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Film Filming Online Writing YouTube

The future of film criticism is in the past

Being a classic film fan can be a lonely experience, one of those people who regularly scans the TV listings for 1am repeats of Clarence Brown films or documentaries about RKO.

This past year has found me immersed in cinema history, through my visit to the TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF), my work running the Park Circus blog and my weekly Edinburgh Evening News column.

A few weeks ago I wrote in the paper about the arrival of Scorsese’s Hugo and new silent film, The Artist, both of which celebrate the early days of film, while on Thursday I noted the arrival of Edinburgh’s IMAX screen and the need to keep an eye on some of the smaller films in the city.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8K9AZcSQJE]

As I’ve discovered through working with Park Circus, the world is increasingly looking to the past for its entertainment, something I’m more than happy to be a part of.

I’ll be visiting the IMAX for Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol in a few weeks, and appreciate the need to promote quality new cinema via sites like my own www.reelscotland.com, but I also think it’s my responsibility to tell readers about our rich cinematic heritage, as I did back in September for the Evening News.

It’s also the reason I recently started another blog in the shape of Holyrood or Bust. With the huge volume of DVDs and Blu-rays currently being released, not to mention cinema re-releases and films such as The Artist, it’s a golden period for those wanting to write about classic film.

My most recent post was requested by a friend in New York, Will McKinley, who is a viewer and fan of the US TCM channel. Though I’m unable to watch the channel, I did become a convert to TCM during the TCMFF and used their recent Buster Keaton season to launch the site in October. This time, Will asked if I could write a post to celebrate the return of TCM host, Robert Osborne, to the screen after a short absence.

I obliged by using an excerpt from an interview I carried out with Osborne in LA earlier in the year:

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I’m now gearing up for a 2012 filled with even more classic films, including another trip to Bristol’s Slapstick Festival, the second Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema here in Scotland (see my video interview below), a return to Los Angeles and a few other projects that are in the early stages.

Through my work I’ve discovered a vibrant community of classic film fans it’s been a privilege to engage with them on various websites, via Twitter and, most importantly, in cinemas around the world.

Here’s to another classic year of film coverage in 2012.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=W9MIKcPObSI]

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Film Filming Online YouTube

Edinburgh Fringe interviews

It’s been a few years since I covered the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival for the Edinburgh Evening News or my own blog, but I still try to keep an eye out for something that might interest fellow film and TV fans.

This year I got in touch with the team behind Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut, a loving homage to the 1941 film, and asked for an interview with two of its stars, Gavin Mitchell and Jimmy Chisholm, for ReelScotland. I took along my video camera and set it up in the noisy bar at the Pleasance to film a short chat for YouTube, and the guys couldn’t have been nicer.

Then, as a vintage television fan (to clarify, it’s the TV programmes that are vintage, not me), I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to interview Clive Mantle, one of the stars of 1980s TV show, Robin of Sherwood. He’s in town playing Tommy Cooper in the brilliant Jus’ Like That.

This time I decided on recording short audioboos, one about the show and one about Clive’s TV work, which also includes The Vicar of Dibley, Casualty and Holby City. During the interview it emerged the cast and crew of Robin had attempted to revive the show with ITV a few years back, only for the channel to turn the idea down.

I blogged about it and it generated hundreds of page views and a number of comments, including one from another star of the show, Mark Ryan. I’ve now had interest from fans and press around the globe and it’ll be interesting to see if the story goes any further.