Thursday, July 02, 2009

Coming attractions / Shots on the Blog

Finishing off last month with a review of 'Manhunter' as part of Radiator Heaven's Michael Mann week has put me in the mood for a crime flick fest.

Until about a decade ago, Nottingham's Broadway cinema used to run the Shots in the Dark festival. This was a fortnight of crime-based genre films, from b&w classics to UK premieres. Most were introduced by guest speakers. Seminars and masterclasses ran concurrently. Guests have included Ian Rankin, James Ellroy, Mike Hodges, Evan Hunter, Ginette Vincendeau and - most spectacularly, just weeks after he'd picked up the Palme d'Or for 'Pulp Fiction' - Quentin Tarantino.

Meeting QT in Nottingham, on my way to a screening of Terence Malik's 'Badlands' and talking film with him for half an hour (or rather, listening to him talk film to me) remains one of the great moments in my life.

Unfortunately, Shots in the Dark is no more. Adrian Wootton, then director of Broadway, jumped ship for London's South Bank and took Shots in the Dark with him. Broadway continues to fly the flag for independent cinema in the Midlands and still hosts its fair share of workshops, events and introductions, but I miss Shots. I miss booking off half of my yearly annual leave entitlement around it. I miss pouring over the brochure to see just how many events I could conceivably attend. I miss the hastily grabbed junk food between events and the leisurely pints afterwards. I miss living, breathing, eating and sleeping cinema for two solid weeks.

They say nostalgia ain't what it used to be, but that's not going to stop me from trying. I'm resurrecting the spirit of Shots in the Dark. The fedora and the trenchcoat are on, the safety's off and my wife's giving it some femme fatale smoulder. Down those mean streets this blogger is about to go ...

Welcome to July 2009 to The Agitation of the Mind. Welcome to Shots on the Blog.

1 comment:

J.D. said...

This Shots on the Blog series sounds fantastic! I will definitely be checking it out and am curious to see what films you cover...