Archive for Shadowplay

Shadowplay Year Zero

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on July 9, 2012 by dcairns

Well, got my computer back from the repairman with next to nothing on it. Reinstalled some of the software that came with it, and some of the stuff that was floating around free, but to get the documents back will involve a specialist and likely set me back three hundred quid. Now, I’ve GOT three hundred quid, but if I spent it I wouldn’t have, so I’m not terribly keen on that option.

For a while I felt enjoyably light. Sure, four years of work was gone, but most of it is right here on the web, or else it’s in the possession of producers, publishers etc. It’s only when I started thinking about the stuff that wasn’t backed up anywhere, including one very good screenplay that never had a producer, and a lot of nice music, that I kind of felt that three hundred quid was as good as spent.

But there’s no immediate urgency. So what I might try to do is write an e-book and offer it for sale at 50p. If I sell 600 copies, I’ll have paid for the data recovery. Of course, that figure may be rather unrealistic. But I figure I ought to be able to shame SOME of you into shelling out, and I’ll make sure I give value for money. At least ten pages…

Of course, I’m making a documentary right now and I teach and occasionally I write for money, so I don’t know how long this will all take to organize, especially as I don’t quite know how to go about selling the thing. PayPal, I guess.

Oh, and I need a subject. I was vaguely thinking THE LADYKILLERS, the William Rose-Sandy Mackendrick version, of course. Should be plenty of fun to be had with that…

Coming soon…

Posted in FILM with tags on October 11, 2011 by dcairns

I expect that kitten’s quite old now.

The Autumn Shadowplay Impossible Film Quiz!

Fred Zinnemann Week!

Julien Duvivier Week!

Shadowplay — Live from Hollywood!

The second Late Films Blogathon!

The Return of EUPHORIA!

The next round of Edinburgh Dialogues!

At least some of the above will definitely happen. Stay tuned…

How Special Am I?

Posted in FILM with tags , on February 2, 2009 by dcairns

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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.

MY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

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.

Cinemasparagus.

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!

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