Billy Liar and other Cinema Stories

Billy Liar poster for blog

Darker nights and foggy mornings are already with us. And do you know it makes me happy. I love changes in seasons and in rituals throughout the year. I wouldn’t be happy in California, well I probably would, but not AS happy.

November and December remind me of Sunday afternoon watching films on the television on days that never really get light. I think of walking down to the Hyde Park Picture House on a Monday evening for whatever was on, breath streaming, in the cold as I turn into Brudenell Road from Cardigan Road, ready for the sub-titles, crazy plots or sheer beauty the film had to throw at me.

My partner in crime was usually my friend Carol. We would sit in the middle near the back and fall under the spell of celluloid. I particularly remember the African Queen there in around 2000, Katherine Hepburn’s cheekbones six feet across. We were only talking a few weeks back about films from that ten year period that stayed with us long afterwards; as one we came up with Twin Falls Idaho, a very wacky [and touching] film about conjoined twins. Yes, we both said, that was a fabulous film.

I’ve just looked Twin Falls Idaho up and in the way of these things found to my utter astonishment that it wasn’t made five or ten years ago, but sixteen years ago in 1999.

The power of film, eh?

In November and December I’m involved in two film events, one on Tuesday 10
th November at 7pm in the Albert Room, Leeds Town Hall where Matthew Hedley Stoppard and I launch our new collection ‘Cinema Stories’, and the other on Wednesday 16th December at 8pm at the Hyde Park Picture House, where Matthew and I introduce one of our favourite films ‘Billy Liar’ and read a few poems from ‘Cinema Stories’ before a showing of the Tom Courtenay classic.

We hope to see some friends there. How about you Tom and Julie?