You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone: Filmhouse in Edinburgh

One of the theaters housed inside Filmhouse, a 3-screen art house complex in Edinburgh, Scotland that was recently closed (photo by Ian Grundy).

Friday, October 7, 2022 was a black day for film lovers in Edinburgh and for anyone who has ever visited Filmhouse, a fantastic three-screen movie venue that also hosted the annual Edinburgh International Film Festival for years. Without warning, the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), a charity which receives annual grants for the operation, abruptly closed its doors and laid off more than 100 employees. The shutdown also includes the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen and the annual Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), which was launched in 1947. The financial difficulties that led to this decision are only part of the problem. The impact of COVID on moviegoing in recent years plus the proliferation of so many entertainment streaming choices for the family household has taken a toll on attendance at movie chains but especially independent venues like Filmhouse. In the U.S., we have already seen the closure of the Cinerama Dome and the 14-screen ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema in New York City and so many others are in danger of vanishing like Facets in Chicago. If you care about the communal experience of a big screen movie experience, then please support your favorite film venue or risk losing it. The Filmhouse was certainly a world renowned shrine to cinema and here are my own memories of the venue from over twelve years ago.

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Claude Goretta’s Garden Party

Most people who work for a company, regardless of its size, have probably attended an office party for the employees at a certain point. For some, the idea of socializing with co-workers outside of work is something to avoid if possible. For others, it is an opportunity to score points with the boss and maybe advance your career. Then there are employees who simply enjoy social gatherings where an open bar and free food is theirs for the taking. All of these personality types and more – the gossip, the prude, the party animal, etc. – are on display in The Invitation (French title: L’invitation, 1973), a comedy of manners by Swiss director Claude Goretta, in which the employees of a small firm gather at a country estate for an office party given by one of the most unlikely employees to host a soiree.

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Norman Lloyd: Hollywood’s Long Distance Runner, Part 1

Norman Lloyd hangs on for dear life in Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942).

On November 8, 2017 Norman Lloyd will be 203 and he shows no signs of slowing down. In recent years, he has become the go-to historian for the American film industry’s golden era due to his friendship and working relationships with such cinema legends as Charlie Chaplin, Jean Renoir, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Garfield, Bernard Herrmann, John Houseman, Joseph Losey and others. Lloyd also continues to take acting roles (he has a nice cameo in the 2015 Judd Apatow comedy Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer) and appear as an interviewee in documentaries such as Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity (2015) and Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age, which is currently in post-production.

*This is a revised and updated version of the original interview which was recorded in March 2010 just prior to Lloyd’s appearance at the first Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival.   Continue reading