A tarnished hero, a colourful cast of characters and a prized Falcon. It was a pleasure to recently watch John Huston's directorial debut The Maltese Falcon, a powerhouse film noir adapted from the novel penned by Dashiell Hammett. I'd watched a few weeks earlier The Big Sleep, the Howard Hawks adaptation of Raymond Chandler's famous Philip Marlowe novel. I found that in comparison to the Hawks movie, Huston bringing Hammett's PI Sam Spade to the screen seemed more dynamic an
1 COLLEGE HOUSE ...Return Lindsay Anderson's If.... has returned to cinema's for it's 50th anniversary and I was very excited to catch it on the big-screen - in a evocatively worn 35mm print - recently at the GFT as part of their Spirit of 68 season. On it's London premiere, in December 1968, the film looked to have bottled the fevered mood of the moment. It formed part of artistic statements that seemed to have the heavy shadows of the year's new stories at every turn, work
This year's Glasgow Film Festival had a host of great screenings. The films I caught were: Berlin Syndrome With it's title, a play on Stockholm Syndrome, this Australian drama directed by Cate Shortland suggests claustrophobia and danger. A tense thriller, that's only flaw is perhaps a set piece too long, it got a positive audience reaction and was an excellent drama. Actors Teresa Palmer and Max Riemelt were excellent and Palmer in particular gave a vanity-free performance.
Having long been a fan of the kitchen sink dramas of the 1960's, I finally got around to reading two books by Alan Sillitoe, a highly-influential figure in the movement. Starting with his short story collection The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, I got caught up in the prose style, the world portrayed and the unstinting clarity of the author. Well-known of course through the BAFTA-winning screen adaption of the same name starring Tom Courtenay, I actually found the ti