On Saturday I was meant to be going to see Whip it (comedy about roller derby due out in cinemas a month from now), but there was a bit of a mix up with tickets and I was a given a ticket for ‘Director’s Cut (blank)’ instead. Mystified by the title I decided to go and see whatever it was and was pleasantly surprised. Director’s Cut is a series of discussions with filmmakers and broadcasters from around the world set up by the University of Aberdeen and hosted by Scottish Screen. The filmmaker interviewed was Scottish born Kevin Macdonald, famous for Touching The Void (2003) for which he won a BAFTA and The Last King of Scotland (2006) for which he directed Forest Whitaker who took an Oscar for his performance. Looking tough in leathers, BBC presenter Janice Forsyth conducted the interview; a funny mixture of tales from film sets with difficult stars (Brad Pitt/Russell Crowe on State of Play) , biographical exerts and tidbits of methods and inspirations for projects past and to come.
The director presented his life’s work as a series of fortunate happenstance arising from his failed career in journalism, detailing the move from news coverage to documentary. He emphasized his love for presenting fact on screen, yet admitted how manipulating images with music can be (with this comment we were shown a clip from his first documentary One Day in September, an Israeli athlete running in the Munich Olympics in ’72 along to Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin). He also talked about his move to Hollywood and how this provoked the change in his work to fiction films, while insisting his heart still belonged in Scotland and his work would always carry a more European style. His whirlwind success of a career was enviable and he managed to charm the crowd by relating to all his childhood days spent at the GFT, the (now closed) Odeon and Abc.
The interview was filmed and recorded and will be on radio BBC Scotland on Thursday at 13.15 as part of ‘The Movie Cafe,’ or you can catch it on iPlayer once it has been uploaded.