Thursday, 8 November 2018

GFT NOV 93, Cinema 1


What better way to mark our 1000th(!) post than celebrating the 25(!) years (to the day and hour!) since Agent Rob first visited the Glasgow Film Theatre on Rose Street, forming a rewarding quarter of a century big screen relationship with "an independent public cinema"....


In that time a variety of refurbishments have seen foyers come and go, Cafe Cosmo go go, the butterfly staircase and Cinema 3 have come and the ever-revolving (not literally, at least, not yet!) Box Office has finally taken root next to the main entrance. So please take your seats and be sure to switch off your mobile phone as the previews conclude and the main feature is about to begin....


It's very likely all this patronage came about thanks to BBC2's enlightening Moviedrome series of films/programmes (about which more later) and the NME (RIP) - indeed, (it's hard to believe) there was a time when that paper comprehensively covered a whole host of genuinely alternative new music, book, comic and cinematic scenes in what was a weekly cover-to-cover read. Similarly, and presumably in what was also then the pre-internet age, things were helped along somewhat by checking out the cinema listings in either the Glasgow Herald or Evening Times newspapers (as well as those, er, 'free' afternoons (and generous concessions) that being a student often afforded)....



It all kicks off in epic fashion with John Woo's The Killer, his Hong Kong star no doubt rising abroad thanks to Quentin Tarantino's blessing off the back of the success of his very own heavily HK influenced Reservoir Dogs. And so it was that 'balletic', 'slow motion' and 'two-gun action' blew the bloody doors off ("selected", ahem) UK cinemas (and selected UK cinema goers, including this one) in an explosive 'John Woo Showcase'....



....and there's a nice juicy Psycho 'followed by' Taxi Driver double bill tucked away in the programme as well, one that I definitely attended, certainly seeing Psycho in all its glory for the very first time. (And and I have to confess I used to save every single one of the monthly GFT programmes.... as well as confess to recycling them all, save NOV 93, at some point several years ago. Quite a regret. Still, I'm sure my scanner's very grateful....)*


Another notable listing in NOV 93 are screenings of Mike Leigh's Naked - accompanied in the brochure by a photo that couldn't look less like lead actor David Thewlis if it tried - a film I'm sure I swithered over before I eventually decided to pass. It's a firm favourite these days, but I doubt it would have made much of an impression (the vivid poster aside) on my younger self, its searing lyrical subtleties surely soaring over my (eight)teenage head. Then again, can you blame me fer dodgin' it if this superficial fluff was the official trailer....




Interestingly NOV 93 also marked the moment the GFT joined Europa Cinemas - a relationship that continues to this day - and the arrival of Glasgay! "the first festival of its kind ever to be held in Scotland" (since rebranded/incorporated into Outspoken Arts Scotland). There's an excellent recent piece by Allison Gardner, Programme Director / GFF Co-Director, about the GFT cinema on the Europa Cinemas website here....


Although it started out with Alex Cox on hosting duties, my abiding memories of the excellent Moviedrome are from when Mark Cousins took over the reins - I would consider him the John Peel of my cinematic education, someone who is always seeking and who inspires the same - and I've always enjoyed his gentle, yet passionate and intense (and inclusive!) approach to film criticism. Aside from once passing him a flyer in the street at the 2000 Edinburgh Fringe Festival - I guess The Burning Orphanage Show didn't appeal - it was great to properly meet this influential figure, exchanging a few quick words (about which more later), after the screening of (the condensed version of his) The Story of Film at the GFT.... 

*I still have all my ticket stubs tho'!

Of course, Rob (also) loves his summer blockbusters, so it should come as no surprise that he's currently working on the inevitable sequel to this blog, one where he'll take a look at some of his biggest GFT big screen favourites and memorable moments. So duly dim the lights (and prepare for someone to arrive just a little late and sit in front of you, their head part blocking the subtitles) and prepare yourselves for Cinema 2, a forthcoming attraction....