and poignant, Perfect Sense offers a hauntingly bleak outlook on modern-day life. Billed as a sci-fi, the film is barely that. The reason behind the events is never found, it is barely even looked for. This is certainly no Independence Day, that’s for sure and similarly Perfect Sense has none of the hope, the gung-ho attitude or the introspection of other end of the world dramas. Although set in Glasgow, the film lacks any real sense of a clear location, and this widespread, almost global generalisation makes it all the more terrifying. The response to events in the film is incredibly human and the pervasive sense that we are not in control, much as we’d like to think so, taunts an ignorant audience.
The acting is spot on, and with such talents as McGregor and Green on board this is hardly surprising. In the centre of terrifying events we are presented with a highly moving and deeply engaging love story. The producer spoke to us at the start of the press screening, mentioning what an achievement it had been to get these big stars to work in such a small film. The usual struggle any British film faces to get funding had been there, but this Scottish film has been a success story and if the sell out of the first public screening is anything to go by, it is set to do very well."
CONGRATULATIONS DAVID and all at Team Sigma for another wonderful premiere!