Yesterday I took my first ride on the cable car up the mountain to the Chuck Jones cinema to see Salman Rushdie introduce Satyajit Ray’s 1963 classic, MAHANAGAR: he spoke with great insight and humour; the film was in my favourite family drama territory, but even such a revered work was TOO LONG. Before that, I was up early to ensure my place on line to see an Israeli film by first time director, Yuval Adler, BETHLEHEM. I’m going to quote the programme on this one: ” a tense cat-and-mouse thriller, using sharp focus to show how both sides in this endless war use ruthless means to achieve their goals. But Adler also reveals another tragedy: the perpetual atmosphere of fear, paranoia and mistrust that forces everyone to question the loyalty of their own comrades and family. The moral costs of Middle East violence have never been so vividly depicted.” I agree.
Coming to the end of my Tell-u-ride (geddit?), I’m ready to summarise. The whole experience has affected my formation as a film-maker in an unexpected way. My fantasy was that I’d network like mad with Hollywood execs and come away signed up for a three picture deal with Universal. Actually, that’s a lie – even I’m not that naive! To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect so, when I got here I simply went all out to engage with what is brilliantly on offer, which is a superb selection of contemporary and classic films in a convivial atmosphere and stupendous location.
If this is the Magic Mountain, then I’m at base camp, crampons on!