Bringing Missing Believed Wiped to Scotland

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Today I was finally able to publicly announce a new project I’m working on in collaboration with the BFI and Edinburgh Filmhouse: Missing Believed Wiped (MBW) in Scotland.

I’ve long been an admirer of the MBW initiative at London’s BFI, which has been running for 20 years under the guidance of TV historian, Dick Fiddy.

MBW aims to help raise awareness of missing TV episodes in the press, before screening many of them at the BFI. I’ve known Dick for a few years after meeting him at the Edinburgh TV Festival and we’ve discussed the idea of bringing MBW to Scotland for a while now.

Earlier this year we had word from Filmhouse that they’d like to host the event and I appeared on BBC Radio Scotland today to announce that it will take place at the cinema on Sunday 1 December.

Among the episodes being shown are some 1960s Doctor Who, At Last the 1948 Show (a precursor to Monty Python), music show It’s Lulu and a once lost Sean Connery TV play from 1960, Colombe, which was discovered at the US Library of Congress a few years back.

We’ve also launched a search for missing episodes of Scottish TV series, including Para Handy – Master Mariner, Garnock Way and The Adventures of Francie and Josie – there’s more over on the Filmhouse website.

I’ll be helping to raise awareness of both the search and the December event and hope that this is just the first of a series of Scottish MBW screenings in Scotland.

There’s more from my radio appearance over on the Culture Studio podcast from today, 9 October.

If you’d like to know more about Missing Believed Wiped, feel free to get in touch.

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Noah Baumbach interview on Radio Scotland

Recorded back in June at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, my interview with US film director, Noah Baumbach, was broadcast on the BBC Radio Scotland Culture Studio last Thursday.

Baumbach was in town for screenings of his latest low budget drama, Frances Ha, the story of a young New Yorker, Frances (Greta Gerwig), trying to find her way in the world.

The interview starts at around 25 minutes and should be on iPlayer until Sunday.

Revealing the secrets of Wikileaks

I’ve been quiet on this site for the last month or so, busy covering the Edinburgh International Film Festival for BBC Radio Scotland’s Culture Studio and the Edinburgh Evening News.

While my opening night EIFF review is online, my interview with its star Felicity Jones aired on the BBC a month or so ago, so is long gone from iPlayer.

Last week saw another of my interviews air, this time with the director of Wikileaks: We Steal Secrets, a look at the facts behind the muddled story of Julian Assange and his infamous website. I spoke to Alex Gibney for around 10 minutes ahead of the film’s Edinburgh premiere, and a few minutes of that was broadcast from around the 22 minute mark.

Much Ado about Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon at Glasgow Film Festival

Joss Whedon at Glasgow Film Festival

As a long time fan of Joss Whedon’s work, be it Buffy, Angel, Firefly or any number of other projects, I was delighted to get the chance to interview him for this week’s Culture Studio on BBC Radio Scotland.

He was in Scotland to promote his latest film, Much Ado About Nothing, and he explained how he came to make the Shakespeare adaptatation with a group of friends from his numerous films and TV series.

The interview begins at around the 1 hour 39 mark on iPlayer.

Byzantium feature on BBC Culture Studio

Gemma Arterton

Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan and Neil Jordan are three of the team behind new independent horror film, Byzantium, which opened in the UK last week.

I interviewed the two actresses and director at the recent Glasgow Film Festival and the end result ended up on the BBC Culture Studio last Thursday. The episode is still on iPlayer for another few days.

My interview with Joss Whedon, director of the upcoming Much Ado About Nothing, should be broadcast in a week or two.

Film Appreciation in Edinburgh

A quick plug for my appearance on last week’s BBC Movie Café, in which I interview members of an Edinburgh adult education course who attend a monthly film screening at the city’s Cameo cinema.

The group, mainly comprised of retired film fans, have been meeting for the last 15 years and after featuring the story on my own site, ReelScotland, I pitched the story to BBC Radio Scotland, who sent me along to a screening of Argo.

I interviewed a handful of members, edited it and passed it onto the producer a few weeks ago – it’ll be on the iPlayer for another few days (it starts around 25 minutes into the programme).

 

An epic end to the year

BBC Movie Cafe discusses The Hobbit

BBC Movie Cafe discusses The Hobbit

The world has once more gone Middle Earth mad, with the release this week of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit in cinemas, nine years after his last visit to The Shire.

I was asked by the BBC Movie Cafe and the Edinburgh Evening News to head along to Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema last weekend for a special screening of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a 10 hour endurance test involving Orcs, Dwarves and people dressed as Hobbits.

The radio segment can be heard over on BBC iPlayer for another few days, while I’ve reproduced the Evening News column below:

With The Hobbit arriving in cinemas tomorrow, it seemed like a good idea last Sunday to head to the Cameo to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy on the big screen.

At around 10 hours in duration, this was no ordinary film screening, meaning I had to be prepared for all eventualities. Forget the lembas bread wrapped in leaves favoured by Frodo and Sam, I went for some ham sandwiches and too much coffee.

The films were a joy to revisit, with Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth, a dark and brooding place with the occasional glimpse of light as our heroes made their way to Mordor, looking suitably epic in the original 35mm prints.

Leaving the screening on a high, I hoped The Hobbit would prove to be as exhilarating, as Jackson returned to his world with a new Bilbo Baggins in the shape of Martin Freeman alongside Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf.

The director has embraced a pioneering new technology which doubles the normal frame rate of the film, 48 fps (frames per second) instead of 24. Jackson claims this is a more immersive experience and that all films will go this way.

Rather than looking as big and bold as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit looks more like it’s shot on the set of a 1980s soap opera. While landscapes look lush and rich, close-ups of the actors bring you closer to them, making the heavy prosthetics and make-up more obvious.

Most importantly, the thin story doesn’t justify the three-hour length, with not much really happening apart from some fights, lots of running around and the appearance of Gollum.

With two more films to come, it looks like it’s going to be a slog to get to the end of this particular journey.