How Special Am I?


The Self-Styled Siren, author of perhaps my favourite film blog, has awarded me with a second Premier Dardos Award (can something be Premier for a second time?) which is a cause of jubilation and also some embarassment, since I didn’t give her an award (each recipient passes on five more awards) last time, but only because she told me someone had beaten me to it. And it turns out somebody else gave her a second award too.

All this award-winning (in future, world, if you’re pressed for time, cash will do) prompts me to look back at my many and fabulous achievements, to see how far I’ve come and also perhaps to inspire others to become as great a writer as what I am.


1) A little over a year ago, Shadowplay, the world’s first film blog, was launched, to immediate acclaim and relief. Soon afterwards, scientists were forced to invent an “internet”, allowing my vast public to “download” and “read” the blog.

2) My tireless efforts on behalf of neglected auteurs such as Julien Duvivier, Anthony Newley, and myself, have reversed decades of critical sloppiness, and granted a new lease of life to these great artists. Rumour has it that Stanley Kubrick, who ten years ago faked his own death, is soon to emerge from hiding and begin work on his dream project, a biopic of the Smothers Brothers.

3) By sternly wagging a critical finger at commercial cinema’s hacks and yahoos, I have single-handedly compelled Robert Zemeckis to begin work on a Dogme film, Michael Bay to retreat to a monastery (he may call it TRANSFORMERS II, but we know the truth) and actor Reece Shearsmith to bitterly complain in an anonymous comment that I must have too much time on my hands. (He’s right.)

4) Terence Davies is enjoying unprecedented success with OF TIME AND THE CITY. And where was he a year ago? Nowhere. ‘Nuff said.

5) As part of our Revolution of Higher Expectations, British film production has dropped precipitously, a necessary first step in the reinvention of our national cinema along artistically enlightened lines. On the other hand, Michael Winterbottom has three films in the pipeline (I don’t want to mentally picture that pipeline) so there is still much good work to be done.

6) In direct response to Fiona’s success in dreaming a lost Hitchcock film back into existence, the British Film Institute, having already abandoned film restoration in favour of digital restoration, is moving wholesale into dream restoration. It already has a team sleeping around the clock to reconstruct Von Sternberg’s A WOMAN OF THE SEA. Can success be far away? (A: Yes, it can.)

7) Our campaign to have a forty-foot-high stature of actor James Finlayson erected in his home town of Larbert is going strong. Make your cheques payable to “David Cairns”.

8) Such is the popularity of this blog that I have been forced to instigate special week-long examinations of lesser-known film-makers, just to prevent myself from becoming too famous and successful. Joseph Losey Week caused the number of hits this blog receives to plummet like Charles Durning. Result!

9) On the other hand, nine months after Sexy Week, in June this year, a population spike is confidently expected, due to all the extra copulation I personally inspired. To compensate for this, the Scottish Parliament has requested that I run an Anti-Sex Week in February. I’m still considering it.

10) Since blogging has brought me such material wealth, an entire “blogosphere” of imitators has sprung into being, many of them forced to be extra-productive to compete with me, and back-dating their posts to before my blog began. Such is my productivity that experts predict that the construction of a second internet will soon be necessary, to carry all non-Shadowplay content: news, emails and pornography.

To business:

My second round of Dardos-giving will consist of —

Alfred Hitchcock Geek.


The Unsung Joe.

Thanks for the Use of the Hall.

Observations on Film Art and “Film Art”.

All of the above are such special blogs, I can only assume the reason they haven’t already posted about winning Dardos awards is that they’re too busy being magnificent.

Love to all!

18 Responses to “How Special Am I?”

  1. James Finlayson was in my favourite Lubitsch film, ANGEL.

  2. Cheers.

    This is the single most fun blog on the internet.

  3. ———-
    This is the single most fun blog on the internet
    I’d second that.

  4. Wow. Thanks, guys. Now to exploit that for money, somehow. I must get organised and start working my way through Mark Cousins’ list of publishers!

  5. And he reason why it’s such fun is I can never predict what’s going to be discussed from one day to the next.

  6. Arthur S. Says:

    Yeah, even when it is BORZAGE WEEK or Hitchcock Year.

  7. Are you as special as Jerry Lewis? You’re getting there.

  8. And for a guy with too much time on his hands, I’d say you’re using it pretty constructively.

  9. aintmsbtraven Says:

    a beautiful acceptance speech–but you’ve neglected to highlight your compassionate rescue of Miles Mander from the fringes of the visible spectrum–that’s an important contribution you know!

  10. Modesty forbids.

    If I can’t be as special as Jer, maybe I can be as “special” as some of his characters.

    I usually don’t know what I’m going to post myself. I like to have three or four pieces lined up, and then choose based on either variety or continuity. I’m quite glad I have Hitchcock Wednesdays and Intertitle Sundays and The Forgotten on Thursdays (usually) now, it removes some of that pondering. But within that I have choices to make.

  11. Hey there – Thanks for the Dardos award! How can I find out more info about this?



  12. There’s more about the Dardos here, but I don’t really know where it originated!

  13. I think that “dardos” is a Spanish word for a dart that has its origins a long long time ago in Spain, when soldiers used to throw dart-like projectiles into wine barrels, for amusement and diversion. It later developed into a sport. In the 1960s in Spain the owner of cafes and such like used to award each other a dardos, mainly, so far as I understand it, to encourage each other to maintain and improve the quality of the establishment. It functioned as a kind of incentive, with a certain competitive edge.

  14. Marvellous — that seems to fit this Dardos exactly. Not so competitive, just an encouragement.

  15. Indeed. ‘Pour encourager les autres’ as they say in France. I couldn’t resist this:

  16. Kelly N. Wiggin Says:

    I gave you an award on my blog too.

  17. Plus Glenn Erickson, that makes four! This is just getting SILLY.

    But thanks!

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