Category Archives: Special screening

Chinatown Q&A at TCM Classic Film Festival 2012

Robert Evans, Robert Towne, and Robert Osborne discussing Chinatown on Friday at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, California

Robert Evans, Robert Towne, and Robert Osborne discussing Chinatown on Friday at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, California

In another post on this site I mentioned that Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema is about to embark on a season of Roman Polanski films, featuring around a dozen of his films including 1974’s Chinatown.

I also mentioned that I was fortunate to attend a screening of Chinatown in Hollywood in April 2012 as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival. In attendance were the film’s writer, Robert Towne, and producer, Robert Evans, who spent around fifteen minutes discussing the evolution of the film with TCM host, Robert Osborne.

Towne explained that Evans had originally requested he adapt F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby for the screen, but that he didn’t want to do it. “We were having dinner at Dominick’s on Beverly Boulevard and Evans was trying to figure out why I didn’t want to do Gatsby,” noted Towne. “I told him [about Chinatown]. Bob said ‘I don’t understand a goddamned thing but I do like the title’. He got all of us in there who knew each other and cared about each other so that we could fight and have a good time.”

I captured the audio on my iPhone from a number of rows back in Grauman’s Chinese Theatre before settling back to enjoy the film. The file has been sitting gathering virtual dust on my phone since then.

As far as I know there was no ban on recording audio and no intention has been made to infringe any sort of copyright, so hopefully the lovely team at TCM won’t mind me publishing it here for Polanski/Chinatown fans to listen to….

Listen to the Q&A on Audioboo

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Vintage Sundays at Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema

Vintage Sundays: Alfred Hitchcock

Vintage Sundays: Alfred Hitchcock

Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema is attempting once again to appeal to a wide variety of cinema-goers with its programming, with a new strand of Vintage Sundays currently boasting a season of Alfred Hitchcock films through January and February.

The season began with Vertigo (1958) and continues this weekend with The Lady Vanishes (1938) before continuing with Rebecca (1940), The Birds (1963), Rear Window (1954) and Psycho (1960).

The only downside is that the films are being screened in the smaller Screen 2 rather than the grander Screen 1, but if you want to see these films away from your TV then it’s worth heading over to the Cameo website for full details.

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Hitchcock leads a killer August line-up at Filmhouse

One of the joys of living in Edinburgh is the huge amount of films I can choose to watch on any given day of the week.

From the latest blockbusters in our multiplexes to smaller independent and international titles that are regularly shown at the Cameo and Filmhouse, not forgetting the Edinburgh Film Guild and numerous special monthly film groups and events, the city is a movie buff’s paradise.

Then there are the classic film screenings which inspired this very blog.

Helping to justify the blog’s existence for another month is Filmhouse, Scotland’s finest independent cinema which presents a more varied programme than any other in the country and which has just published its August line-up.

Read it and weep. I almost did.

The new programme is spearheaded by a season of Alfred Hitchcock films, The Genius of Hitchcock, ported over from London’s BFI, which will run over an impressive three month period. Starting with the newly restored version of 1926’s The Lodger on 10 August, we’ll be served up a total of 16 slices of murder and mystery before another batch are offered up in September and into October.

Elsewhere, there’s a full week’s worth of Marilyn Monroe films, including Some Like it Hot (1959), The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and All About Eve (1950), to mark the 50th anniversary of her death.

Gregory Peck pops up in both the Hitchcock season’s The Paradine Case (1947) and in 1962’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the latter given a spit and polish and restored to its original glory.

J Lee Thompson’s 1957 melodrama, Woman in a Dressing Gown, arrives from 31 August until 6 September and stars Anthony Quayle and Yvonne Mitchell in a story that tells of the “impact of adultery on the psyche of three desperate characters” – I’m quoting from the website as I’ve not seen this one but will add it to the list.

In association with the Edinburgh International Book Festival there’s a screening of 1979’s Stalker on 7 and 8 of August, the Tarkovsky drama set in a totalitarian society.

Apologies if I’ve missed any more golden oldies, I only have so many hours of the day that I can spend perusing the programme.

Finally, I recommend booking a place at The Lost Art of the Film Explainer, a special event that takes place on Sunday 19 August in Screen One. I’ll once again quote from the Filmhouse website as it sums the event up better than I could:

“During the silent era, the live musician was an essential part of the cinema experience, but some audiences were also treated to the finely honed craft of the Film Explainer. Part narrator and part actor, the Film Explainer stood next to the screen enriching the movies with an entertaining combination of background information, unique interpretation and theatrical storytelling. Often more celebrated than the screen stars for whom they spoke, the art of the Film Explainer has since been largely forgotten.”

I managed to miss the first staging of this event at this year’s Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema so I’m glad to see it in the programme. Andy Cannon, Wendy Weatherby and Frank McLaughlin will present this and I’d urge every reader of this blog who can make it along to please do so.

What will you be going to see?

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William Friedkin’s Edinburgh connection

Fans of 1971’s classic cop thriller, The French Connection, can enjoy a Q&A with director William Friedkin at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema on Tuesday 19 June.

Friedkin will be a guest at the 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival where he’ll promote his latest film, Killer Joe, on 20 June. Filmhouse, one of the UK’s leading independent cinemas, has managed to secure Friedkin for an extended Q&A following a screening of The French Connection, where he’ll be discussing his career and films.

The French Connection stars Gene Hackman as New York narcotics detective James “Popeye” Doyle, the cop charged with investigating an international drug smuggling ring. Hackman won an Academy Award for Best Actor and Friedkin won the Best Director Award.

Tickets are now on sale from the Filmhouse website and are bound to sell fast.

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