Saturday, June 23, 2007

to Stephen Kijak

Just to say saw showing of your film at Lings Forum, Northampton, UK recently. Great to see it again - after the showing at NFT last year. Still moves and informs in all the right places. Was just re-confirmed in my view that Yentob and the BBC were in error with their Imagine presentation of your work. Several of my friends agree. It was basically a deception - making it seem like the initial access was theirs and the bulk of the work, too. What they left out made the whole thing less interesting and less cohesive. I hope the BBC thing did not take potential theatre-goers away thinking they were getting the real thing. I said as much to you in a recent comment - but was not surprised you decided not to allow it onto your page. Your diplomacy is a good thing, I think; as you've worked hard to make this important film. Why let some spat with the dippy BBC get in the way at the last hurdle? Yentob is an intellectual lightweight, in my view; and the BBC are damagingly piecemeal and pragmatic, with their real commitment to arts coverage a memory by this time. The Culture Show, for example, is a cartoon! I really hope you have success with this work, Stephen. You understand Walker, I think. I've loved his work for over 25 years. He gets caricatured so often. You did none of that. But neither did you crawl up his arse with faint tributes. Walker is an artist. Eno came closest on your film; whereas, in my view, Bowie was embarrassing, clearly not being as familiar with Walker as he has historically claimed. 'The Old Man's Back Again is a great track; the bassplaying is brilliant! He'd never heard it before - though it's on the Almond Boy Child compilation! The portion with Wally Stott was very moving. To hear Montague Terrace peal in, to see the look on her face... wonderful documentary film-making.

There we only 10 people, including us two, at the showing. But each person came out buzzing, I think.

Can't wait for the DVD.

Best wishes & good luck


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