Categories
Broadcasting Film Interview

Explaining the Film Explainer

I was back on the BBC Radio Scotland Movie Cafe again today, this time interviewing Andy Cannon, Scotland’s only Film Explainer, ahead of a performance at the Inverness Film Festival this weekend.

The Film Explainer was a common sight in cinemas in early part of the 20th Century, when the literacy skills of film-goers meant they often couldn’t read the intertitles of silent films. In Japan, the Explainers helped patrons understand cultural differences in films made in the West.

Although I spoke to Andy for ReelScotland earlier this year, this new interview also included his collaborators, Wendy Weatherby and Frank McLaughlin.

The item starts at around 24 minutes in to this week’s show and will be on iPlayer for 7 days.

The Lost Art of the Film Explainer can be seen at the Inverness Film Festival this Sunday at 5pm.

Categories
Broadcasting

Bond on the BBC

Meeting the first Bond Girl, Eunice Gayson
Meeting the first Bond Girl, Eunice Gayson

I was sent on a Top Secret mission by the BBC a few weeks ago, my task to infiltrate a gold-plated briefcase containing 22 James Bond Blu-rays that had been dispatched from Eilean Donan Castle on its way to the small Argyll town of Lochgilphead as part of 007 Days of Bond.

Luckily it wasn’t quite so Top Secret that I couldn’t tweet the odd photo and record and edit a package for BBC Radio Scotland’s Movie Cafe.

I flew in a helicopter (here’s some footage captured on my iPhone), visited a location that doubled for the Adriatic in 1963’s From Russia With Love, met the original Bond Girl, the now 84-year-old Eunice Gayson, and got soaked in the process on a wet Argyll afternoon, but it was still a fantastic day for a 007 nut like myself.

Eunice Gayson and the Aston Martin
Eunice Gayson and the Aston Martin

The segment can be heard over on iPlayer for the next few days:

My 50th anniversary Blu-ray set arrived in the post a few days later, here’s the trailer if you haven’t ordered yours yet:

Categories
Broadcasting Film Writing

BBC Radio Scotland Movie Café

The-Illusionist

I was invited back onto BBC Radio Scotland’s weekly Movie Café programme this week (I was last on in January when I covered Bristol’s silent film festival, Slapstick 2010) to discuss the re-release of James Cameron’s Avatar and Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist.

While I was based in the Edinburgh studio, host Janice Forsyth and fellow critic Paul Gallagher were over in Glasgow, and we discussed our generally negative reactions to Avatar returning to cinemas, with around eight more minutes of footage weaved into the narrative, and our love of the more traditional, Scottish made, The Illusionist.

I’d strolled along to the BBC Studios through the Grassmarket and up Victoria Street, the latter playing a prominent part of the stunning film which makes the city appear almost fairytale-esque. I’d already covered The Illusionist premiere back in June for the Edinburgh Evening News, and ReelScotland, but it was nice to air those views on the radio with fellow enthusiasts.

The programme is available on iPlayer until Thursday 26 August.