Discover more from ReelScotland
The Friday Five: Olly Smith
Bon viveur, former screenwriter for Pingu and ex-staff member at Edinburgh's Cameo cinema, Olly Smith describes himself as "tellyman, scribbler, ringmaster and drinks machine" known from his weekly column in The Mail on Sunday and Channel 4 series The Secret Supper Club - made infamous by Harry Hill's TV Burp.
What was the first film that had an effect on you?
Time Bandits. I remember being completely absorbed and insisting Mum and Dad took me back to watch it again the next day. My brother Will and I managed to memorize a good chunk of the script between us and it stays with me to this day. "Randall, we are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!" "It doesn't matter where we are, you've just got to believe in it!" - one of my all time favourite movie lines and words that I reckon should be at the forefront of the national curriculum.
What's your local cinema?
My local cinema today is the Lewes Cinema which happens every week in the local art centre. I love it there, reminds me of my days working in the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh which I absolutely loved - big seats, taking a drink into the show. I remember the manager once grabbing me from selling popcorn and sending me in during the Film Festival to watch The Big Lebowski which knocked me out. Love that film - but I love the attitude of the manager even more, it was quiet and he genuinely wanted me to know about the film, care about the film and share the love for the film. Long live the Cameo!
What was the last DVD you bought/film you downloaded?
I just watched Submarine which made me chuckle. I think Richard Ayoade is great and manages to strike a fine balance between melancholy and comedy which is no mean feat. But this afternoon I can guarantee I'll be watching Jaws. Haven't watched it in ages and I've been planning it all week. Still terrifies me!
What's your favourite moment in a Scottish film?
There's loads of great Scottish movies but I still have a huge soft spot for Local Hero. When I lived in Edinburgh I drove up to Pennan just to be among the locations. I guess the moment would have to be when Marina dives into the water...whoa was that the flash of a mermaid's tail? And the moment when Happer slams down the phone to Moritz his crazy shrink telling him he isn't paying him anymore, then glances at the phone before silently picking it up again to listen. There's a perfect comedy beat before a little voice down the phone says "I'm still here Happer..." Fantastic.
What's your favourite film?
Massive fan of Kind Hearts and Coronets, the old Ealing comedy. It's charming, clever, dark and morally smoky. Huge Bond fan too. But if I had to pick one movie of all time to watch over and over again? I can't say Condorman, you'd laugh. But it does have a sentimental attachment - my Granny fell asleep in the cinema during the film, so me and my brother let her sleep on when it ended and stayed to watch a second showing. So tricky. One film? Could be Empire Strikes Back, but I bet everyone says that. The Wild Geese is a guilty pleasure. I've even got the soundtrack by Roy Budd! OK decision time... Time Bandits. There you go. Thanks Terry Gilliam and can I buy you a drink?