19 Jul

There are many days in my life I could say are the greatest ever..
the day I met Mrs Z3
the day the wee yin was born
the day we got married
the day I didnae die after open heart surgery
the day I met Damon Albarn
The day I met ‘E’ fae EELS and got tae tell him oor daughter is named after one of his records…
BUT they all pale intae insignificance tae the day in 1985 when me and a pal decided tae go the pictures in Greenock.
The abc cinema oan West Blackhall St



We got money aff oor parents tae go see FLETCH, see the story is BRILLIANT already! Anyone who follows me oan Twitter know I bloody love FLETCH,

Fletch movie poster


it’s a cracking film, aye, it’s never gonna win any awards, but that’s no’ the point, it’s simply great fun.

Anyway, we got the bus intae the toon fae Gourock, made oor way the the cinema, paid oor 75p and settled doon tae watch the bold Chevy.

Now, that could be the end of the story and it would STILL be up there wi the greatest days of my life, but no, it’s got  a part two….


The abc in Greenock had 3 screens (as in screen a screen b and screen c) and FLETCH was showing in screen a. It was upstairs. As we were leaving, we were walking doon the stairs and a crowd of people were walking intae screen c, we looked at each other, laughed, then just joined the crowd and walked intae screen c.

We sat through the adverts, the pearl and dean tune and a couple of trailers, then up came the bbfc ratings card, it was COCOON! AYE, COCOON!







Truly amazing, and probably the most 80’s  double bill ever.

So we stayed, and watched COCOON. Now this was the days before mobiles, and we were 11, and oor parents expected us back fir oor tea at 5pm. So when I wandered in the back of 7pm, dying tae tell them aboot seeing two of the greatest films ever made, I got sent straight tae bed, and grounded wi nae pocket money fir a week, after my parents telling me how worried they were etc.

I mean I tried tae explain ‘BUT IT WAS COCOON AND FLETCH WE SAW!’ But it made nae difference tae them, they seemed tae be more concerned that we could huv been murdered or something. Weirdos.

It was worth it.

Was my first time watching two films back tae back in the cinema, something I still like te dae.

But no’ matter whit I see, it’ll never be a  special as seeing COCOON fir free, right after seeing FLETCH.

I think you’ll all agree this wasn’t just the greatest day of my life, but probably the greatest day in the history of man!

Cheers fir reading.

Aw’ra best!



The Ballad Of Boaby Souness.

6 Jun

Long time since I posted anything oan here, whit wi the move tae that there Engerland and that.
Anyway, before I moved, a Twitter chum and brilliant writer David Ross (@dfr10 ) watched oor short film ‘HULLO?’ (Here it’s here.. ) then asked us (me, Rob and Hilliat) if we fancied helping wi a wee trailer fir his ‘Boaby Souness’ twitter collection ebook………


Now, when David asked me tae write a tweet fir ‘Boaby’ I was over the moon, so how could I refuse the chance tae be ‘Boaby’ even just fir a minute.
So we agreed, and this is whit we made…..


Again thanks tae Rob (@ArkadinImage ) and Hilliat (@hilliatfields ) fir bringing the talent tae the wee film, and cheers tae David fir trusting me wi ‘Boaby’.

Oh, and a big thanks tae the title sequence fae The Rockford Files! 😉

Three Questions. Three Tweeters. Three Answers.

9 Feb



Julio Dos Santos

1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

Superman 2, ABC Cinema Glasgow.

My maw and Da took me in the afternoon when I had a day off school. If never been in a cinema before and was wide eyed at everything, from the snack and drink selection to the decor, carpets and smell! The film itself was probably pish in retrospect, but by that time I was already hooked on the pictures buzz and was loving it. To this day, I still lap up Christopher Reeve and any mention of him brings back memories of my first day at the cinema.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

I’d call it “A conveyor belt of people waving goodbye” or “My life as a misunderstood outcast” and it would need to be portrayed by someone with specs. So I’ll say Phillip Seymour Hoffman. But he’d need to speak Glaswegian.

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?

Ferris Buellers Day Off – An amazing film that sums up the entire 80s in 90 minutes. It’s just brilliant, from the soundtrack to the dialogue to the closing scene, it is pure perfection. An absolute masterpiece.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Just beautiful. Its twee yet daft yet thought provoking yet joyful yet sad. It’s without doubt my favourite film ever.

Pans Labyrinth – Sorry Zebra, I know you’ve already listed this but I love it. It is just tremendous and I’ve no words to add to what’s already been said. It is everything a film should be.



1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

Seeing ‘Bambi’ with my mum at Muirend Cinema, and being totally heartbroken. When I was wee, my worst fear was losing my mum, so seeing that was a bit traumatic! Great old cinema, sadly converted into flats a few years ago. Here’s a pic
3 q

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

I’ve been told I look a bit like Olivia Newton John, so I might pick her. Doubt she’d do a good job on the accent, though!
The film would be called Tea & Sympathy.

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?

First I’d choose ‘Some Like It Hot,’ the best comedy film ever made. It is absolutely perfect- there is not a scene, a line or a character that doesn’t need to be there. It is set in one of my favourite eras (America during Prohibition), has fantastic one-liners, great songs, beautiful costumes and Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. It is the perfect movie.

Next ‘Antonia’s Line,’ which is the film which had the biggest emotional impact on me when I saw it at the GFT. After it, I actually felt as though I’d been to a funeral or something! Yes, it’s a bit foreign&artsy and has subtitles but don’t let that put you off.

You’ll be so engrossed by the story you won’t notice after a few minutes.

Beautiful, life-affirming, and about strong and resilient women. Love love love it.

My third pick would probably be ‘Pulp Fiction,’ just because I can watch it again and again without getting sick of it. That twist contest. So many great lines.

I’d do a theme night with $5 milkshakes and Big Kahuna burgers.


Paul T



1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

In the middle of a dreary, rain-soaked caravan holiday in Dunbar in the summer of 1975, I remember being literally dragged along to the local fleapit one afternoon to see The Land That Time Forgot ( starring Doug McClure & Susan Penhaligon. I don’t remember much about the film to be honest: there was a German U-Boat which, somewhat improbably, ended up getting lost & running aground on a secret island populated by dinosaurs & Neanderthals, a fairly standard early-70’s B-movie plot as I subsequently found out. The standout memories were the screen itself, which seemed massive to the 5-year-old me, and the pterodactyls: I fucking hated the pterodactyls. Even now I put my ongoing ornithophobia down pretty much to the impact of that movie, much more than anything Hitchcock ever did to me with his portrayal of those horrible wee flying rats in The Birds. And Susan Penhaligon: she briefly challenged Agnetha out of ABBA as my favourite non-male. This led to later periods watching Bouquet Of Barbed Wire & A Fine Romance on ITV, which were entirely out of keeping with the contemporary viewing habits of a pre-teen boy.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

John Cusack, on the basis he has pretty much played me already, in High Fidelity.


I love everything about that movie: the music, the angst, the talking-to-camera, the lists, the characterisation are all pretty much perfection for the geek boy in me. In terms of Cusack himself I’ve been a major fan since The Sure Thing, but there’s something about the way he plays Rob Gordon in that movie that just…clicks. As one of my key musical obsessions, Morrissey, once said:”…it’s too close to home. And it’s too near the bone…”. His turn as the music-obsessed, guilt-ridden, confused & self-destructive boyfriend & awful businessman, stuck in a life he doesn’t know how to cope with & fantasising about the ‘better’ life he assumes he should have had…lets’ just say there’s some resonance there with my younger self. As for the movie title? “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” has a nice ring to it…

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?


Virtually an impossible task, but I’ve interpreted this as three films I’d never tire of watching, rather than necessarily the best three films I’ve ever seen. So, on that basis…

Salvador ( this movie blew me apart the first time I saw it. From about 1983 onwards I’d slowly started to take a much deeper interest in music & movies than previously, in line with most teenagers I’d think, but I’d also started to pick up on some of the political messages associated with 80’s pop culture: Thatcher, the miners, apartheid, Amnesty…’issues’ which I was hearing about as much through the NME & Sounds as from TV news. I think I first saw Salvador on VHS when I was 18, in about 1987, my then-girlfriend having picked it up from the local video shop alongside some dubious chick-flick for a Friday night’s viewing whilst her parents were down at the local Masonic Club. I was vaguely aware of Central American political issues but totally naïve about the all-pervasive influence of the US in the region, Something about that movie was utterly compelling- the performances, most notably James Woods, are astounding, but the story itself is utterly tragic- the ending still has me in bits, even 27 years after I first saw it. Oliver Stone’s best-ever movie, by a country mile.

Stripes ( the funniest film ever made- it’s that simple. Bill Murray is utterly imperious- the dialogue with Harold Ramis in particular is unbelievable, sharp & lyrical & utterly hilarious. I pretty much made my way through every situation in secondary school, and indeed pretty much the majority of my subsequent personal & professional life, appropriating the script of Stripes for supposedly impromptu one-liners, which, to this day, only the most perceptive & clued-up of my friends & acquaintances recognise. Its’ a bit of a weird film at times, for example the last half-hour is pretty much a sequel-within-a-film & totally pointless to the core story, but the performances & writing & inherent hilarity pretty much make this already the film I’ve watched more than any other not written by George Lucas in my life.

This Is Spinal Tap

( its’ breaking my heart not to include The Empire Strikes Back in this list, but I can’t leave this out. Stripes was my first comedy love, I cheated a little bit with Anchorman when I was older, but Spinal Tap is the enduring passion.  Its’ the perfect mockumentary- without it, there’s no The Office, and indeed no Anchorman either. The performances are OTT but strangely believable, the script endlessly quotable, the set pieces as memorable as anything Python ever produced. Even the music is perfectly pitched, teetering on the brink between grossly offensive & completely genre-recognisable. In my future benevolent dictatorship post-Indy Scotland, this will be on the National Educational Curriculum. At least the kids will learn the difference between feet & inches.



20 Jan


Wow, we’ve had quite the response tae oor wee short film, I’m so chuffed people liked it. It’s  been a week since we posted it, and it’s been really brilliant. A lot of folks I admire and respect huv sent lovely messages, it’s been a wee bit overwhelming at times.

Sorry if my tl has been a bit ‘oh we made a short film!’ but it’s the first time I’ve ever attempted tae  dae anything like this, so I’m very proud and a wee bit over excited at the response!

It was such a fun thing tae dae, and getting the chance tae ‘work’ wi @hilliatfields (check oot mair of his ACE music here.. ) and @ArkadinImage , (mair of Robin’s work can be found here.. )  was brilliant. A truly talented and lovely pair of gentlemen.

Anyway, the folks at @fourculture magazine in NEW YORK! wrote a wee article/review of oor short and a wee bit aboot us. A  totally surreal experience fir me. In the nicest possible way of course. So here is oor first ‘review’!!
“Hullo?” – a Short Film Sure to Astound | @hilliatfields @ArkadinImage @nolanzebra3 #filmmaking #indiefilm #indie



HULLO? A short film.

15 Jan


last year a couple of Twitter chums (the super talented @ArkadinImage & @hilliatfields ) and I decided tae try and make a wee short film, oan oor ain. Nae budget, nae actors, just an idea and a couple of wee handheld HD camcorders and a moustache.

So here it is…..

I hope ye enjoy it! Was such fun tae do.

Cheers tae Rob fir making me look slightly less of a awkward big eejit than whit I am in real life, and Mr Fields fir making a fantastic piece of music that really made the wee idea come tae life.

I really hope ye enjoy it, I’m really proud of it.




Three Questions. Three Tweeters. Three Answers. Weeks One- Three.

11 Jan

Three Questions. Three Tweeters. Three Answers.

Week One.

 Jason Stanley


1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

I think there are a lot of people my age that would have included Star Wars, Indiana Jones or the Back to the Future series in their earliest memories of the film-going experience.
I’m certain I have seen these films when I was a young-un but for some reason I cannot place myself in any cinema watching them. So if I’m completely honest going back, I remember being taken to see Ghostbusters 2 in a tiny one-screen cinema on an RAF base in Wales. My dad was stationed in Wales working for the US Navy and we had access to any new screenings (probably earlier than most as they were US releases) for free! Being only a one-screen cinema there was a limited amount of films shown so we made the most of whatever was playing at the time.
If it was anything to do with Ghosts I was crazy for it at the time so I imagine I really loved the film (despite the multitude of crazy kids jumping around and screaming). I particularly remember being terrified by the bathtub that tries to attack Sigourney Weaver and her baby. I still kinda flinch at that to this day!

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

Tough question. In fact I don’t think it’s one I’ve ever thought about until now. I suppose if we go back to me being a child I’d say Sean Astin. I always likened myself to him when he was in The Goonies. He’s the heart and soul of the piece but not necessarily the funny guy. When I was kid I was always like that; always going for the hero but not necessarily the interesting supporting character. I was a self-confessed Luke Skywalker fan when so many others wanted to be Han Solo.
Personally I don’t think my life story is good enough to tell (yet) so for now I’m aiming for a cheapo TV movie with something along the lines of the title:
The Procrastinator: A Jason Stanley story.

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?

Wow, there’s so many but to just choose three!
When I first read the question I immediately thought of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. For me that film has instant replay value. It’s a classic road trip film with a very 80’s feel and some damn fine acting that can make you laugh and cry within minutes. Everyone needs a feel good comedy in their life right?
My second choice would be a film I love and always want to share with others, Gallipoli. My mother introduced me to this film and I’ve never forgotten it. I think it was the film that I first learnt about mortality and the tragedy of war which is so brilliantly captured by Peter Weir. The two lead actors (one being a very young Mel Gibson) pull you in with their performances and you genuinely invest in their friendship. Oddly enough I draw many comparisons from it to Star Wars. It’s a film I encourage everyone to watch.
Now I’m going for a push here because I’ve left so many films out that I want to choose but my final film would be Alien. I’m very tempted to put the sequel in but this is where it all started and it’s one hell of a sci-fi thriller. It’s another one of those space flicks where space feels ‘lived-in’. You believe that these guys have been working out there and are used to their environment. The great cast adds believability and Sigourney Weaver (I clearly have a thing for her) in particular knocks her role out of the park. I also love the amount of work gone into this film. The set designs the costumes and the creature itself is something to be admired and respected. True craftsmanship in a film that doesn’t necessarily have to show off all the special effects ‘bits and bobs’ is worth seeing again and again.

Julie Campbell


1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

The first film I remember going to see at the cinema was Star Wars with my mum and dad. I had apparently pestered my folks to take me when I was about four years old. I’d seen the adverts on TV and I was instantly hooked. I remember sitting in-between the two of them, staring at the screen and being a bit terrified of Darth Vader whilst eating Butterkist popcorn. I still love the original trilogy to this day and keep my original Death Star and Millennium Falcon in the the attic. Just in case.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

It would need to be Bjork as I apparently looked like her when I was in my late teens. I am not sure if that is a good thing but at least she is recognisable! The movie would be called “Single. Mother” as it looks arty and sums my life up in two words. I’d like it to be a romantic comedy. It would really need to be with Bjork in it I suppose!

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?

Only three?! Okay, three it is. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn for the morning showing. I watched it with my mum one day and I was just drawn into it. I think Spencer Tracy is just amazing in it. Then “The Empire Strikes Back” for the afternoon showing. It’s when Star Wars went a little darker, and Han got hunkier. Seriously, it has the best twist ever in a movie. EVER. And for the evening film, that goes to Aliens. Everytime it’s on TV, I record it even though I have got two versions of it on DVD (original DVD and part of the Alien box set). In my opinion, it’s the best action/sci fi/horror crossover of all time. Yes, James Cameron made it completely gung-ho, and to some ruined it, but I think it raised the bar for acting technique, talent and ability in this genre. And I still scream at the TV when Ripley gets into the giant loader for the final battle with the Alien Queen.

Geoff Guathier


1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

My dad took me and my best pal to see “E.T.”, but we ran late and when we arrived, “E.T.” was right full. The only other movie playing at the small town cinema was “They Call me Bruce?” I’ve still not seen “E.T.” but I did go see “They Still Call Me Bruce?” a few years later.
Also, when I was 1.5, my dad took me to the drive-in because he wanted to see Star Wars, so technically, I saw Star Wars when it first screened.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

This one time in highschool my mom said I looked like Steven Seagal, so, an in-shape, late 80’s Steven Seagal or a current Liev Schreiber. No reason.
I’d probably title the movie about my life “Well, This Has Been Wacky”.

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?

Hmm… that’s tough.
I’d have to go with a selection of films that really describes what happened to me on the way… probably Empire Strikes Back, Vertigo, and UHF. A little sci-fi, an absolute classic and goofy comedy that still makes me laugh.

Geoff Gauthier – @mistergoats
Vancouver, Canada


Three Questions. Three Tweeters. Three Answers.

Week Two.

Gordon Climbs


1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

It would have been 1991, I would have been 9 and the film was Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.  We were quite a puritan family and fun things like visiting the cinema were almost unheard of.  Our Dad was very strict on what we could and could not watch.  The only reason we were there was because my Aunt had persuaded him to loosen up and join her family for a day out.  I remember sitting next to my cousin, she was a bit mental and used to pull her knickers down and scream a lot.  I think she is better now.  I remember liking Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham and thinking that Maid Marian was a ginger and a bit flat chested.  After watching the film I wanted to be a Moore with a big curvy sword and kill people.  Dad didn’t that.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

I’m quite a short, tragic character in real life so I would have to be played by Norman Wisdom.  He was not known for his serious roles which is a shame as his power of expression was second to none.  I met him numerous times and have often been likened to him when on stage.

As for what I would call it? Well, if the film was about my life then I’d have to call it Chalkie – like Alfie but with different letters.  This is a nick name from school that all the people closest to me still use.

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?


Capote (2005)

I like to try and understand people and nothing offers more material than Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portayal of Truman Capote.  Thanks to Hoffman, Capote is so strong his character and the workings of his mind can stand out as an intriguing story in itself set apart from the narrative of the film.

Favourite Quote – Truman Capote: “More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”

12 Angry Men (1957)

This is film about people, prejudice, fear and the ability of change.   The dialogue is exceptional.  It’s a film that changes the way you think and stays with you – that’s important and that’s why it’s in my top 3.

Favourite Quote – Juror #8: “It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don’t really know what the truth is. I don’t suppose anybody will ever really know. Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent, but we’re just gambling on probabilities – we may be wrong. We may be trying to let a guilty man go free, I don’t know. Nobody really can. But we have a reasonable doubt, and that’s something that’s very valuable in our system. No jury can declare a man guilty unless it’s SURE. We nine can’t understand how you three are still so sure. Maybe you can tell us.”

Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

Time for a bit  of humour in my line up and nothing makes me laugh harder than Kelly’s Heroes.  It’s one of the few things I remember my Dad really laughing at.  When I first saw it I was too young to really understand the jokes I used to laugh just because dad was.  My favourite character as a child was the insane Sgt Oddball played by the fantastic Donald Sutherland.

oo Samson.


1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

I was around 5 or 6. My Grandfather, took me to the Cinema on the Victoria Road in Dundee. (Sadly, it is no longer there) We went to see E.T. (What a start to a cinema career eh??) The first thing that struck me was we had to queue to get in. I remember my grandad buying a box of Fruit Gums from the kiosk. (Old school though, wax paper in the box and the sweets were actually shaped like the piece of Fruit). I also remember thinking how big and comfortable the seats were, but I was a bit unsure about sitting next to complete strangers. Felt a bit weird, still does.
The size of the screen, it was huge. I had never seen anything like it before.
I spent the next 1hr 45m engrossed and amazed at what I was seeing…the Cinema bug bit me early in life and it is a hobby and a passion I will continue with until the day I die. If I may also add? My daughter is now a keen and frequent cinema goer, we starting going from when she was around 5 or 6 too….I hope she also continues to…’Go tae the Pictures’.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

Robert Carlyle.
The Movie would be called ‘Working Class Hero’

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ye choose?

1. Dirty Harry (My all time favourite)
2. Stand by Me.
3. The Pink Panther

Rich Walker.


1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

The first film I ever remember seeing at the cinema was Close Encounters it blew me away and scared me all at the same time, I was only about 5 I think, but that’s one of the films that got me into Scifi films.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

If I could choose any actor it would probably be Paul Rudd. He’s kinda geeky, down to earth kind of guy in all the films I’ve seen him in and I think he would play me quite well.
As for a title for the film of my life I have no idea lol!

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?

I think it would have to be my top 3 films of all time,

The Empire Strikes Back,

Superman The Movie

and Close Enounters Of The Third Kind.


Three Questions. Three Tweeters. Three Answers.

Week Three.




1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

If I’d had to guess, I would’ve said it was Empire Strikes Back. However after having checked movie release dates, it appears I was at the cinema two years before then.

It was 1978. I was 5. And the movie was Watership Down. It was a cartoon movie about rabbits, what could go wrong? My uncle took me.

I sobbed my heart out on the bus home and remain affected by the movie to this day.

Not a great introduction to the cinema.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

I’d like to say it would be someone good looking and quick-witted, maybe Paul Rudd or Jason Bateman.

Sadly it’s more likely the producers would pick Thomas Turgoose or Ewan Bremner. Guys not known for their film star looks. Good actors though, and both would fit better into a Dundee council estate setting than Rudd or Bateman.

The name for the movie. Hmmm. I’d go for ‘Dundophenia’.

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?

Aaargh. Tough choices. I’d need to show a range, so these are not necessarily my favourite 3 movies.

Almost Famous

A young wannabe music journalist travels with a band in the 70s. Made with such love by Cameron Crowe. Great performances from the cast. Excellent soundtrack. And I fell completely for Kate Hudson’s ‘band-aid’ Penny Lane.


Still a wonderful movie. The recent Bluray remastering is fantastic. And despite a dodgy shark, the trio of Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and the scenery-chewing Robert Shaw are all superb. Ironically, the decision to cut the screen time of the shark due to mechanical problems means this movie has aged very well.

And my third, and admittedly off the wall selection:

Big Fish

Not Tim Burton’s best movie. Certainly not his most successful. It doesn’t even have Johnny Depp in it. And yet this movie just made sense to me when I first saw it. Billy Crudup’s dad, played by Albert Finney, is suffering from cancer. When I first saw it, my own mum had not long been diagnosed.

It’s a fantasy movie wrapped up in an old man’s memories. The son believes them to be nonsense, and they are, but there’s truth and there’s love there too.

And the end, well, I couldn’t watch it now. Not since my mum died. Not yet.

Can’t believe I’ve written that list and not included Raiders, In Bruges, Seven, Finding Nemo and many others. Only three. That crazy uncle of mine…

Mairéad  Roche


1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

I came to the cinema relatively late in life, in my early teens as the closet cinema to where I grew up in Ireland was 10 miles away ‘in Town’ which was considered about 100 miles away by my parents. Therefore my first real cinema experience I remember is seeing WAYNE’S WORLD in a big cinema in Dublin. When I laugh long enough and hard enough I get a ferocious case of the hiccups. They are violent both in action and sound resulting in a very distinct Hiccup sound which is physically painful. So when at the cinema to see WAYNE’S WORLD my hiccups work remarkable well with the acoustics and kept going between the laughter generated by the screen. At one stage each hiccup from me elicited also general giggling from the audience. For a moment, I became part of the soundtrack of the movie. Excellent.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

From the first moment I saw Cate Blanchett I adored her and have continued to do so in every film she has ever made. Like most people, when I saw her in ELIZABETH I knew that I would love her forever and that she needed to have an Oscar or anything that would make her happy. She and I do not resemble each other in the least – what with my long brown curly hair for starters and she’s older than I am. However, she knows how to do an Irish accent, as seen in VERONICA GUERIN so that’s a plus. She also gives me hope in this world in that her nose has it’s own character and her eyes go into kind slants of joy when she smiles. Also, she knows how to play real people (Veronica Guerin, Elizabeth I, Kathryn Hepburn and Bob Dylan) and as I haven’t graced the covers of any magazines I can fit into the ‘real people’ category of humans.

Name of the film. Well I can’t get any other title out of my head than MER MADE. Mer is one of the plethora of nicknames ascribed to me and how I teach non-Irish people how to begin to say my name. It is also the name I give people who mangle my full name. When I make things I tend to TM it with ‘Mer Made’ and it’s my life so it’s Mer made. I reckon it would have to be an Indie film that has done well at Sundance and perhaps even Cannes with a pretentious name like that.

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?

Is it three films for all time in the cinema? Can I slide in some new releases to keep my cinema solvent? Either way the three films I would screen would be:
The reasons for my choices is because each of these films are near autobiographical (sort of) and have taught me valuable life lessons. That sounds twee but the line ‘Life is pain Princess. Anyone that tells you otherwise is selling something’ by Wesley in The Prince’s Bride is a quote to guide a life in a positive way. The different perspectives in Adaptation helped me out immeasurable the dark cold evening I went to see it not knowing anything about the film, but just wanting to see a film. For me there is more life in that film than in most. The comment that loving someone has nothing to do with the other person, it’s your love to have is something everyone can be taught and go on to live a much happier life. With (500) Days of Summer I have been both Tom and Summer in equal measure. I occasionally wear ribbons in my hair as a homage to that film and Zooey Deschanel. I still give a gasp at That comment on the bench because it’s true from both sides of the bench.



1: Whit are yir first memories of seeing a film in the cinema?

My first memories of the cinema aren’t particularly exciting, but it’s a vivid memory nonetheless. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids at ABC Cinema, Aldershot. I didn’t understand where I was going. I didn’t understand how it would work. I had no idea what to expect. I went with my friend Nathan and his mum. They called it “the pictures”, which made no sense in my head. Were we going to look at pictures? Tickets were probably about £1.10 each, and we got neck ache from sitting at the front. The screen was massive, and the stuff on-screen was even bigger. I felt SO DAMN SMALL.

2: If you could choose any actor tae play you in the story of yir life, who would ya chose? And whit would ya call the movie?

I’d love Ray Liotta to play a really old me. Purely because I love him – he reminds me of my dad in almost every role. But Ray Liotta looks nothing like me and I’m not American. So maybe Cillian Murphy as he’s British and I can almost pass as him. The movie would be called “Ladies & Gentleben”. Even though I’m about as gentle as glass shoes.

3: Yir crazy rich uncle dies, leaves ya a cinema in his will, but ya can only screen 3 films, whit films dae ya choose?


 RIP uncle, that’s very sad. But thanks for the money. 

The Shining (all-time fave)


and Blow (Ray Liotta)


Some Words Aboot Why I Love Films.

5 Jan


Lat year delightful Spencer ( @ADadCalledSpen ) invited me tae write some words and stuff aboot films fir his blog, and why they mean so much tae me. So, I did. Now I’m posting it in my ain blog, as I forgot tae dae it last year. Anyway, here it is….

As far back as I can remember I always wanted tae be a film fan (wee reference fir the gangster film fans oot there)

I grew up in a wee toon 30 miles away fae Glasgow, a lovely wee place, but it was ALWAYS raining. So, I watched hunners of films.

My Da’s a big film fan so I can remember sitting oan the arm of his chair watching John Wayne righting wrongs in countless westerns, and stiff upper lipped Brits ‘giving the Hun a right good pasting’ in black and white war films.

It was my Da that took me tae the pictures fir the first time, we saw SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER.


Mystery! Adventure! Swords and sand! No’forgetting Ray Harryhausen’s wonderful special effects. I was hooked! Back the next week tae see BAMBI (of course I cried) and I’ve been a regular cinema goer and film addict since. Now I’m a Da, I love taking my wee lassie tae see films (she’s 6) first thing I took her tae see was THE MUPPETS. I love The Muppets anyway, but man, seeing the pure joy in her face (I spend as much time watching her reaction as watching the film) was just magical. Just like her Da, she was hooked. Which has meant me sitting through such cinematic delights as Tinkerbell and the Secret Of The Wings.

I also see the availability of home video fir the first time when I was a wee guy as huving a massive impact oan my love fir film. Ye could rent a film oot a video shop (Betamax in oor hoose) and watch it at hame! AMAZING! Ye didnae huv tae wait till Christmas tae see big films any mair. Even better, ye could tape films aff the telly and watch them pure hunners of times! Mind blowing stuff in 1981.

The local video shop became my haunt, so much so my mate and I ‘helped oot’ so we could get free rentals and posters. Hunting fir films fae ‘Palace Pictures’ and Troma Studios’ (I still dae the same but now its Warp Films and Astron 6).  Visting my big cousins and watching ‘video nasties’ at far too young an age didnae dae me any harm (well, no’ much anyway) All of this turned me intae the film fan that’s sitting writing aboot films at 12.55am oan a Thursday morning. OBSESSED. (by the way if yir a fan of the era of straight tae video films I recommend ye seek oot MANBORG, a brilliant low budget film that captures that genre perfectly)

So enough trips doon memory lane, films I like or dislike?

Right, I’ll start wi films I dislike. Jeezo, where tae begin, I’ve seen some terrible films over the years, but none that stick oot as the worst. Most film fans are surprised when I say I don’t like Heat, Scarface or Blade Runner though, they aren’t the worst films I‘ve ever seen (by a long way) but I just never ‘connected’ wi them. Now I’m thinking aboot it though, I canny stand Forrest Gump, it’s mawkish, sugar coated rubbish.

Now, three of my favourite films?

My favourite films aren’t the same oan a daily basis, depends oan my mood really but three of the films I really love are…



Nobody has seen this, and I don’t know why. It’s got Keifer Sutherland, Robert Downey jnr, Bruce Dern AND Winona(Lovely Winona) Ryder in it! As ye can probably guess fae the title it’s set in the late 60’s (funnily enough it’s ’69) Scott and Ralph (Sutherland and RDJ) are college students fae a small toon, trying tae avoid the draft, and generally being ‘hippies’ It came oot when I was 15, and just kinda struck a chord wi me, and I fell in love wi it. Aye, it’s predictable, clichéd and a bit cheesy, but I DON’T CARE! I love this film. You might too.

Now I try and decide between ‘Dirty Harry’ and ‘The Wizard Of Oz’. I can’t, so they are both going in my list, because I’m a renegade.

I’m a sucker fir a cop film/tv show, and Dirty Harry is one of the best. Everyone knows how cool Eastwood is, but it’s Andy Robinson as ‘Scorpio’in a truly frighteningly unhinged performance that takes it tae a whole new level.

download (5)

He’s terrifying. The scene oan the school bus scared me so much I still can’t hear someone sing ‘Row Your Boat’ wi oot shuddering.

Whit dae I need tae say aboot The Wizard Of Oz? Nothing much. It’s a masterpiece. I know it. You know it. Simply one of the greatest films ever made. Joyous.


The final film I’m gonna chose could be anything fae The Odd Couple, The Evil Dead, Jaws, Kill List or Grease tae The Big Sleep, but I’m gonna choose..


Fletch movie poster

Aye, FLETCH, the Chevy Chase film fae 1985. It’s AMAZING! Chase has never been better, the patter is tremendous, it nails the comedy/thriller thing perfectly. OK, it’s never gonna win any awards, or get voted intae a top films list, but fir me, it’s why I love cinema. It makes me smile! That’s the joy of films.

Cheers fir reading my nonsense!

Be well.