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By Graham Rae | September 10, 2002

Edinburgh during August is truly a sight and site to behold. The city hosts a Festival, a Fringe Festival, a Book Festival…and a Film Festival. People from all over the world collect in the Scottish capital to have an amazing time, having great fun with whichever medium they choose to entertain themselves: theatre, dance, comedy, juggling, fire-eaters, penis puppeteers…and film. Rivers of freshly oxygenated international blood flow through the joyfully swollen veins and arteries of one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the Heart of Midlothian swells to bursting point with a truly inspiring multitechnicolored mass of humanity.
Actually, the preceding is complete and utter shite.
What really happens during Festival time is that Edinburgh becomes a noisy, smelly city full of obnoxious tourists who will knock you into the street if you get in their way. Shoals of middle-to-upper-middle class condescending English cunts come up from down South to swan about singing anti-Scottish songs and generally behave as if they own the place. You are accosted by innumerable annoying people wanting you to come and see their lavish epic theatrical production, which no less a revered journalistic institution than The Hastings Gazette once gave a rave review to.
And then…there is the Film Festival.
“Film people are the most up-themselves cunts in the world.” – one down-to-earth, truthful Australian star of the EIFF a few years back in conversation to me.
Lessee here. The Edinburgh International Film Festival, EIFF, the longest running flickershow festival in the world, as they never tire of telling us. I’ve been attending the thing since I was 17 years old, making good my escape from my old home town of Falkirk to slip into a different celluloid world a couple of times, at least as much as my Youth Training Scheme ‘wage’ would allow that year. It was way cool being young and fresh and seeing films with (gasp) ‘stars’! However. Now I am 33 next month and that naïve innocence and wide-eyed wonder has given way to…
…complete and utter f*****g hatred of this pretentious dumbfuck institution.
“Let’s get down to business/I ain’t got no time to play around what is this/must be a circus in town/let’s shut the s**t down/on these clowns/can I get a witness?” – Eminem.
Like I said, I’ve been attending the EIFF for 15 years now, always seeing at least a film or two a year. I love film, plain and simple. In those 15 years, a lot has happened to me. Grown up and older and wiser and wider. I have been writing about film since I was 18 years old for various fanzines and magazines. And I can truly say I have never been so utterly discouraged and pissed off with the ‘venerable’ (more like ‘venereal’) institution of the EIFF than I was this year. 2002: The Year The Festival Broke. Why? Well, lemme tell you. S**t, you knew I was gonna anyway.

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