A true local hero

Just occasionally reading about films inspires me more than watching them, expecially when it throws up an anecdote that makes me appreciate a filmmaker even more.

I do, for better or worse, a lot of reading about cinema - I suppose it comes with the territory. I'm currently working my way through Alexander Walker's 'National Heroes', an overview of British cinema in the seventies and eighties.

Before you start to yawn - and this very factual, if worthy, account has caused me to do exactly that on a few occasions - I hapenned to have a rare inspiring moment with Mr. Walker just last night.

Walker relates the tale of how Scottish director Bill Forsyth was about to begin an interview in a BBC radio studio. Asked if he'd had breakfast, Forsyth replied that he was just eating it - and then added, "I made sure to ask for the soggy kind of toast, so as not to crunch on mike."

It sums up Forsyth's wit, as Walker says, to a tee. The director is probably most famous for Gregory's Girl and Local Hero - and I remember the profound impact both had on me when I first saw them in the eighties.

They made me feel good about the world, about the people in it, but couldn't be further removed from the Hollywood flicks that I'd experienced to that point. They had a sensibility and humour that was just, well, me.

The rumours that Forsyth is gearing up for another locally produced feature makes me very happy indeed, as does his appearance at EIFF.

Local Hero? Forsyth is certainly that.

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Colan has a background in film criticism, and was drafted in to bring you great content on this very website.


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