Celluloid Men


Me as the False Natan and Paul Duane as himself, at the Edinburgh International Film festival.

Weirdly, my mother considered calling me Nathan. I used to not like the name, but it would have been more distinctive.

NATAN shows again today, with a 9am Industry Screening and a public show at 8.30 pm. The above image isn’t really the correct way to sell it. It’s quite serious.

Yesterday I enjoyed Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s CELLULOID MAN, a long but lovely look at P.K. Nair, India’s answer to Henri Langlois, master archivist without whom all pre-1950 Indian cinema might well have been lost. It’s the third film, along with NATAN and Mark Cousins’ superb A STORY OF CHILDREN AND FILM, in the film-on-film sub-section of the Fest. Now I just need to start on my next production so I can have another film to screen next year! Being a filmmaker is addictive. There’s an image in NATAN of a man strangling in masses of celluloid — I felt as we shot it that I had finally achieved the definitive image of my life story.

NATAN gets an approving mention in The Scotsman.

4 Responses to “Celluloid Men”

  1. Finally caught Natan at this morning’s P&I screening: been looking forward to it since editing this year’s EIFF Catalogue in May, and I was not disappointed… It’s a fabulous piece of work telling an engrossing and tragic story. I love docs on film, but it is so rare that you get to see one telling a story where you don’t already know all the details. Congratulations to you and Paul!
    [Of course, last time I edited the Catalogue some 22 years ago in 1991, you had a student film in the programme… Wonder what it’ll be next time?]

  2. An obituary notice? Thanks for the kind words and very glad you enjoyed the movie! Excelsior, etc!

  3. Before you tangle in more celluloid, can we please book Natan for this autumn’s Penicuik Film Festival for showing on Sunday 22 September (with Shell) and Sunday 29 September (with Dummy Jim). Planning to screen Petulia in 2014 if we can get it.

  4. Sounds delightful! I’ve emailed you.

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