The 74th edition of the Edinburgh International Film Festival began with the European Premiere of PIG, starring Nicolas Cage.

Outside the Varsity music shop, a banner is held up emblazoned with the words: Nicolas Cage please get in touch. Perhaps a publicity stunt or fans celebrating the cult of Nick Cage?

Either way, it’s a stunning performance by Cage who takes on the role of Rob, a hermit living in the wilds of Oregon with only his pet pig for company.

There are shades of St Francis of Assisi during the scenes of this hermit figure living life in nature completely outside of the contemporary world with no television, computer or telephone never mind social media. He is completely off-grid and outside of time. Rob’s only human relationship is with Amir, a young novice supplier who buys truffles from Cage which have been foraged by his pet pig.

They are supplied to high-end eateries with some questionable connections. When Rob’s pet is stolen the pair go in search of the pig entering an underworld of dangerous junkies, gangsters and organised bare-knuckle boxing.

While violence is never far away Rob refuses to partake coming across almost Christlike in the process, undoubtedly a spiritual performance from Cave and a highlight in the latter half of his career. 

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