Archive for David Cairns

A Book

Posted in FILM, literature with tags , , , , , , , on June 16, 2015 by dcairns

directory

I’m in a book!

Two entries in this whopping scholarly overview are written by me — one on Return to the Edge of the World, Michael Powell’s look back at the film which made his name, and one on  Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance, Chris Rodley and Kevin MacDonald’s scintillating documentary on that fascinating, Edinburgh-born rogue talent.

Huge thanks to Jonny Murray, film scholar and particular expert on the works of Bill Forsyth and Scottish cinema in general, who made the introductions necessary to get me the gig.

I wrote my entries AGES ago but various delays kept the thing from seeing the light until now. It takes a pleasingly broad view of what constitutes Scottish cinema — films made by Scottish directors abroad are not counted, but Hollywood movies set here, like BRIGADOON, do get a mention. There’s some special consideration of genre cinema (seven versions of the Burke and Hare story!) and detailed accounts of some relatively unreported movies, such as DONKEYS and GREGORY’S TWO GIRLS.

I’m just thrilled to be in a book!

Directory of World Cinema: Scotland (Ib – Directory of World Cinema)

Lassen Sie uns Beute

Posted in FILM, Mythology with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2015 by dcairns

German trailer for LET US PREY, co-written by Fiona & I with uncredited contributions from Rae OUTPOST Brunton. I like this trailer better than the English-language one, actually. I recognize just as much of the dialogue. Also, I think this one gives a better sense of the story, rather than just being a highly kinetic assemblage of mayhem (though it certainly fulfills that role too.) Also we get to enjoy the stunning audio-visual work of Brian O’Malley and his team. And I get the giggles seeing my friends with alien German voices emerging from their lips as if they were possessed by a Teutonic Mercedes McCambridge.

The movie can already be purchased in three different editions from German Amazon here. Any of the top three choices on that link — avoid the nunsploitation compilation and the Midsomer Murders compendium, unless you’re into that stuff. In which case, knock yourself out.

BUT — the distributor also promises theatrical screenings in select outlets, so keep your eyes peeled and your enemies closer, or however the saying goes. (Keep your eyes closed and your enemies peeled?)

About the Google-translated title of this post. I’m almost certain LET US PREY doesn’t work in German. I’m not convinced it works in English. For the record, our title was CELL 6, but this was judged too oblique.

Buy now, and see the film wags are already calling OCCULT ON PRECINCT 13 (a far better title, if you want a pun, and a good clue to how funny the film is, even as the mangled bodies pile up). As crime writer Ian Rankin put it on Twitter, “Well, Let Us Prey was gloriously OTT – imagine Assault on Precinct 13, made in Scotland by Lucio Fulci, with added Book of Revelations…”

All our Italian splatter viewing hasn’t gone to waste, apparently.

That Man ‘Ees Crazee

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on November 15, 2014 by dcairns

DSC_0090

Such is the title of my essay in the booklet enclosed with each copy of Masters of Cinema’s Blu-ray of THE GANG’S ALL HERE, available NOW. Also featuring a piece by Karina Longworth and a commentary track by Farran Smith Nehme (the Self-Styled Siren) Glenn Kenny (Some Came Running) and Ed Hulse.

I’m trying to achieve excellence in titling, but remain hit-0r-miss. Fiona pronounced Picturewise, the title of my Richard Lester video essay, “terrible,” although it is a word used by Victor Spinetti in A HARD DAY’S NIGHT. On the other hand, my video essay on DIARY OF A LOST GIRL, available to pre-order below, is called Naked On My Goat, and I don’t think the paying public deserves any better than that, even if anything better was conceivable by the human mind. I think You Must Become Caligari is quite a strong title, and my essay for WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? was called I Must I Must Increase My Bust, which makes me smile anyway.

For Lubitsch’s MADAME DUBARRY I contributed a piece called Who Wants to be a Milliner?, a terrible pun of which I am inordinately proud.

DSC_0084

The Return of Etaix, for the Pierre Etaix box set is not as strong a title as the piece itself, and certainly nowhere near as strong as the set. The Complete Jacques Tati has a piece called Things Fall Together which is a kind of sequel to an earlier piece called Things Fall Apart, Beautifully, on the Criterion website. 39 Steps to Happiness is self-explanatory, just about.

Mick Travis and the Chamber of Secrets, for IF…. is maybe a little desperate, but I was trying at least. The accompanying interview with supporting performer Brian Pettifer is triumphantly called Small Parts Inspection. My piece on THE LOST WEEKEND is called The Lost Weekend, which shows, frankly, a lack of inspiration which I fear shows in the piece. RIFIFI got one called I’m a Crook at Heart, for which credit goes to director Jules Dassin because he said it. Also for Arrow, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (Philip Kaufman version) got a piece called We Came from Outer Space, which is interesting at least, and my video essays for that company are Through the Pale Door (THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, title take from a line in the story) and… but maybe I can’t announce this one yet.

My best DVD essay title may be my first, for STAGECOACH. Taking the Stage is a pretty simple name, but it works on two levels and isn’t too cute. Ford might have allowed it.

I am about to start a new piece for Criterion but if I told you what the essay was called, some of you would guess the film and it ain’t announced yet.

Pre-order:

Diary of a Lost Girl [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD)

Out Now:
The Gang’s All Here (1943) [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray]
If…. (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray] [1968]
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? [Masters of Cinema] (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray] [1957]
The Lost Weekend [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray) [1945]
MADAME DUBARRY [Masters of Cinema] (1919) [Blu-ray]

The 39 Steps (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Stagecoach (The Criterion Collection)
A Hard Day’s Night (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
Pierre Etaix (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
The Complete Jacques Tati [Blu-ray]

Rififi [Dual Format Edition DVD + Blu-Ray] [1955]
Fall of the House of Usher [Blu-ray]
Invasion of the Body Snatchers [Blu-ray]

There are also two video intros for Masters of Cinema but they don’t have titles, so it just says David Cairns on the DVD menu, which is quite startling if your name is David Cairns or you know somebody called David Cairns.

Harold And Maude (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray) [1971]
Too Late Blues (Masters of Cinema) (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD] [1961]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 613 other followers