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Talk Preview: Celluloid Sinatra: An Illustrated Talk, 2 June, Filmhouse, Edinburgh

31 May

I alluded to this talk very briefly the other week, but thought I’d just give it another plug as I bought my ticket yeterday – Celluloid Sinatra: An Illustrated Talk takes place at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse on Monday 2 June at 6.15pm.

From the website:

Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London, former artistic director of the London Film Festival and longtime Sinatra aficionado, will give a liberally illustrated overview of Frank Sinatra’s life and movie career, looking at his 60-plus years in showbiz and the more than 50 feature films he appeared in.

Wootton has been a regular contributor to The Guardian over the years and has also interviewed many of the greats such as Neil Jordan, Angelica Huston and Quentin Tarantino.

All the information is over at the Filmhouse website and I’ll maybe see you there on Monday, even if it is as nice a day outside as it is today…


Book Preview: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Campaign, 22 Feb – 1 March

17 Feb

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is reopened this February as Edinburgh once more goes Robert Louis Stephenson mad!

Way back in February 2007, the people over at the City of Literature of Trust mounted a campaign to bring the work of Edinburgh’s very own Stephenson to a wider audience through a giveaway of the classic novel, Kidnapped. Continue reading

Talk Preview: James Meek, 18 February, Blackwell’s

16 Feb
James Meek, author of the Ondaatje prize-winning The People’s Act of Love and winner of Britain’s Best Foreign Reporter, will read from his new novel We Are Now Beginning Our Descent at Blackwell’s on Monday 18 February.
Meek has drawn on his time as foreign correspondent for the Guardian in this tale of a war reporter trying to make sense of his experiences in Afghanistan through fiction. Continue reading

Talk Preview: Kevin Williamson, Friday 1 February

22 Jan

In a Room DarkenedKevin Williamson was editor and founder of the legendary underground Rebel Inc publishing house as well as being an acclaimed author and poet, cultural commentator and self-proclaimed ‘media terrorist.’

Williamson will be reading from his first collection of poetry, In a Room Darkened, and will reflect on 15 years in the public eye as a radical dissenting Scottish voice.

Chaired by acclaimed author, Emer Martin.

Event: Kevin Williamson reading

Venue: National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh

Date/Time: Friday 1 February, 7pm, FREE – Booking essential

Film Preview: Decalogue, Monday 21 January

20 Jan

Tollcross Community Centre continue their series of free cinema nights on Monday 21 January with a screening of Decalogue by Krzysztof Kieslowski.

This is a series of ten shorts created for Polish Television, with plots loosely based upon the Ten Commandments, directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski. Two of these, Dekalog 5 and 6, are shorter cuts from the feature-length films – Krotki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film About Killing) and Krotki film o milosci (A Short Film About Love), respectively.

They deal with the emotional turmoil suffered by humanity, when instinctual acts and societal morality conflict.

A discussion on the film will follow the screening.

Event: Decalogue by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Venue: Tollcross Community Centre, Tollcross Primary School, 117 Fountainbridge (off Lothian Road at Superdrug)
Date/Time: Monday 21 January, 6pm, FREE

Talk Preview: Alan Grant, Tuesday 29 January

18 Jan

Alan GrantI am the law! That’s not my catchphrase (that’s verging on vigilantism, something does not condone) but Judge Dredd’s. Which is a slightly laboured way to say that 2000AD and Batman writer (and Dundee-born) Alan Grant is coming to Edinburgh on his Lawmaster on Tuesday 29 January.

This is pretty exciting news for anyone brought up on the weekly adventures of Dredd or with a passing interest in comics. Grant will be presenting a lecture titled “Writing tomorrow yesterday: how fiction became reality” and according to the Edinburgh Lecture website:

In the 1980s Alan Grant co-wrote a series of stories featuring Judge Dredd set in the USA around the year 2100. Reality has swiftly overtaken fiction and many of his made-up problems have already become part of everyday life: the ever-increasing fascism of state police forces; society’s inane fascination with celebrity; the empowerment of the rich and famous at the expense of ordinary people – in short, the crushing of the ordinary person as an agent in the world. Can things only get worse?

Cheery stuff from our Alan. But he’s got a point: the sooner the cult of celebrity is banished to the depths of Mega City One, along with Heat magazine (does anyone remember when it was a half-decent film and TV review mag?) and it’s associated hangers on, the better.

Oh, and the lecture is chaired by crime writer Denise Mina – I saw her a few years ago at a Book Festival talk with Ian Rankin and she was great. Roll on the 29th!

Event: The Edinburgh Lecture: Alan Grant (you need to scroll down the page a bit to find him)
Venue: Quincentenery Hall, Surgeon’s Hall, Edinburgh
Date/Time: Tuesday 29 January, 7pm

Welcome to it’s on…it’s gone

12 Jan

Have you ever flicked through the newspaper, read a post on a website or spoken to a friend about some film, talk, theatre production or gig that sounds right up your street but which was on last week and for some reason you haven’t heard about it till now?

Annoying isn’t it? Well that’s the main reason for this humble little blog.

I’ve been to some great one-off events over the last few years: Malcolm McDowell at the Traverse for two nights doing a fantastic, powerful and moving talk about his friend Lindsay Anderson; a screening of Charles Laughton Directs Night of the Hunter, a chance to see a DVD commentary-style version of the film narrated in the flesh by a film restorer who had spent years splicing it together; a screening of a classic Doctor Who story from 1979 at the Filmhouse in the presence of one of its stars (and James Bond and Indiana Jones baddie) Julian Glover…the list goes on. And on.

This blog is a chance to bring these sorts of gems together in one place. I’ll search out the best films, plays, book launches, interviews and musical events taking place in Edinburgh and add them here. I can’t promise I’ll get them all – it’s a big old town and I’m just one person – but I’ll do my best. And if I can review them, all the better.

So enjoy the blog, add your comments to the posts and let me know if I’ve missed anything…it should be fun.

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