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contents Issue Eleven.

November/December 2010
INEM 06 0 6 | Spotlight
Street Spirit:
Prejudice, Class Divide
and Life on the Skids

1 4 | Art & Film

City of Industry:
Film Poster Designers
AllCity Media

24 | Widescreen
Directory of World Cinema: Russia Directory of World Cinema:
Edited by Birgit Beumers American Independent Mobile Network:
ISBN 9781841503721 | £16, $25 Edited by John Berra Scotland's Screen
ISBN 9781841503684 | £16, $25 Machine Hits the Road

3 0 | 1000 Words
Sweet Relief:
Melvin Peebles, Black
directory of Power and the Birth of

world Regulars
0 4 | Reel World

Cold Comfort

1 8 | One Sheet
Gimme Shelter
‘He's staying as long
as he likes. And if 3 4 | On Location
the doggy doesn't Beverly Hills, Ca.
like it, then the doggy 3 8 | Screengem
can find other living The Coke Bottle
Directory of World Cinema: Directory of World Cinema: Japan arrangements.'
Australia & New Zealand Edited by John Berra Dave Whiteman 4 2 | Parting Shot
Edited by Ben Goldsmith ISBN 9781841503356 | £16, $25 Over The Moon

cover image boudu saved from drowning (Courtesy Park Circus)

and Geoff Lealand
ISBN 9781841503738 | £16, $25 4 4 | Go Further
The Big Picture online

The Directory of World Cinema aims to play a part in moving intelligent, 4 6 | Listings
scholarly criticism beyond the academy by building a forum for the
study of film that relies on a disciplined theoretical base. Each volume
34 A roundup of this issue's
featured films

of the Directory will take the form of a collection of reviews, longer The Big Picture ISSN 1759-0922 © 2010 intellect Ltd. Published by Intellect Ltd. The Mill, Parnall Road. Bristol BS16 3JG /
Editorial office Tel. 0117 9589910 / E: Publisher Masoud Yazdani Editor-in-chief & Layout Gabriel Solomons Editor Scott Jordan Harris
essays and research resources, accompanied by film stills highlighting Contributors Jez Conolly, Nicholas Page, Emma Simmonds, Daniel Steadman, Scott Jordan Harris, Neil Mitchell, Charlie Loft, Ron Inglis, Gabriel Solomons
significant films and players. Free downloads available from the website. Special thanks to John Letham, Sara Carlsson and all at Park Circus, Michael Eckhardt, Michael Pierce at Curzon Cinemas and Gabriel Swartland at City Screen
Please send all email enquiries to: / l The Big Picture magazine is published six times a year

www . worldcinemadirectory. org
Published by | Produced in partnership with

November/December 2010 3
reel world
f i l m b e yo n d t h e b o r d e r s o f t h e s c r e e n

In one of the most incredible crossovers
between film and the real world, Disney’s
Mighty Ducks skated off cinema screens and
into the NHL. neil mitchell forms a Flying V.

F o r t h ose o f us old enough

to remember reading Roy of the
Rovers on a weekly basis the
possibility of an actual team
called Melchester Rovers being charges, naturally hearing
established and going on to some much0needed home
win the Premier League is a truths and learning lessons in
delightful but absurd notion. love and life along the way.
Well, in the good ol’ US of A, Spawning three sequels
something very much along (two live-action and one
those lines did indeed occur, animated), an animated
with Disney's The Mighty series and a spoof on South
Ducks (1992) being the Park, the most extraordinary
catalyst for a real life trophy- legacy of this family favourite
winning NHL team. was in the formation of The
The film is a tale of sporting Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
underdogs defying the odds, ice hockey team by The Walt
as the bedraggled, under- Disney Company in 1993.
funded and technically inept In their 17-year existence
members of a kids’ ice hockey the Ducks, now known as
team are transformed into The Anaheim Ducks, have
title-winners by new coach won a division title, two
Gordon Bombay (Emilio conference championships
Estevez). A hard-nosed lawyer and the National Hockey
on community service for a League’s highest honour,
drink driving misdemeanour, the Stanley Cup, as well as
Bombay changes the fortunes making the play-offs seven
of his under-privileged times. It’s a classic example
of life mirroring art that
raises eyebrows and spirits in
equal measure. All together
now: quack, quack, quack... go
Ducks! [tbp]

left the anaheim ducks winning the nhl stanley cup in 2007 / above sign of things to come: The Mighty Ducks: D2

gofurther [sport ] [web ] Read 'Reel World: Love Potion No. 1' online

4 November/December 2010 5

Y spotlight
c i n e m a ' s t h e m at i c s t r a n d s

Boudu Saved From

Drowning (1932)
Dir. Jean Renoir

Through Boudu’s This terrific farce tells the story of

prosperous bookseller, Edouard Lestingois
anarchic actions (Charles Granval), whose life is drastically
changed when he rescues Boudu (Michel
director Jean Renoir Simon) from a suicidal dive into the Seine.
On first spotting the dishevelled character
deftly and hilariously – about to take the plunge – Lestingois
remarks with undisguised relish, ‘I’ve never
exposes the hypocrisy seen such a perfect tramp.’ He rushes to save
this sorry character from a watery end and
of the bourgeoisie. even goes so far as to welcome him into his
home. Unfortunately, Boudu reveals himself

to be an irrepressible ingrate who unleashes
a storm of mischievous meddling. He has
left an energetic disregard for polite society and
From an adorable tramp to a feral kung fu Michel Simon and (another) love interest is lusty and ill-mannered on an epic scale,
quickly making a move on both Lestingois’s
expert, cinema has shown many savages,

Michel Simon as Priape Boudu charming the locals
wife and his housemaid lover. Through
noble and ignoble, entering civilised society. Boudu’s anarchic actions director Jean
We shine our spotlight on six classic examples. Renoir deftly and hilariously exposes the
hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie. ES ➜
Words by E mma Simmonds, Jez conolly
Images Courtesy Park Circus

and nathan francis Boudu Saved From Drowning is back in

UK cinemas from 17 December. For more
details see page 46.

6 November/December 2010 7

Kobal (2)
spotlight street spirit

The Hunchback of City Lights (1931)

Notre Dame (1939) Dir. Charlie Chaplin
Dir. William Dieterle

Charlie Chaplin’s comedy

RKO’s adaptation of the Victor romance is perhaps his most
Hugo classic is widely regarded emotionally resonant film. Its
as the finest screen version. Al- The schism between opening sequence has Charlie
(in the iconic, recurring role
though it is faithful to the source
material it strayed into the the haves and have- of The Tramp) ceremonially
politics of its time: the schism
between the haves and have-nots nots in the walled city unveiled, as he sleeps coiled
in the lap of a statue, to the
in the walled city of 15th Cen-
tury Paris is paralleled with the of 15th Century Paris considerable irritation of the
assembled dignitaries and
politics of 20th century Europe
in the run-up to war. Dieterle, is paralleled with crowd. In a reversal of the
premise of Boudu Saved From
a German Jewish émigré, and
screenwriters Sonya Levien and
the politics of 20th Drowning, The Tramp has
rescued a wealthy drunkard
Bruno Frank altered the rela-
tionship of Quasimodo (Charles
century Europe in the from a death bid, instructing
him, ‘Be brave. Face life!’ He is
Laughton) and his mentor
Frollo (Cedric Hardwicke) by
run-up to war. intermittently embraced by his
new friend, who only recalls
emphasizing Frollo’s fascistic the debt he owes the virtuous
qualities – he plots the persecu-
tion and destruction of the ‘un-
charlie chaplin as the tramp
top left
In a reversal of the premise vagrant when he’s inebriated.
Throughout, The Tramp
desirable’ gypsies – and convert-
ing Quasimodo into a Christ-like
charles laughton as the hunchback
of Boudu Saved From displays remarkable pluck
and decency, thus challenging
figure. Dieterle regarded the
character as a victim of tyranny. Drowning, The Tramp has what it is to be a gentleman.
He later becomes a mysterious
Of the famous flogging scene he
commented, ‘When Laughton
rescued a wealthy drunkard benefactor to Virginia Cher-
rill’s blind flower girl, and the
acted that scene … he was
not the poor crippled creature
from a death bid, instructing film’s tender finale – when she
finally recognises him as such
expecting compassion from the
mob, but rather oppressed and
him, ‘Be brave. Face life!’ – is one of the most poignant
sequences in film history.
enslaved mankind, suffering the
most awful injustice’. JC

8 November/December 2010 9

Image courtesy Park Circus spotlight street spirit

Through its comedic

format, what Trading
Places presented
was a contemporary
trading depiction of the
places (1983) collapse of rank
Dir. John Landis dictated by class
Eddie Murphy’s down-at-heel
con artist Billy Ray Valentine
is a pawn, along with aristo-
cratic yuppie Louis Winthorpe
III (Dan Aykroyd), in a wager
devised by the obscenely
wealthy Duke brothers (Ralph
Bellamy and Don Ameche)
who are seeking to discover if
it’s nature or nurture that lies

An anthropological drama Nell (1994)

Dir. Michael Apted
behind success in the world of
high finance. Valentine, guided
focussing on the barriers to success by the Dukes and
Winthorpe’s kindly butler
to human communication, An anthropological drama
focussing on the barriers to
(Denholm Elliott), reveals
an uncanny talent for stock
the eponymous heroine of human communication, the
eponymous heroine of Nell
prediction that’s so accurate, he
becomes the company’s leading
Nell is Rousseau’s noble is Rousseau’s noble savage
incarnate. Raised in North
commodities authority. Role
reversal narratives involving the
savage incarnate. Carolina backwoods far from
social interaction by a partially
poor or dispossessed are quite
commonplace; in literature
paralysed hermitic mother, Nell Mark Twain explored this ter-
is an untainted child of nature ritory with The Prince and the
who has developed her own Pauper, and Chaplin’s The Idle
language, rituals and individuality Class (1921) was probably the
in near-solitary independence. first significant film to introduce
the notion of mixed identities.
When Nell’s mother dies the Through its comedic format,
outside world encroaches in the what Trading Places presented
form of romantic doctor Jerome was a contemporary depiction
Lovell (Liam Neeson) and rigidly of the collapse of rank dictated
scientific psychologist Paula by class and race. JC
Olsen (Natasha Richardson),
who compete professionally
over their prized specimen,
while personally wresting with above left
protective feelings toward their jodie foster and liam neeson
wild child. Apted strikes a strong opposite
eddie murphy
contrast between the impulsive
freedom of Nell’s natural state
and the constrictive conventions
of the town. Institutionalised to
protect her from prying media,
Nell is robbed of her humanity,
and rendered catatonic when
confined. A courtroom finale
contests the dichotomy of the
artificial civilised world and
natural instinctual world, until
largely ruling in favour of the
pure innocence of the latter. NF

10 November/December 2010 11

c i n e m a ' s t h e m at i c s t r a n d s

Near mute, Danny
unleashed (2005)
is kept caged until
Dir. Louis Leterrier
unleashed (from
a metal collar)
A Luc Besson-scribed martial upon debtors or
arts melodrama seeking to
blend combat and compassion,
rival pit fighters,
Unleashed tells the Glasgow- destroying all
based tale of ‘Danny the with dazzling
Dog’ (Jet Li), an adopted agility.
orphan raised in captivity by
loathsome loan shark Bart
(Bob Hoskins) to be his
personal debt collecting attack
dog. Near mute, Danny is kept
caged until unleashed (from a
metal collar) upon debtors or
rival pit fighters, destroying all
with dazzling agility.
Set free when Bart is left
comatose in a car crash,
Danny finds sanctuary in the
nurturing home of blind piano
tuner Sam (Morgan Freeman)
and his young stepdaughter,
Victoria (Kerry Condon),
whose music and kindness
expose the vulnerability behind
his vicious veneer. However,
when Danny’s former master
awakens and calls him to heel,
his domestication places him
in danger from his savage past,
forcing him to revert to his
fighting instincts to protect his
new family. NF [tbp]

jet li opens a can of whupass

also see... [web ] Read 'Back In Cinemas: Boudu Saved From Drowning’ on [dvd ] City Lights is available to buy on dual format (DVD/Bluray) from

12 November/December 2010 13

visual art inspired by film
You may not recognise the name
AllCity Media but chances are

City of
you've come across their film
posters on more than one occasion.
The prolific studio is responsible To some graphic designers,

doing artwork for movie
for some of the most eye catching posters is a dream job. Is it
posters of recent years and have as enjoyable as one would
notched up a whole raft of awards The creative process is always
enjoyable, but designing for
for their efforts. We spoke to film has all of the same issues campaign there needs to be a
creative director Charlie Loft about as designing for any other concept or idea that can run
industry. At the end of the day throughout, that is why we
The Movie Poster Art of AllCity Media collaboration, inspiration and the we all want to create pieces of work from sketches first and
interview b y g a b r i e l s o lo m o n s future of the one sheet. art but as designers we need then deliver worked up visuals.
to understand the needs of If the idea is strong enough it
the client and advise them as can be delivered in a variety of
much on a creative level as we visual styles so we are instantly
can to get the best results for able to adjust to the clients
us and them. requests and needs.

As a company Allcity seem Can you tell us a bit about

to pride yourselves on the the graphic approach and
collaborative nature of much concept you settled on for
of your output – using gifted Stieg Larsson's Millenium
illustrators, photographers trilogy of films?
and designers to help The Millennium trilogy was a
create final artwork. great brief from Momentum
Why is collaboration so Pictures. To come up with the
important and is there branding for such a well loved
anything in particular that story is something that we
you look for when recruiting could really sink our teeth into.
collaborators? We needed to create a motif
We have a core team at AllCity that could adapt and become
that consistently deliver great the identifier for the trilogy
creative ideas and design but as well as be able to give ‘The
we are aware that we are not Girl’ herself the main shout
a jack of all trades and that as this was the first time she
when a brief requires a certain was going to be revealed. This
look it's better to get the right was a particular challenge as
person to do that part of Noomi Rapace (The Girl) was
the process. Collaboration is relatively unknown in the UK
important because we then and yet we needed her to take
get the best of both worlds centre stage.
- we get to work with some The Dragon motif was
amazing talents and then turn designed to act as a distraction
their images into memorable or decoy to allow us to put an
film campaigns. It’s one unknown face behind it, this in
thing being an artist, its quite turn enabled us to create the
another delivering a coherent overall feeling of intrigue and
marketing campaign. mystery. The Girl is there but
she is slightly hidden by her
Is there a particular creative own Dragon Tattoo (this is the
philosophy behind the way reason for the swirling ink at ➜
you work or is it simply a case the base of the dragon's tail)
of adjusting your style to fit meaning that we could add
above the demands of the client? a level of depth to the poster
poster art for moon with Sam drawn by We believe that behind every and subsequent online and
Martin Ansin (in collaboration with Mondo)
advertising campaigns.
top The branding of the trilogy
i am love which was voted screen
international poster of the year 2010 continues with what we have

14 November/December 2010 15

affectionately called ‘The
Flaming Dragon’ for The Girl art&film left
let the right one in
redrawn by Tyler stout
Who Played With Fire. Again visual art inspired by film bottom
the motif acts as a distraction spirited away redrawn by
and gives extra impact and marcus walters
relevance to the title. The last
stage was developing The Girl
instances as you’re dealing line up of actors and a glossy Why do you think the
Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest
with a lot of opinions. We like finish. It goes without saying printed film poster still
which will be in cinemas this
to work closely with our clients
to ensure that we get as much
' come up with the that a ‘big’ film needs a ‘big’
look but that’s not to say that
matters in this ever
expanding digital age?
Each one of the dragon
motifs has been lovingly crafted
information out of them up
front, that way there is less
branding for such a well there can’t be a clever idea or
twist to the artwork, and that’s
I don’t think the desire to own
a film poster will ever die out,
by one of our collaborators,
Sean Freeman, who under our
margin for error and even less
questions marks over a chosen
loved story was something where we like to come in - the
alternative thinkers in film
there is just something special
about owning an original that
art direction has helped create
some beautiful work. This is
concept when it is presented. that we could really sink campaign design. just can’t be captured with
a screen saver or a motion
another good example of using
someones purest skill and then
Are there particular
designers or certain
our teeth into.' Are there any film posters
(past or present) that you
poster. Film posters are pieces
of art and if designed well are
making it work for film.
periods of art that you draw would say are a prime timeless, look at Clockwork
inspiration from? example of what a film Orange for instance, it still
You include ‘designer’s
Advertising campaigns that poster should do? looks amazing today, so simple
cuts’ for many of the poster
add a different angle but at There are so many great and effective, why wouldn’t
campaigns featured on your
the same time are accesible film posters but Brazil is a you want one on your wall?
website. Is it often the case
to everyone. Graphically brilliant example, it brands The problem with the digital
that your least favoured
we are influenced by many the film in one arresting age is that design is seen as
design gets chosen - and
individuals throughout the visual and simultaneously almost throw away and easy,
how do you deal with the
decades that we always come creates a window into another so when a piece of good
issue of compromise when
back to, Reid Miles of blue fascinating world. design gets through people
things go against your own
note records fame, Niko appreciate it even more.
better judgement?
Cuban - a revolutionary Has the film marketing There is an unhealthy
It is frustrating when a client
poster artist. Andrei industry changed much in amount of ‘garnish’ attached
decides to go against our
Tarkowsky, Wiktor Sadowski, the 10 years since you’ve to many film posters, so
judgement but we aren’t in the
contemporary rock posters been in business? If yes, when you see a poster by
habit of presenting things that
and the art of the fillmore. All how so? Olly Moss for instance it’s
we wouldn't be proud to see
are part of time where idea It seems to be more biased refreshing to see a piece
out in the street. Ultimately
was king, less was more, it towards appealing to everyone of work at its cleverest and
some of our favourite posters
was less about churning out rather than to a core audience simplest. It’s always good to
will never see the light of day
transient visuals and more of opinion leaders and then see other peoples take on a
but that is why we like to show
about the idea. filter through to the masses. film and recently we held an
our designers cuts as it gives an
Blander, less challenging ideas exhibition at AllCity where
insight into the creative process
What is your opinion about are more common place now we asked various well known
and ‘what could have been’.
the state of film poster art but this may be because there illustrators to re-imagine their
There seems to be quite a
generally these days? Are
there any designers/studios
'It’s always good to see is less gestation time and less
budget. Films need to be
favourite film poster from
our portfolio of work. Each
healthy balance between the
work you do for the big stu-
out there that you feel are
contributing something
other people's take on a an instant success whereas
previously you could exploit
artist did an incredible job and
their passion and enthusiasm
dios and smaller independent
films. What is the difference
special (apart from
yourselves of course!)?
film and recently we held an a longer lead time than the
market place now allows.
towards the project was
amazing, which just goes to
– if any – in the working
relationship you have with
There are alot of generic
film posters out there at the
exhibition at AllCity where However there are many
more mediums and formats
show how important film
posters are to many people.
‘big’ and ‘small’ clients?
There isn’t a great deal
moment but there is also a we asked various well known than ever. It's no longer about
healthy mix of creative talent just a visual - the campaign And finally…
of difference between our
working relationships with the
being used. Neil Kellerhouse illustrators to re-imagine needs to span social media Why does film matter?
independents and the bigger
studios. There is an element of
(featured in The Big Picture
issue 11) has done some their favourite film poster to street level advertising to
cinema, which is great when
It is pure escapism, when
you’re watching a film it
design by committee in both
incredible design work, but not
just for film. Empire, without
poster art for the millenium trilogy's
from our portfolio of work.' you have the budget to exploit
these areas.
doesn’t matter what else is
going on in your world, you
doubt, have had a massive the girl who kicked the hornet's nest can just let go and enter into
influence on the look of someone else’s. [tbp]
modern film posters. It would
be interesting to see some of
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets
their designers cuts.
Nest is released 26 November
There is of course the
need in film marketing to get
bums on seats but we think
that the audience needs to
be engaged with more then a
seemore... [web ] See more from AllCity Media: [web ]

16 November/December 2010 17

one sheet
deconstructing film posters

Shelter Life on the streets is something few of us are
accustomed to, so it has often been the focus of
film plots. Belongings hoisted over his shoulder in
a red bundle, nichol as page takes a trip through
posters inspired by such stories. Images courtesy
of The Reel Poster Gallery, London.

The creation o f believable Midnight Cowboy (1969)

and layered characters has Original Danish
always been an important Art by Jouineau Bourduge
part of cinema. In general,
One of the more successful
characters are both categorised
films about life on the edges
and identified by their role in
of society, John Schlesinger’s
society: their profession, social
Midnight Cowboy stars Dustin
status or even the clothes they
Hoffman and Jon Voight as
wear. These days, this can
two hustlers living on the
be taken even further to say
streets of New York City. The
that characters in commercial
posters created for the film’s
cinema are replicated rather
Western release show a photo
than created: cut using the
of these two main characters
same rusty cutter and from
standing on a run-down
the same over-kneaded dough.
street corner, smoking and
What happens, then, when a
sheltering against the cold.
character has no particular
This Danish poster, created
role in society? What if he is
by the successful French
unable to or simple refuses
designer Jouineau Bourduge,
to be a part of society as we
alters this general idea by
know it? Is he even aware such
placing the two characters on
a society exists?
a cityscape backdrop instead,
perhaps alluding to the big
city dreams of the film’s

18 November/December 2010 19

one sheet gimme shelter

Sullivan’s Travels (1941)

Original Belgian
Charlie Chaplin may have
been waddling around town
as his famous Tramp for
decades, but homelessness
was still something of
an untouched topic in
Hollywood by the time
Preston Sturges made
Sullivan’s Travels in 1941. The
film, with a title that refers
to Jonathan Swift’s satire
of self-discovery Gulliver’s
Travels, concerns a young and
successful film director who
decides to experience street
life first-hand as inspiration
for his new project. Just as
with Chaplin’s movies, the
topic of homelessness arises
in comedic form, illustrated
by this particularly colourful
Belgian poster.

The Man Who Fell

to Earth (1976)
Original German

Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who

Fell to Earth, while existing
as a mere vehicle for the
branching career of singer
David Bowie during the
seventies, is a good example
of what became a well-used
narrative template in later
years: the idea of taking
an alien being (sometimes
metaphorically, but in this
case literally) and dropping
him into civilised society
before documenting the
results. It may have become
a cult favourite in recent
years thanks to Roeg’s use
Just as with Chaplin’s movies, of surreal imagery, but this
rather striking German
the topic of homelessness poster for the movie shows
us exactly what the chief
arises in comedic form, attraction was at the time:
Bowie’s sex appeal.
illustrated by this particularly
colourful Belgian poster.

one sheet gimme shelter

celebrates 45 years of cinema coverage

The Wild Child (1970)
Original French
Art by Jouineau Bourduge Published bi-monthly by the internationally
Jouineau Bourduge, perhaps
best known for his stunning
black and white poster for
renowned film society of lincoln center,
Barry Lyndon worked on
many French films in the film comment provides global coverage
1970s and ‘80s and should
perhaps be described as
a designer rather than an
in cinema including exclusive interviews,
artist. His poster for François
Truffaut’s The Wild Child does in-depth reviews, discussions on new releases
an excellent job illustrating
the savage nature of the and classic films, authoritative profiles on
film’s titular character, using
a beautiful grass-green
background to symbolise
the wilderness from which
he comes. Through this
’’ !
luminaries in the industry, and developments
in the art of filmmaking.
character, Truffaut shows
the small margin between

rough but civilised life on the
streets of Paris and the laws of
nature. [tbp] I love every aspect of motion pictures, and I’m committed to it for life.
film comment has that same commitment when it comes to

writing about motion pictures.

— Clint Eastwood film comment connects me to a time when films and filmmakers
actually mattered and were treated as being worthy of serious discussion.
There’s no other cinema magazine remotely like it.

— stEvEn sodE rbErgh

film comment regularly publishes some of the best film writers in the
world, and they probe and parse cinema in a way that deepen our experience of it.
— utn E indEpE ndEnt pr Ess award b Est arts CovEragE
Jouineau Bourduge's vivid
poster does an excellent job of
illustrating the savage nature F ilmCommEnt.Com subsCrib E:
of the film’s titular character 1.888.313.6085 US 1 yr (6 issues) save 10% of our standard rate
1.973.627.5162 International us $27 /canada&mexico $36 /international
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Denville NJ 07834 USA

go further [web ] Look out for ‘Poster Boy: One Sheets of Distinction' on

seeing film in a wider context 'Screen Machine provides
state-of-the-art cinema a state-of-the-art cinema
experience to the remote
communities of the west experience to the remote
Highlands and Islands. So the
programme is predominately communities of the west
mainstream new releases such
as Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Highlands and Islands.'
Toy Story 3, and Inception.
However each tour, which
covers 23 communities
and takes about 6 weeks to
complete, includes a film
suitable for younger children
and families as well as films
for older audiences. Generally
we tour 3-4 titles but we have
been adding more specialised
films recently, for example
The Girl With The Dragon
Tattoo and The Illusionist.
The programme varies
slightly according to the
community we are visiting.
Some places are comparatively

Images Courtesy Regional Screen Scotland

close to a city multiplex - in
our case this means within
a 2 hour drive! - and so the
major blockbusters don't
always perform well when we
tour them because the target
audience have already chosen

to make a special visit to a city
Could you briefly tell us was a fragile, labour intensive cinema.
the history of the Screen vehicle and a second mobile

Machine initiative and its cinema was purchased, this There seems to be a bit
relationship to Regional time from Toutenkamion who of a resurgence of these
Screen Scotland. had now supplied a similar mobile cinemas of late. Why modern city cinema. Cinema
The original concept in the cinema to Ireland and were by do you think the response screenings in community
mid-1990s was to develop now able to adapt their design to these mobile cinemas halls are usually more
a rural, mainstream cinema to suit the Scottish routes. - and the Screen Machine social occasions where it is
service similar to what The current Screen in particular - has been so understood that the screening
For five years now Scotland's Screen was operating in France. Machine has been operating positive? will be different from visiting
Machine has been making a night at the HI~Arts, the arts and cultural for 6 years, initially with It is important to distinguish a multiplex - and more
development agency for 35mm projection but since between mobile cinemas such enjoyable for some audiences.
movies a regular event in communities the Highlands and Islands January 2010 as a purely as Screen Machine, which is Screen Machine is a
where a trip to the cinema was previously of Scotland undertook the digital cinema operation a complete touring cinema very special case. It looks
a major undertaking. Ron Inglis, Director project with the backing of complete with 3D capabilities. auditorium, and the equally impressive in the photographs (top) NOOMI RAPACE as Lisbeth Salander
the Scottish film Council Regional Screen Scotland important operations which but nearly everyone who visits (above) MICHAEL NYQVIST as Mikael Blomkvist
of Regional Screen Scotland tells the story and Highlands and Islands is a development agency take equipment into existing it and watches a film is amazed
of this one of a kind mobile cinema. Enterprise. established in 2008 to develop venues and provide a cinema that it "really does feel like a
Although the idea was to cinema and cinemagoing service to local communities. modern city cinema". There
Interview by gabriel solomons purchase a similar mobile in remote, rural and under- Screen Machine, and similar is a Tardis-like feeling when
cinema "off the shelf" from provided areas of Scotland. vehicles in Ireland and France, you go into the auditorium
the French manufacturer, The company took over aim first and foremost to and find a comfortable,
Toutenkamion, there were ownership and operation of deliver an experience that airconditioned cinema with top
audiences prepare to
difficulties getting their design Screen Machine in 2009. equals, perhaps surpasses, a Dolby Digital sound, full 2k board the 'tardis'
to work with Highlands digital projection and, for above
roads and especially the What factors determine some films, XpanD 3D. the cinemas surprisingly
ferries. Consequently a your programming choices spacious interior
custom designed and built for films? What is it that the Screen
cinema was constructed in The principal purpose of Machine offers that perhaps
Manchester and this toured Screen Machine is to provide static cinemas don't? For
up until 2005. However it a mainstream, contemporary, example, do you feel there ➜

24 November/December 2010 25

below and bottom
there's even a red carpet treatment
for some events

have been any spin-off

effects of community-

Your New
building simply due to the
presence of the cinema at
certain remote locations?
The main distinguishing

Mobile Cinema
feature of Screen Machine,
apart from the lack of a
concession counter and
toilets, is the location where
the screenings take place.
Many of the Highland and
Island locations are set
against breathtaking scenery.
Because we don't have
any room for food and
drink sales areas, we often
collaborate with local hotels,
bars or community centres
who do good trade before
or after screenings. We also
employ a local usher at each
of our tour locations and
the driver/projectionists are
well known personalities survey in 2009 and received
to the local communities. a considerable amount of
Equally we often know most useful and encouraging
of the audience so if anyone information which we are
misbehaves we can find out using to adapt the programme
who the culprits are! and the way we operate to suit
these communities better. A
Are there particular single screen 80-seat cinema
challenges you now face due operating in rural and remote
to the cut in arts spending areas faces many unusual
and spending in general that difficulties which often require
may endanger the existence really innovative solutions
of the Screen Machine? but secure funding is a
The Screen Machine service straighforward necessity for us.
depends on ticket income, a
small but important amount of And lastly, why does film
sponsorship, and funding from matter?
Creative Scotland, Highlands
& Islands Enterprise and two
Films matter because they
can provide compelling 'A single screen 80-seat
local authorities. Overall about
half the income comes from
and creative artistic and
entertainment experiences
cinema operating in rural and
public funding and that is
clearly at risk in the present
for audiences. Some films are
just fleeting entertainment
remote areas faces many
circumstances. But Screen
Machine provides a well liked
but others are magnificent,
wonderous, thought
unusual difficulties... but secure
and well supported service
for some of the most fragile
provoking works of art - from
7 minute Warner Brothers
funding is a straighforward
communities in Scotland. We
carried out a large audience
cartoons to highly personal
non-fiction films to dramatic
necessity for us.'
features and musicals - and The Big Picture Issue 12
from all parts of the world.
In the age of the laptop and Available on The iPad January 15th, 2011
mobile smartphone, "film"
is everywhere but cinematic
film is still, at its best,
extraordinary. [tbp]

go further... [web] Find out more about the Screen Machine at

four frames
t h e a r t o f a b b r e v i at e d s t o r y t e l l i n g

The Red Knight In the fisher king Dir. Terry Gilliam, 1991

1 2 The Red Knight leaps

from the damaged mind
of Robin Williams’s
character in The Fisher
King. Jez Conolly looks
at four frames that reveal
the fearful centre of Terry
Gilliam’s urban fantasy.

i n t e r r y g i ll i a m ' s The Fisher

King (1991) disgraced and washed up
shock jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) falls
into the company of the bedraggled and
unstable Parry (Robin Williams) and
discovers curious images of a red knight in
Parry’s cluttered underground lair. Parry
is driven to discover a holy grail and save
a damsel in distress. Jack initially writes
this off as the Arthurian delusions of a
madman but when Parry begins seeing a
physical manifestation of the red knight
erupting onto the streets of New York Jack
3 4 is compelled to help him find his grail, get
the girl and vanquish his demon.
The red knight seems to represent
Parry’s fears from his former life as a
medieval history professor, his time in a
mental hospital and his current homeless
existence, thoughts of which send him into
a catatonic state. It is ultimately revealed
to be a terrible echo of the actions of a
gunman, prompted to attack a bar in the
city by one of Jack’s anti-yuppie rants on
air. Parry’s wife was a victim that night, the
bloody results of the shooting being seen
in flashback. The incident destroyed Jack’s
career and Parry’s life, and when the two
come together they ultimately find a future
through acts of redemption and salvation.

Read More f o u r f r a m e s online at

Screengrabs © 1991 Columbia Pictures

28 November/December 2010 29

1000 words
m o m e n t s t h at c h a n g e d c i n e m a f o r e v e r

‘Dedicated to all the Brothers and Sisters

who had enough of the Man’, Sweet
Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song called
for, and inspired, changes both social
and cinematic. s c o t t jo r da n h a r r i s
examines a countercultural classic.

Melvin Van Peebles, Black Power ’m called the
godfather of black
(1971), Super Fly (1972),
Coffy (1973), Cleopatra Jones
and the Birth of Blaxploitation. movies,’ says Melvin
Van Peebles –
(1973), Foxy Brown (1974) …
– shared much with Sweetback.
who is always an They were populated by
unassuming sort – in powerful black characters; set
his documentary in black urban communities;
The Real Deal. ‘The embraced contemporary
truth of the matter is I’m the black music; and showed their
godfather of independent heroes and heroines sticking
films’. When Van Peebles it to the Man (that is, the
could, perhaps unsurprisingly, white society responsible for
not secure funding for a film their oppression) through
he conceived in order ‘to get their intelligence, guts, and
the Man’s foot out of my ass irrepressible sexuality. But,
… [and] … make him eat though they were apparently
shit’, he decided to make it aimed at black audiences,
alone – and, with the aid of a these blaxploitation films
$50 000 loan from Bill Cosby, also attracted, and proved
bankrolled, wrote, directed, unchallenging for, white
produced, edited, starred in, audiences.
scored and marketed the film Indeed, today a teenager
that began blaxploitation. with a limited understanding
But Sweetback’s Baadasssss of the Civil Rights movement ➜
Song is not an exploitation could probably watch Shaft,
left picture: it’s a protest picture. the most famous of all
melvin van peebles It wasn’t the first film in the blaxploitation pictures, and
photo: Melvin Van Peebles/
Breakfast at Noho blaxploitation genre: it was think it simply an enjoyable
above the catalyst for it. The classics crime film that just happens
A scene from Sweetback's of blaxploitation – Shaft to have a black hero. No white
Badaaasssss Song

30 November/December 2010 31

1000 words sweet relief
melvin van peebles on the set of
sweet sweetback's badaasssss song
pam grier in coffy
butch cassidy and the sundance kid
photo:Melvin Van Peebles/Breakfast at Noho

actions, his lack of speech

demonstrated that the black
struggle had reached a point
at which words achieved great anti-establishment
nothing: only through violence, films of the time: Bonnie and
argued Van Peebles, could Clyde (1967), The Graduate
change be achieved. (Chester (1967), Butch Cassidy and
Himes, the pioneering black the Sundance Kid (1969),
novelist whose work obviously Midnight Cowboy (1969), etc.
influenced Sweetback and It is not generally grouped
who, like Van Peebles, found a with them because they are,
home and an audience in Paris, of course, very much white
reached a similar conclusion.) films. But Sweetback channels
The blaxploitation films that the same countercultural
Sweetback’s Baadasssss person, however uneducated
in the evolution of black followed (the financial success spirit they do, and refracts it
of) Sweet Sweetback (costing through the prism of black
Song is not exploitation experience in America, can
watch Sweet Sweetback and feel they want to look like they are half a million dollars to shoot, experience. The result is a raw,

picture: it’s a protest picture. entirely comfortable. The film

is a sustained assault on white
rounding up suspects.
Alongside Sweetback, the
the film grossed thirty times
that in the USA) capitalised
challenging, enraging and, for
white audiences, unsettling
It wasn’t the first film in the complacency, a challenge to
white society to re-examine
policemen also arrest a Black
Panther – and soon begin to
on – or rather, exploited – the
appetite it had identified for
film that cannot be forgotten
or dismissed. By categorising
blaxploitation genre: it was itself and to black society to
overthrow it.
beat him mercilessly. Unable to
stomach this injustice, Sweet-
films with powerful, angry
black characters. But while
Sweetback as a blaxploitation
picture, or by considering it
the catalyst for it. The titular Sweet Sweetback
(played as an adult by Van
back overpowers the officers
and leaves them unconscious.
those movies – which were
generally lurid and shallow
simply as the film that led to
the blaxploitation picture, we
Peebles and, as a child, by his He spends the rest of the film entertainments – dealt with criminally diminish both its
son, Mario, later the director on the run, relentlessly pur- angry characters they were aims and its achievements.
of New Jack City [1991]), is sued by (white) lawmen. He not angry films. There is Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss
adopted by a madam and, after becomes a savage: living first still some social comment Song changed film forever by
amazing a prostitute with his rough, and then wild, forced to to be discerned in almost thrusting black issues, black
sexual prowess while only a eat a lizard as he wanders the all blaxploitation pictures, characters, black aesthetics and
boy (in scenes censored in the desert. Here is a black man as but to see the cartoonish black militancy into cinemas,
British release of the film), he the worst of the white world exaggerations of Cleopatra and by doing so without
grows up to become a famed would imagine him: a savage. Jones or Coffy (both directed white money. Subsequently, it
performer in her brothel’s sex But he is not savage by nature by white men) as belonging created a genre that thrived by
shows. Audience members both or inclination: he has been to the same kind of film as diluting its more contentious
black and white assemble to forced to become one by white Sweetback is to misunderstand aspects while expanding its
be astounded by his attributes. society because he took the both types of movie. entertaining ones. But this
After one of his performances stand of a civilised man and Sweetback led as directly to is not the chief reason to
(from which a white woman rebelled against its savagery. the explosion of blaxploitation remember it. Decades from
is barred from participating), Like a savage, Sweetback films as Halloween (1978) led now, when Sweet Sweetback’s
two white police officers ask to barely speaks and, within to the explosion in slasher influence is calculated – and
take Sweetback into custody, the militant philosophy of movies, but it cannot be its importance as a model
with the promise to release him the film, his silence had considered one of them. for independent filmmakers, GLASGOW
later, because a crime has been two connotations. Firstly, it If Sweetback belongs to an for political filmmakers, and MARGARET TAIT 
committed by a black man and represented how white society identifiable category of films political activists can be fully AWARD

had robbed the black man it is to that loose group of considered – that it led to
of his voice. Secondly, in the birth of blaxploitation
may be seen as the least of its GLASGOW
the way it was coupled with BEST INTERNATIONAL
Sweetback’s decisive violent accomplishments. [tbp] SHORT FILM AWARD

go further... [watch] BAADASSSSS!, Mario Van Peebles’s 2003 biopic of his father that focuses on the making of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

on location
t h e p l a c e s t h at m a k e t h e m o v i e s below
While globally recognised for its

Beverly Hills
pacino and deniro square off
bottom right
nick nolte and friend
affluence, celebrity style and permanent
sunshine, this trend-setting district
of Los Angeles, a stone’s throw from
Hollywood, has offered more varied
settings on-screen. s i m o n k i n n e a r
mixes with the chic and the freaks.

heat (1995) Down and Out in

Dir. Michael Mann Beverly Hills (1986)
USA, 170 minutes Dir. Paul Mazursky
Starring Al Pacino, Robert USA, 103 minutes
De Niro, Val Kilmer Starring Nick Nolte, Bette
Midler, Richard Dreyfuss
Mann’s epic crime saga,
an expansion of his 1989 Adapted from Jean Renoir’s
TV movie L.A. Takedown, Boudu Saved From Drowning,
pits philosophical thief Neil Mazursky’s class satire sees
McCauley (De Niro) against vulgar Beverly Hills socialites
equally capable cop nemesis Barbara and Dave Whiteman
Vincent Hanna (Pacino). (Midler and Dreyfuss) take
Mann shoots entirely on on more than they can handle
location as McCauley and when they decide to adopt
Hanna’s high-stakes game of disheveled bum Jerry Baskin
cat-and-mouse crosses LA, (Nolte). The film taps into
from an explosive street battle the mid-1980s penchant for
downtown to their late-night dissecting the social divide
meeting in a Beverly Hills and was a huge hit, despite
diner – famously, the first time the unusual distinction of
these screen legends shared being the first R-rated movie
the screen, having previously ever released by Disney.
appeared in separate sections The film makes good use of
of The Godfather Part II. The Beverley Hills’ palatial homes,
location is the prestigious Kate with the Whitemans’ estate
Mantilini restaurant, which is being a real-life home found
still inundated with requests at 802 N. Bedford Drive, off
from diners to sit at the De Sunset Boulevard.
Niro / Pacino table, despite a
‘no reservations’ policy.

34 November/December 2010 35

on location left
t h e p l a c e s t h at m a k e t h e m o v i e s the darkness within: eraserhead

eraserhead (1976)
Dir. David Lynch
USA, 89 minutes
Starring Jack Nance, Jeanne
Bates, Charlotte Stewart

As the centre of the

filmmaking world, Beverly
Hills provides the backdrop
to art-house experiments
as well as mainstream hits.
Lynch’s debut, funded by
the American Film Institute,
weaved the nightmarish
story of Henry Spencer (Jack
Nance), whose ‘vacation’ in a
strange industrial world tips
into nightmare when he’s
forced to raise his hideously
deformed baby. Lynch took
advantage of the Gothic
interiors of the AFI’s Beverly
Hills headquarters, Greystone
Mansion, to provide the film’s
distinctive look – although
the building is usually
synonymous with Californian Clueless (1995)
wealth. Coen Brothers fans
will recognise Greystone’s
Filmed at Beverly Hills High Dir. Amy Heckerling
exteriors as the home of
Jeffrey ‘The Big’ Lebowski.
School, the producers of USA, 97 minutes
Starring Alicia Silverstone,
Clueless sat in on classes Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy

to perfect the characters’ Beverly Hills would appear

to be an incongruous setting
distinctive Valspeak cadences. for a Jane Austen adaptation,
but Heckerling’s transplant of
Emma to high school proves
an astute rendering of the
novelist’s social observations.
Silverstone’s popular
fashionista Cher has made it
her duty to play matchmaker
for her classmates, notably
ugly duckling Tai (Brittany
Murphy), little realizing she’s
falling in love herself. Filmed
at Beverly Hills High School,
the producers sat in on classes
to perfect the characters’
distinctive Valspeak cadences.
The same school’s famous
‘Swim Gym’, meanwhile, is
perhaps more familiar for its
go further... [web ] Read ‘The Beast Within: The Devil and the Coen Brothers’ on cameo in It’s A Wonderful Life.

36 November/December 2010 37

e vo c at i v e o b j e c t s o n s c r e e n

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

In Jamie Uys’s African comedy, a glass Coke

bottle draws a noble savage, played by real-life
tribesman N!xau, into society. s c o t t j o r da n
h a r r i s follows it to the ends of the Earth.

t h e p lot i s p e r f ec t. The iconic Coke bottle is the

An empty Coca-Cola bottle, perfect emblem of Western
thrown from a light aircraft, society. It is so elegant and
is discovered by a band of functional that, to an outsider,
Kalihari Bushmen. Unable it seems divine and yet to
to imagine that such an those for whom it was made
object has an earthly origin, it is utterly disposable. Its
they assume it to be a gift appearance represents the
from the Heavens. When encroachment of modern
the bottle causes arguments commerce into an unspoilt
over ownership – a concept world. The mission to fling
previously unknown to the the bottle from the planet
tribe – one of their number represents not just a rejection
resolves to take the only of capitalism’s attendant
sensible course: he will walk evils (inequality, envy,
to the edge of the world and dissatisfaction, greed…) but
throw the bottle off it, thereby a resolution to ensure there
returning it to the gods. His is no chance of them ever
trek brings him into contact returning. No onscreen object
with civilisation for the first has ever exposed the savagery
time, and that brings him to in civilisation, or the civility in
the inevitable conclusion: the a savage, as succinctly as this
gods must be crazy. discarded Coke bottle. [tbp]

seemore [web] Read ‘Screengem: Charlie’s Golden Ticket’ on

38 November/December 2010 39

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parting shot
i m i tat i o n i s t h e s i n c e r e s t f o r m o f f l at t e r y

E.T. and Elliot weren’t the first film characters to fly
across the moon. da n i e l s t e a d m a n jumps on his flying
bicycle to examine one of cinema’s most imitated images.

1 9 24 ' s t h e t h i e f o f Thief of Bagdad image,

b a g d a d established the moon eschewing mystery and
as a back-drop for flight. splendour and recasting the
The iconic sight of Douglas shot as a comedic device.
Fairbanks and Julanne The most familiar example
Johnston soaring on a magic of the shot is Elliot and E.T.
carpet, silhouetted against a cycling triumphantly in front
massively expensive, studio- of the lunar light. As with so
set orb set a precedent. When much of Steven Spielberg’s
filmmakers needed to create work, the image of a boy on
the illusion of fantastical a BMX, guarding an alien in
aviation – whether to convey the basket levitating above
romance, magic or simply the trees is both entirely his
grandeur – they had their own, and yet also the result of
reference. an encyclopaedic knowledge
Any act of homage to a of film history. Such was
film icon leaves room for the image’s subsequent
innovation, and the biggest fame, it became the logo for
variation between nearly the director’s monstrously
ninety years of moon successful Amblin production
silhouette movie moments company and is spoofed in
is the mode of transport everything from Naked Gun
used in them. The silliest 2½ to Cars.
example comes in 1961’s The So, while Spielberg opened
Absent-Minded Professor, in the floodgates – training
which Professor Brainhard’s the eyes of a generation of
Flubber-powered Model T cinemagoers – E.T. and
Ford neatly reinvents The Elliott’s moment of ecstasy
is part of a long tradition:
the grandiose, whimsical and
'Happiness Must absurd vision of the rider, the
silhouette and the moon. [tbp]
Be Earned...'
clockwise from top
ET: the extra terrestrial
the thief of bagdad (1924)
the absent minded professor go further... [watch ] George Melies’s A Trip to The Moon (1902)

42 November/December 2010 43


Getting involved with... Go Further

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44 visit:



Film Index Back in Cinemas

So you’ve read about the films, now go watch them! Putting the movies back where they belong...

The Mighty Ducks: D2 (1994)

Dir. Sam Weisman
Butch Cassidy and
the Sundance Kid (1969)
This edition of The Big Picture has been
g see page 4/5 Dir. George Roy Hill produced in partnership with Park Circus,
Boudu Saved From Drowning (1932)
g see page 33
who are committed to bringing classic
Dir. Jean Renoir Heat (1995)
g see page 6/7 Dir. Michael Mann films back to the big screen.
g see page 34
Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Dir. William Dieterle Down and Out in Beverly Hills
g see page 8 (1986)
Dir. Paul Mazursky
coming coming coming A Film by Jean Renoir

City Lights (1931) g see page 35
soon soon soon
Dir. Charlie Chaplin
g see page 9 Eraserhead (1976)
Dir. David Lynch
Nell (1994)
Dir. Michael Apted
g see page 36 The fully restored version of Jean Renoir's 1932
g see page 10 Clueless (1995) classic BOUDU SAVED FROM DROWNING will be
Dir. Amy Heckerling
Trading Places (1983)
back in cinemas from 17 December, opening at
g see page 37
Dir. John Landis Curzon Renoir Cinema, Filmhouse Edinburgh, Irish
The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
g see page 11
Film Institute and key cities. The film is about a
Dir. Jamie Uys
Back In Cinemas
Unleashed (2005)
Dir. Andrea Arnold
g see page 12/13
g see page 38/39

ET: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Dir. Steven Spielberg
Parisian bookseller, Lestingois, who fishes Boudu,
a vagrant, out of the river Seine. He befriends the
tramp and puts him up at home, where Boudu
The Fisher King (1991) g see page 42/43
Dir. Terry Gilliam causes nothing but trouble. However, events take
The Absent Minded Professor (1961)
g see page 28/29
Dir. Robert Stevenson a different turn when Boudu wins the lottery…
Sweet Sweetback's g see page 42
Badaaasssss Song (1971)
Dir. Melvin Van Peebles The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
Having undergone an amazing $600,000
g see page 30/31 Dir. Jody Hill restoration, THE AFRICAN QUEEN will be back
Coffy (1973)
g see page 43 in cinemas from March 2011. Three movie giants
Dir. Jack Hill come together in this Academy Award-winning
g see page 32
romantic adventure from 1951, combining the
masterful direction of John Huston with the
fabulous chemistry of its lead actors Humphrey
The Big Picture Issue 12 Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.

Available 15 January 2011 More details of cinema screenings of these

and other classic movies from the Park Circus
catalogue can be accessed via:

The views and opinions of all texts, including

editorial and regular columns, are those of the
The Big Society? authors and do not necessarily represent or
reflect those of the editors or publishers.