Whenever I’m asked what my most memorable moment whilst working at Filmhouse has been (it does happen!), I always say it was when we showed The Harder They Come followed by a live ‘in conversation’ with the legend that is Jimmy Cliff, the film’s star. The specific moment in question was when the polite, quiet man I had met ‘back stage‘ earlier hit the stage in his bright green shirt and launched into an a capella version of one of his best known songs, Many Rivers to Cross. I’ve never seen an audience more in thrall either before or since. I had often wondered whether I’ve started to exaggerate the experience by telling it over and over and embellishing it each time, but I recently mentioned it at a social gathering only to find one of the assembled had also been there – and if anything, he waxed more lyrical, even, than I!
Anyway, why do I mention this? Because, dear reader, the film in question (Jamaica’s first ever feature film) has now been restored and remastered and will be gracing our cinema from August 5, that’s why. And whilst I can’t promise you your chosen screening will be followed by an a capella rendering of Mr Cliff’s 1969 oft-covered classic by the man himself (in fact, I can promise you that it won’t!), I can guarantee an infinitely more beautiful viewing experience of this timeless classic than we had back then from the only battered old 35mm print we could find!
In other Filmhouse programme news, we’ve some awesome documentaries lined up for you. Fire of Love is simply one of docs of the year and tells the amazing story – largely through the stunning footage they shot themselves in the 60s and 70s – of French married couple/volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft; Notre Dame On Fire – which I didn’t fancy if I’m honest – turns out to be a hugely gripping reconstruction of events that took place on the 5th of April, 2019 in the iconic cathedral; and the hugely entertaining My Old School rather brilliantly tells the almost unbelievable story of Brandon Lee, a… 16-year-old boy who enrolled at Bearsden Academy back in 1993. (You know, I vaguely remember this incredible story featuring on Reporting Scotland back in the day!)
Well, looks like you’ll be busy, but if you also find time to catch Iranian road-movie, Hit the Road, you’ll be unlikely to regret it! Oh, and there is also, of course, the little matter of EIFF, newly restored to August (12-20th) and looking good I’d have to say!