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Activities - 13/10/2011


27 Times Cinema - The Portraits - Hamish Gibson - GFT- Glasgow - Great-Britain


Could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do?

Hi! I've just finished studying journalism at college in Glasgow, and I'm moving back there in a few weeks to start working full-time, hopefully in the arts.

How long have you been going to the cinema? What are your habits as a film-goer?

When I was younger the cinema was just somewhere I would go with friends when we were bored on a Saturday afternoon. It's only been in the last two or so years from reviewing films (which I got into through reviewing music) that I've started to really get into them in the way that I am now.
My film going-habits depend on the film. I remember going to see The Road on my own and it made it even sadder, but I couldn't imagine going to see a comedy or action film on my own, where the people you're with are as much a part of the experience as the film itself.
Some films take a lot more focus and you really need to be able to feel free by yourself and do your own thing when watching them, but other films are made so much better by being there with friends. Especially if I'm with friends, I tend to really enjoy spending time at the cinema, even if I don't like the film itself.

Why do you like cinema?  Why do you prefer cinema to other media or to books, for example?

It's such an encompassing art form. It combines the visual with the audio and really absorbs you into a whole new world. With books I find myself trying too hard, whereas with film, it's such a natural, free-flowing medium that it's easier to learn something from, and really get involved with, what's going on. With music, it's quite brief, whereas with film there's the chance to escape to another world. 

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer? Which films are particularly important to you? What are your 3 favourite films?

I like films that don't make sense. I love the process of trying to work out what's going on in a film, while resting in the knowledge that the film makers know exactly what they're doing. There's also something I like about the artist doing what they do not to please the audience, but to create something personal without feeling self-conscious.
I love David Lynch, as I like the way people (myself included) find themselves amazed by his work, without necessarily knowing what's going on. While there is always a consistent narrative in his work, the way he disguises it under layers of relevant ambiguity helps create a really visceral watch. I also like how, despite his dark, quite disturbing work, he's a romantic at heart.
My three favourite films are:
Mulholland Drive (by David Lynch)
Mysterious Skin (by Gregg Araki)
I'm Here (by Spike Jonze)

Do you have your own blog? Do you make films yourself? Do you put them on the internet?

I run a blog called Curious Joe - - on which I (and quite a few writers) feature music, film, books and other art forms. I've reviewed lots of films in the past, and am just now having a few new contributors start reviewing films for it.
I manage a film company with a couple of friends called Quintana Films - . We've made a few music videos, and also filmed a few interviews and concerts, all of which are on the website. We're working on quite a few projects right now, including a couple of short films and a live visual event in Edinburgh in October.
We've only just started up in the last couple months but we're trying our best to get making as many different kinds of films as possible (short films, documentaries etc).

What do you think of European cinema?  What does European cinema represent for you?

In its simplest form, European cinema represents many aspects of European culture and society. Whether it's a film about the Italian countryside, German tourism or the underground Polish rave scene, cinema helps project all of these subcultures into a new perspective for people who might have no experience of them.
I've always felt Scotland has a great reputation for cinema and as such plays its role in European cinema. For every Braveheart, there's a thousand great films like The Wicker Man, Shallow Grave, The Illusionist, Local Hero and Trainspotting.

Do you feel European? Do you travel often in Europe? Have you ever lived abroad?

I think with the UK being an island a lot of people here feel kind of separated from 'normal' Europe, but it's definitely a place and culture I'm proud to be a part of. Maybe it's because I'm from Scotland which is very culturally and socially independent, and in that sense Scotland connects quite well with the rest of Europe as well as the rest of the UK.
Whereas I’ve always lived in the UK, I have travelled around Europe: last year I spent a couple weeks in Ireland and Sweden and I’ve also backpacked around Eastern Europe.
Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema? What do you like most about this venue?

I represent Glasgow Film Theatre.  Before I got involved with the GFT through the Glasgow Youth Film Festival, I was already going there all the time. It has a great reputation for being one of the best independent cinemas in the country and it shows so many interesting films.  I love the GFT as it gives Glasgow film fans a real place to connect with each other and what they love (I met so many great people thanks to GYFF).


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