Conspiracies Film Programme

Edinburgh Spy Week presents an exploration of espionage fiction and film and the ways in which secrecy and spying run through our history and culture. This year’s film programme explores the issue of conspiracy and we consider how paranoia underpins much of contemporary life.

Monday 16 April 2018 @ 17:50
36 Hours (George Seaton, USA, 1964)
Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road

Army intelligence agent Major Jefferson Pike (James Garner) awakens in a hospital with no memory of where he is or how he got there. The doctors inform him the year is now 1950 in post-war Occupied Germany, and urge him to recall any details he can about what happened to him – for therapeutic purposes, of course. On hand is enigmatic Nurse Hedler (Eva Marie Saint), who assists him in his memory rehabilitation. Based on Roald Dahl’s 1944 story Beware of the Dog, George Seaton’s film chops and changes a few details, but retains the tantalising central conceit.

Tuesday 17 April 2018 @ 17:50
The Boys from Brazil (Franklin J Shaffner, USA, 1978)
Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road

This fast-paced thriller, adapted from a novel by Ira Levin, centres on a battle of wits between the ‘Angel of Death’, Nazi-war-criminal Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck), and his pursuer Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier), a character loosely based on real-life Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal. In this fast and slick drama, Ezra must foil Mengele’s outlandish plot to clone Hitler to produce hundreds of genetically identical young men, and have them raised in environments similar to that of the young Hitler in an attempt to produce a new Führer.

Wednesday 18 April 2018 @ 18:00
The Best Secret Agent (Zhang Ying, Taiwan, 1964)
Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road

The first Taiwanese-language spy film produced in Taiwan, The Best Secret Agent is a remake of a 1945 movie of the same name that caused a sensation in Shanghai. Set during the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), it centres on a love triangle, a traitorous betrayal and the shadowy identity of the anti-Japanese saboteur ‘Secret Agent Heaven No. 1’. Likened to a Taiwanese 007 movie, this is one of the forgotten classics of the country’s commercial cinema and a unique opportunity to see it in a Scottish cinema.

All films will be introduced by Dr David Sorfa (University of Edinburgh).