Films, Ceilidhs, Theatre & Events at the Grassmarket Centre

FILM: Final Ascent: The Legend Of Hamish MacInnes (2018) + Q&A 

Monday 20th May, 7:15pm (SMHA Festival Screening)

Dir: Robbie Fraser
12A, UK, Documentary, 83mins
Legendary British mountaineer Hamish MacInnes has conquered some of the world’s highest peaks, but in this wonderfully insightful documentary from Robbie Fraser (Hamish – about another famous Scot by that name), MacInnes late struggles with mental health are laid bare as perhaps the toughest challenges of his life. Final Ascent follows MacInnes in his battle to regain his freedom after having been institutionalised. It features touching reconnections with old friends, such as Michael Palin, as well as unfurling the memories of achievement that mental illness have imperilled.


FILM: The Favourite (2018)

Monday 27th May, 7:15pm (Award Winners Season)

Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
15, UK/Ire/US Period Drama 120m
Kicking off our new Award Winners season of films – one each quarter – is this highly divisive Oscar winner. Exploring the overlooked reign of Queen Anne (reigned 1702—1714), the film focuses in on a lovetriangle / power play between the ailing monarch (played with real melancholia and mania by Olivia Colman) and her ’favourites’ Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone). These three stunning female performances are at the core of the film’s majesty, as Lanthimos takes Deborah Davis’ long-dormant screenplay and recalibrates the period drama as something modern, punkish and political. Features strong language, sexual content and scenes of animal cruelty.

FILM: Freedom Fields (2018)

Monday 3rd June, 7:15pm

Dir: Naziha Arebi
TBC, UK / Libya, Documentary, 97mins
This engrossing Scottish Documentary Institute release has played well to audiences across the globe, so we are really pleased to be bringing it to the Grassmarket community. Filmed over five years, Arebi and her team follow three young female football players, playing for their team in post-revolution Libya, just at the point when the hope of the Arab Spring descends into the chaos and violence of civil war. Freedom Fields is a wonderfully intimate portrait of sacrifice and sisterhood on and off the football field.

FILM: A Story of Children and Film (2013) + Q&A

Monday 10th June, 7:15pm

Dir: Mark Cousins
E, UK (and the Whole Wide World), Documentary, 106mins
Continuing our central theme for the season, we have a very special event lined up. Mark Cousins is one of the great chroniclers of film currently working at the moment, as well as being an inventive filmmaker in his own right. He has kindly agreed to introduce and discuss his 2013 film about children and childhood, told poetically and passionately through 53 different works of world cinema. It is quite simply an outstanding work of curiosity, that manages to succinctly celebrate childhood in all of its loneliness, stroppiness, innocence and destruction. The film will be introduced by Mark and followed by a Q&A.

FILM: War School: The Battle for Britain’s Children – followed by Q&A

Tuesday 11th June, 6:30pm

Join Peace Education Scotland as they screen ‘War School: The Battle for Britain’s Schools’ here at the GCP. This film skilfully demonstrates why the need for active peace education in schools is so pressing.

War School: The Battle for Britain’s Children explores the growing peace movement in the UK, in the context of growing militarisation of British schools for propaganda and recruitment purposes. The documentary highlights the widespread outreach and PR events run by the Ministry of Defence, and how sympathy and respect for veterans is systematically channeled into support for Britain’s military-industrial complex. This propaganda effort aimed at young people is particularly disturbing, as they lack the emotional fortitude, self-confidence and critical skills that enable adults to recognise when they’re being manipulated.

Join in afterwards for a panel discussion and Q+A about the film and the ongoing work being done by Peace Education Scotland. Tickets are free to book. Donations toward the costs of the event are appreciated, and we will be collecting on the door. Book here:

FILM: Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Monday 17th June, 7:15pm

Dir: Kenneth Lonergan
15, US, Drama, 137mins
Kenneth Lonergan has form for bruising, gruelling and emotional family dramas that spill out into all kinds of messy places. You Can Count on Me (2000) couched its brutal home truths in wry humour, but in this most recent Oscar-winning effort, those brutal home truths are all bound up in Casey Affleck’s Lee Chandler, a cursed soul who cannot forgive himself for the horrors he has inflicted on his nearest and dearest. When Lee is asked to take care of his teenage nephew Patrick (played brilliantly by newcomer Lucas Hedges), he is forced to confront some of the demons that torture him, with devastating consequences for all around him.

FILM: The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) (Edinburgh International Film Festival Award Winner)

Monday 24th June, 7:15pm

Dir: Marielle Heller
15, US, Comedy Drama, 102mins
With the latest edition of the EIFF up-and-running we thought it would be a good idea to remind you of a quality film from the festival’s recent past. This 2015 US film walked away with the International Prize at the 69th EIFF and it is a wonderful adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s novel-cum-memoir of growing up in a sexually liberated 1970s San Francisco. Featuring a brilliant central performance from British actress Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze, it brings our season full circle, as it is another film in which mother (a nearly unrecognisable Kristen Wiig) and daughter relationships feature front and centre. Director Heller has since gone on to further critical acclaim with last year’s award winning Can You Ever Forgive Me? Features strong language and sexual content.