Archive for December, 2010

Back to the Film Festival’s future

Time for our final post of the year and as it’s a time for reflection (and continuing the theme of our New Year Quiz that the more things change the more they stay the same – see last post) the news that the Edinburgh International Film Festival is going for a ‘radical’ new approach in 2011 brings to mind some possibly comforting words of that grand old figure of Scottish Cinema, Forsyth Hardy, reviewing the fourth festival back in 1950…

EUROPE’S Film Festivals have been the target of a steady flow of critical analysis since the end of the last festival season. Their purpose and value have been called in question and a tentative effort has been made to bring some order into what everyone admits has become a confused and somewhat overcrowded field. One of the most reasonable suggestions made is that each festival should specialize in one aspect of the cinema-avant-garde, historical, films for children, and so forth. Although such a course would hardly be popular with the older festivals, it has much to commend it. It would mean, for example, that visitors could confidently expect to see different films at each festival instead of, as happens so often at present, the same few films. It would also mean that a film student interested in a special aspect of the cinema would be able to satisfy that interest by visiting a single festival and not merely have it titillated by chance items in generalized festival programs. It might mean, too, that an enthusiast could make the circuit of the festivals confident that he would have a series of experiences rather than the same one repeated in different surroundings.” <>Hollywood Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Autumn, 1950) 

 

New Year Quiz

So, a  rather eventfull year for film it turned out to be.  What with the establishment of Creative Scotland, the disestablishment of the UK Film Council, the re-emergence of the BFI as a force to be reckoned with, Filmhouse and the Edinburgh International Film Festival rebranded as the Centre for the Moving Image under new management and not a few high-profile departures.  Not a great year though for those whose livelihoods depend both on indigenous movies and incoming productions.  Hopes are increasingly pinned on the prospect of increasing network TV drama and new initiatives from Creative Scotland to address the S-word (sustainability that is).  But it was ever thus as our seasonal quiz reveals, beginning with a quote from this day some years ago…

Who said (and when): 

1)  “…if our industry is only capable of providing less than half of one per cent of movies that television chooses to show at the most intensively viewed part of the year, then we are still going nowhere. There is probably more optimism in the Scottish film community now than there has been for a generation….Next year could be the year of the real revival – the long-term revival of the Scottish film industry. All it will take is the courage and vision to make it happen. Then we can get the world watching our plums and turkeys at Christmas, and reap the benefit of them every day of the year.”

2) “If more and more films are being produced in Scotland, then an important and further point is they are making les and less impact on the general public. [this] is not, however, a healthy development in terms of debate and action towards ‘a genuine Scottish cinema’ The [third] reason why debate has not got off the ground may be given as a matter of concern and that is the mutual suspicion with which…the …bodies claiming some kind of public responsibility for film in Scotland … on the other, those actually involved in film production in Scotland regard one another.”

3) ’Why cannot we have more and better films about this country and why cannot we make these films in Scotland for world audiences? If 150 years ago the romantic novel could project Scotland all over the word why cannot we do the same through the modern medium of the screen?’”

Answers here.

Happy New Year!


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