The Power of Three...

Forgive my magical thinking but in storytelling, three is a magic number and a trope of folk tales such as the one I’m currently working on. Oddly it’s taken me three attempts to write this post, not helped by the opioid haze of the last 600 (and counting) days and a crisis that tells me it’s increasingly hard to reconcile my desire to make films with the reality of what’s involved. At such times I remind myself filmmaking – the good stuff – is supposed to be hard even when it’s on a spectrum ranging from ‘thankless’ to ‘futile’.

Another reason I’ve avoided writing is because I don’t wish to dwell on the negatives. ‘Scottish film isn’t the hill I’m prepared to die on,’ I tell my husband. ‘Hummock, more like,’ he replies. He’s right. I recall a conversation I once had with a writer acquaintance outside a local supermarket about the goings-on at a Scottish film awards do. I was taken aback when my companion said casually, ‘Oh, and so-and-so won the keep breathing award,’ referring to the recipient of a lifetime achievement honour.

I thought about this for a long time.

~ continue

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The Exclusion Zone...

Like anyone with a stake in the culture game I’ve heard the plea; Who will think of the poor _____? (fill the blanks yourselves). On social media that plea is loudest among the theatre lobby, followed by live music – and rightly so. Seven months into Covid-19 those who believe the arts are a luxury are waking up to the fact that while bread might keep you alive, circuses are an incentive to not kill yourself.

Curiously silent on the matter of its imminent demise is the film/TV sector which arguably has done more than most to keep the population a) at home and b) sane. However the people who make film and TV are mostly freelancers in an already precarious field and unfairly excluded from the UK Government’s furlough scheme.

~ continue

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Maurice Roëves 1937-2020...

Yesterday I learned the sad news of the death of Maurice Roëves at 83. I was fortunate enough to work with Maurice on Solid Air (2003). He played the lead role of Robert Houston in a story inspired by my late father’s experience of living with an asbestos-related disease and his struggle to win compensation.

When any celebrated figure dies there’s usually a flurry of media interest. When the departed is particularly well-known, customarily they receive a fulsome obituary or a tribute. So I was disappointed to read identical articles in the Herald and the National quoting a director, Paul Carmichael, ‘I once met him outside a hotel in London. One of the nicest people I’ve ever chatted to. RIP.’ I know journalism is having a hard time, I thought, but this isn’t going to win any Pulitzers. ‘Outside a hotel?‘ Is that the best they can offer?

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A Straight Line...

Writing a Covid-19-free post is a struggle if not downright impossible. If I caved in to my rage over how this crisis is being mishandled I’d probably get arrested. As it is, currently I’m furloughed and on a 23-hour a day lockdown. Frankly I don’t know how others are coping. What I do know is those charged with mental health services will reap a bitter whirlwind when this is over.

It took only days into this pandemic for pundits to opine how, on the other side of this catastrophe nothing will ever be the same. I sincerely hope so if ‘the same’ equates to a hard-boiled Brexit, Austerity V2 and a depression that will make the crash of 2008 look like someone made off with the menage money. Meanwhile a supine mainstream media shills for an incompetent, venal Tory government mandated to get away with anything, genocide included.

~ continue

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