Archive for The Guardian

From Angels to the Angel

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on December 15, 2015 by dcairns

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Off to London today for costume fittings — some of our lead actors in my new film, THE NORTHLEACH HORROR, will be trying on clothes, and it’s my first chance to meet a couple of them, Raechel McGinn and Freddie Fox. Fitting at Angels, the top cossie shop, and then off to the Angel, Islington, to crash on the couch of an agreeable ex-student. I’ll be back tomorrow around midnight. Maybe I’ll even have seen a movie I can write about.

Yesterday was spent on the set, where we are transforming a big square room in the old Royal High School into a subterranean laboratory in Gloucestershire in 1941. Thanks to amazing favours by location owners, props houses and a talented crew working for between nothing and next-to-nothing, work progressed well, apart from one poor volunteer gluing his thumb to his forefinger. With tragic irony, his attempts to signal the problem resulted only in an “A-OK” gesture.

He’s fine now — a little surgical spirit is the thing, if you ever get into this jam.

You’ll be hearing a lot about this film of mine in the coming weeks/months/years, but rather than bore you with that before we’ve properly started making it, here’s a link to a fabulous article on Bernard Natan, just published in The Guardian by Pamela Hutchinson of Silent London. It makes favourable mention of NATAN, the film Paul Diane and I made on the subject, which is available to order on Amazon.fr.

 

(Un)forgettable Ruins

Posted in FILM, MUSIC, Mythology with tags , , , , , on October 10, 2011 by dcairns

A panoply of ridiculously beautiful and talented people.

The Edinburgh-born musician Bert Jansch died this week — I didn’t really know anything about him, but by one of these weird coincidences that have been piling up around me lately, I’d been listening to the soundtrack for Roddy McDowell’s TAM LIN right before I saw his name as a trending topic on Twitter (anytime you see your name trending on Twitter, get your pulse checked because it probably means you’re dead). And I discovered only then that Jansch was a founding member of Pentangle who did the memorable, eerie, folky music for that odd film.

The country house is Traquair, not far from Edinburgh. So the movie relates to Jansch both musically and geographically.

I wrote about TAM LIN here.

And here are the Edinburgh bits of the film.

Alva Street, a Georgian New Town area… South Queensferry, with the Forth Bridge (as seen in Hitchcock’s THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS)…

Jansch is a fantastically influential guitarist, ripped off by all and sundry (but especially Jimmy Page). This article in The Guardian fills in useful backstory.

A Pentangle collection: Light Flight – The Anthology

The Guardian does it again

Posted in FILM with tags , , on October 22, 2010 by dcairns

I generally like The Guardian. It’s my paper of choice. But for some reason, a good proportion of its film coverage is written by people who don’t know or care anything about films. The assumption would seem to be that the readers don’t know or care about films either, but if that were true, why would they be reading?

Check this out, if you feel like getting cross. Feel free to weigh in with comments. My own favourite moment is right at the start:  “There are lots of reasons to love Hitchcock, of course: the style, the guile, the pace, the pitch – I realised that afresh when watching a box set of all his films, in preparation for a talk at the Southbank Centre on Sunday.” Of course, there is no box set of Hitchcock’s 52 surviving feature films, because that would be a very large box set indeed. So the author apparently doesn’t know how many films the director actually made… which is not particularly hard information to uncover, in this day of space tubes and computerized brain cups.

The fact that the author, Bidisha, (yes) is going to be taking part in a discussion about Hitchcock on the stage at the Southbank Centre is just terrifying.

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