Simian Substitute Site For August 2011: Project Nim
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MOSTLY FILM: Scala Forever

It's that time of the month again. Actually, August should see a couple of appearances from me on Mostly Film, but one of them will happen during the pile-up of posts that occur here during the Edinburgh Festival, so I may not be able to say too much about it at the time.

Anyway, seeing as we're on the subject of festivals, today's post on Europe's Best Website finds me reminiscing about the Scala cinema in London, as a new festival called Scala Forever celebrates the 30th anniversary of its opening. Some of the anecdotes may be familiar to regular readers of this site - a couple were wheeled out for my 1999 review of A Clockwork Orange, a film that's crucial to the Scala's history. But there should be plenty of new stuff for you to enjoy.

And as always, readers of this site get a little bonus material as a present for being loyal to me. Well, I say 'little', but...

One sentence of the article took me about 90 minutes to research. Here it is: "rummaging through my diaries of the time, it would appear that between 1985 and 1993 I visited the Scala over 80 times." And as I mention in the piece, I saw a number of movies there several times over. But barring short film programmes and little clumps of TV archive material (such as a collection of old episodes of The Avengers), all the double, triple and quadruple bills in those eight years come to something like 151 different films.

Somehow, I've managed to find clips for 150 of them on YouTube. The one exception? A documentary by Jörg Buttgereit called Corpse Fucking Art. It was really a DVD special feature that was a decade before its time, covering the making of some of Buttgereit's most notorious atrocities like Nekromantik 2. But amazingly, Nekromantik 2 itself is represented on YouTube, and so is Thundercrack! - the two most transgressive films I ever saw at the Scala, albeit only viewable online in the form of trailers that are reasonably free of money shot material.

So. Over the course of an afternoon, I went through all 150 of the films on my list that weren't Corpse Fucking Art, in the order in which I saw them at the Scala. I did a search on YouTube for each one. In most cases, I got a trailer: in some cases, I had to make do with a clip: and in a small number of regrettable instances, the only thing I've been able to link to is an upload of the entire film. (Though the two Comic Strip ones are entirely legit, as they're on 4OD's channel.) And each time I found a usable clip, I added it to a playlist.

Altogether, that comes to a little over eleven hours of video, acting as a memorial to the eight years I spent at the Scala. You could watch it as one continuous lump in the window below, but it probably won't all play that way - some clips have embedding disabled, others require age verification. You're better off just going to the Scala Forever playlist page, seeing the list for yourself, and clicking on the titles you find most interesting. I've certainly found some things in there that I don't even remember watching myself.

So have fun with the video playlist, but don't forget to read Scala Forever on Mostly Film, and visit the Scala Forever official site to see what's happening at the festival between August 13th and October 2nd.



Hi, yea, Just finished watching the 150 clips. Disappointed this one wasn't there though


That one's new to me, but it's definitely Monday Night At The Scala material...

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