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The Film Authority practices good housekeeping…


In case you were wondering, my desk is over a hundred years old; it’s huge, and has formed the central base of a large and ever increasing pile of films on disk that have been towering over me for several years. Although I don’t actually buy DVD’s per se, I do tend to accumulate them, and my collection had reached from the floor to the ceiling by the time the first signs of structural problems began to show. Some kind of seismic shift, potentially caused by unqualified catties interfering among the central pillars of the mega-structure, reminded me to swiftly remove champagne bottles and other breakables for safety. It was therefore with resignation rather than surprise that I heard the entire edifice noisily collapse the other afternoon, spitting precious Chevy Chase DVD’s around the room and leaving the carpet covered in disks, cases, toys and other cinematic ephemera.

What does all this mean? Much as I’ve enjoyed the epic scale of this holy mountain of films, at the foot of which I’d sit like a 21st century Captain Nemo basking in the shadow of his enormous organ, it’s probably time to sell or donate all but the most prized items. This change of course in the physical world coincided with bringing up a milestone for this website; on schedule, we’re bringing up the half million readers mark, with over a quarter of a million views in the last twelve months indicating rapid growth. Content is king, and I would be remiss not to thank the loyal publicists who took a chance to provide film access back in the days when I was scoring a peak of four readers a month. I should also pay tribute to all the august, trenchant, literate voices (and they know who they are) who make the comments section such essential reading for cultural historians worldwide.

Such humble-bragging aside, I’m also celebrating 20 years of creating bespoke content for The List magazine, an events guide with a physical magazine as well as an online presence that has miraculously survived a pandemic which dictated that there were no actual events to cover for long periods. Returning to the fray, The List pitched a great article, a comparison of the streaming reboots of Dead Ringers and Fatal Attraction; there’s a link to the finished text here. With great performances from Rachel Weisz and Lizzy Caplan respectively, these are female-orientated reboots that neatly balance out the male dominance of the 80’s originals, and I may cover the shows here in their entirety once their runs are complete.

And lastly, I made a mistake and want to talk to you about it. Monday’s review of John Huston’s Wise Blood will remain in place for now, but it’s not up to the standard I’ve set myself recent reviews, which few quotes or evidence to back up my usual hyperbole. I’d republished the article from a couple of years back, when only a handful of people read these things, and should have re-watched Wise Blood to ensure that this rare film got its due; this will be rectified. With Netflix now the only streaming service committed to not-observing exhibition windows, cinema seems to be looking up after years of Covid-based insecurity, and this blog will continue in the hope of capturing that renaissance on a day-by-day basis. Poorly constructed efforts from the past may well fall around our ears with an inevitable bang, but hopefully with your valuable help, we can build a better cinematic world together. Thanks for reading.


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  1. Congratulations on this phenomenonal milestone, loving the reviews and the Scottish humour.. 2 wee questions, should your review be read with a Billy Connolly or a Ewan McGregor accent? And are you going to tell us the secret of your success…

  2. This website and community continues to be a joy. You’re constantly introducing me to under-the-radar or old films that I would’ve never come across otherwise.

    Off the top of my head, I’ll thank you specifically for convincing me to watch Wild Mountain Tyme, Marooned Awakening, and I Know Where I’m Going.

    That desk served you well before it collasped 🙂 I wish you like finding one that’ll last another 100 years…..

    • The desk itself is indestructable, but the aditional thousand plus disk tower that it was the foundation stone for has collapsed and will not be rebuilt. Really appreciate that you can list some of the good ones I’ve platformed, that’s what this is all about! And while the numbers are great, it’s the connections with film fans around the world that provides the identity of this website, so your positivity is noted and duly appreciated!

      • Very glad to hear that the desk survived. I read your tale wrong and had the image of the desk literally splitting in two like the Titanic under the weight of all your books and DVDs.

        Can’t wait to see where you steer us next!

    • That is the magazine that I referenced. Their coverage of giant plastic children’s heads is mint.

  3. 1) YOur desk is almost as old as you! I’ve got my money on you, so hang in there a couple for centuries and it’ll be easy money.

    2) The collapse should have taught you about the dangers of worshipping at the Chevster’s feet. Free yourself brother, from the shackles that The Man puts you in every time you watch a Chevy Chase movie.

    3) I am claiming the “trenchant” part of that shoutout. Just because I miss stuff all the time and don’t get the obvious doesn’t mean I’m not trenchant. In fact, I’m trencher’ing a bag of tortilla chips and a bottle of salsa con queso as I type.

    7) I hope you know that I provide about 97500 of those 250,000 views. My f5 key is getting worn right out!

    Finally, great post. It is fun to see the man behind the curtain sometimes….

    • The man behind the curtain is The Wizard if Oz, right? And it turned out that he was no use to anyone…

      Yup, most of the views are me trying to find Alex’s corrections. But the compliment is deserved; the comments have made this fun. I happened on one of our first conversations the other day, I must find it and screenshot it. We sounds like Muppet Babies.

  4. Love the reviews here, thanks for all your great work. I used to read the guardian film reviews but um, the less said about what’s happened to their film department over recent years the better!

    Do you enjoy reading other review sites yourself?
    Do you check reviews on rotten tomatoes before publishing a review or do you write with a clear mind?

    • Thanks for these kind words. Like you, I used to look at Bradshaw in the Guardian, but they now publish multiple contradictory reviews of the same film, so it’s not worth looking at. Used to look at Slant and Onion AV, but neither of them are what they used to be.

      I try to avoid trailer and other reviews before I write, although I often check how many reviews a film has had on RT. That helps me, since if you are the first reviewer, there’s a lot of pressure to get it right.

      I do read other reviews within the WordPress community, I think it’s the least you can do if you aspire to other people reading yours. But there’s always room to do more of that…

      • I don’t mind contradictory reviews in one newspaper… it’s just the guardian reviewers are so infused with right-wing political thinking (superficially presented as liberal) and Bradshaw is the king of it, leading from the front!
        I even saw Bradshaw copying lines from other peoples reviews, and when I then raised it in the comments, the comment got deleted! That from the world’s ‘leading liberal voice’ folks… not any more it ain’t! I suppose that’s what happens when you employ an ex-Telegraph writer to run your film department? Re-writing liberal film history one top 20 at a time!
        Oh for the days of Philip French!
        Compare this modest top 10 from 2009 to today’s blaring sniping top-20 film lists:

        Although I saw French give a talk on Tavernier’s ‘La vie et rien d’autre’ before he passed away and unfortunately he was a very anxious public speaker (like myself) and his talk was not very good. Oh well.

        • I got banned from the Guardian and all my previous posts deleted by calling into question something about their biased support for Hillary Clinton and their attacks on Sanders. Before that I had single posts deleted by saying that the authors of a piece (which I complimented) were just covering the same ground as a book on the subject that had come out a couple of years earlier. They didn’t like that one bit!

          The only thing that bugs me about this is when they posted a bunch of stuff a while back about how horrible it was to be a Guardian comment monitor, and how the public just couldn’t understand all the vile hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks that they had to endure and keep off the boards. Nothing I wrote used any bad language or was even particularly critical. They just had zero tolerance for anything that went against what their authors were writing.

          It made me laugh because ten years earlier they’d got in touch with me wanting to know if I’d be interested in writing something for them. Seems like something had changed, and I’m sure it wasn’t me.

          • I didn’t know they published potato prints, was that what they were looking for from you?

            They just want to put the kibosh on contrary opinions, something I might consider for the future, Bunty.

            The Guardian were not along in punting weak but elite Democratic candidates, but they persisted in a way that makes their impartial claims laughable. It’s groupthink, and not in a healthy way. The comments section is just green ink to them; on my site, they’re the best bit…

        • French was a good reviewer, back in the days when you were not judged on how extreme your opinions might play out on twitter. But Bradshaw and the Guardian troll their audience; they advance cancel culture even as they decry it. And ultimately they are driven by advertising and editorial demands. Which makes them very defensive, like when Bradshaw dishes out glowing reviews to his Uni friends. I used to bother to send corrections, but no longer feel there’s any point; I’ve got enough mistakes of my own.

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