Almost Too Late


I got an invitation to contribute to the Masters of Cinema Blu-ray of TOO LATE BLUES. Somebody had dropped out and they needed it in a week. Unfortunately, I was preparing to go to Toronto in LESS than a week. And I had never seen the film. And did not consider myself a Cassavetes expert by any means.

But I watched the film and halfway through I knew I had to say YES. So I went on a binge of reading and viewing to make myself more familiar with my subject. I induced two students from Edinburgh College of Art’s film course final year (thanks, Anna & Mario!) to shoot and record me talking about the film in front of projected frames, and I think it turned out pretty good.

You may pre-order here —

Too Late Blues (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1961]

I had a little more thinking time for this one, which is a film I’ve screened almost annually at the college —

Harold And Maude (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray) [1971]

But oddly, the TOO LATE BLUES piece I did may actually be the better of the two.

If…. (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray] [1968]

Finally, I wrote an essay for the booklet of this one. Like H&M, this is a film I know well from way back. I supplemented my own musings by interviewing Brian Pettifer, a Lindsay Anderson stock company star who remembers it all very fondly, though alas Paramount wouldn’t let us include any of his observations about the film’s sparse budget…

If you click on those links and buy something, you will be supporting Shadowplay, which is to say ME. Secretly, I think this is a good thing to do.

3 Responses to “Almost Too Late”

  1. I did the notes for the Criterion Collection edition of If. . . — a film that means more to me as a gay man than I can possibly say. I met Lindsay Anderson at the cast and crew Screening of My Own Private Idaho. Gavin Lambert brought him. I poured out my heart to him, but he was quite understandably distracted by the arrival of Keanu Reeves.

    Here is the scene that is emblazoned on my heart.

  2. I trust you recall Richard Warwick from Richard Lester’s The Bed-Sitting Room and Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane and The Tempest. Larry Kramer had brief and highly enjoyable fling with him when he was in the UK for the filming of Women in Love (aka. Larry Kramer’s Pajama Party.

    Warwick died of AIDS.

  3. Brian Pettifer recalls Warwick as one of the nicer of the senior boys in the film — since he was an actual kid himself, the rest didn’t have much time for him.

    Lester: “The Bed Sitting Room has been DECIMATED.” Of the whole amazing cast, Rita Tushingham and Jack Shepherd the underwater vicar, are all that remains.

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