|Bubbly under the lights at the Hippodrome|
I have these great expectations that I'll write a blog post every week but the days seem to speed away from me. Here I am again wincing at the date of the last post written and resolving to buck up my ideas. Much as I love routine, it is also something that I find difficult to stick to. There is an unseasonable heatwave hitting our coast making it very hard to stay inside when I could be sitting in the sun with the cat and the knitting. Not to worry, better to be late than not at all.
I spent a weekend recently, at the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film in Bo'ness. The Hippodrome is Scotland's oldest purpose built cinema and was restored a few years ago. It is a small gem of a place, all curves and plush reds. The only way to tell that the seats are not the originals is the lack of ashtrays on the back. When this cinema ( and film itself ) was a youngster, everything on and off screen was wrapped in a blue haze of cigarette smoke. These days the smokers stand outside in the cold but you can guarantee a very warm welcome inside. We watched everything from extravagantly camp swash buckling from Douglas Fairbanks to early Stan Laurel and a revelation ( to me ) of the genius of Charley Chase. The Scottish Screen Archive showed some of their films of Scottish life which, like the wonderful Japanese film, I Was Born, But proved that time and distance are no match for our common experiences. Although the films were silent they were far from quiet. They were all accompanied by musicians, some of whom had written new scores and in one case we also had the talents of a film explainer who added a whole new dimension to what we were watching. Great fun and a wonderful community feeling, the local shops had special window displays and I could swear that in one cafe Charlie Chaplin was doing the cooking!
|In the Ivy cafe|
|Too hot for Aran!|