Thursday, 22 March 2012
Doors Open Day.Churches,Tunnels and Mad Actresses.
Doors open day was on Sat and Sun last September.Various events are on and buildings that you normally don't get to see are open to the public once a year for a day.
I set off from my house to be bang on time for the start.I had a big list of buildings I wanted to see Inside between 10am and 4pm. First up were the three churches around St Vincent street.St Columba Gaelic Church of Scotland,The St Vincent Street Free Church and up on Bath Street Renfield St Stephen,s Parish Church. This is inside the Free Church with Alexander Thomson,s typical shells and sea frond details.Not showy but very powerful."You are King Neptune" it declares".Go out there and kick me some ass boy."
If you had to stand in front of this backdrop every Sunday you,d think the sermon given would have to be a roaring affair indeed .Its the Iconic film set of its day. That was certainly Thomson's intention as he was a religious man and no doubt liked to see habitual sinners squirm under the blow torch of a good preachers ire and hatred towards the evil lurking in our midst.All three of these churches visited are worth a look,each has a different style, and they have a statement effect on entry even for a dark soul like mine to feel but No room for more pictures alas.
I already know most film work is long, long hours of setting up a days shoot to capture a five minute scene in a movie. And that,s on a good day.She got a bit of banter from our media for being so wrapped up in what for us were two lovely hot days but she,s a typical golden coast girl used to 80 degrees and a few lenghts of her pool by breakfast and tequila time. Also the actors are the cream on the cake.They sit about a lot...waiting. They are the last to show up once everything else is ready underneath.
Certain people sparkle onscreen.They just do.Its not something you can learn.Certain folk just have it from birth like having a head for numbers.If they go to film land and stand in endless lines of humiliation, rejection contempt and temptation to take the express route to where they want to go they might eventually get to stand in front of a camera.Sometimes its more of a shock to them than us and they can,t handle it and go off the rails.A million dollars hanging on one five minute scene brings its own pressures I suppose. We like to watch people that can,t hide feelings.Most of us wear several masks through life and have learned from an early age to control any giveaway expressions and true feelings.Film stars are the opposite.They burst open with emotion, vulnerability and feelings from a childhood wellspring of a desire to be liked and loved at all costs.We all have a particular cross to bear in life.No photos therefore of a woman breastfeeding a hot water bottle.No...I didn,t have the heart to take a photo then or to tell her that she was not in San Fransisco.....or that a stranger had just crashed her large American car into another one nearby while we watched.
The star appeal was working.I just wanted to take her home......... .care for her and make sure she was happy and fulfilled in life.
Unfortunately the hard working security guards discovered me at that point and escorted me back over the perimeter fence set up to stop entry.Damn these skillful feet and paws, but good to know that the old park cour talents are still available if required.
Another one I like is the Swimmer mural under the Kingston bridge.
Two weeks earlier,in the fairyland make believe of Philadelhpia (Actually George Square) I,d spotted Brad Pitt and his Zombies filming World War Z.Brad,as Hollywood royalty, had a proper working trailer though, no hot water bottle in an unheated car for him.Hope the films good.Mind you every Friday/Saturday night in Glasgow you join the cast of the walking wounded and dead for a few blocks so that's nothing new. Famous for its deep fried Mars Bars,Mental Nutters and Urban zombies of its own so it is.
My next stop on the journey to see as many places as possible in one day was to visit The Arches,A place I,d heard about but never been in as it tends to run clubs and arts venues I consider I,m too old for like techno,dub,retro nights and what they would simply call in the old days "hip experiences".It sits right under the Central Station Bridge.
The reason for the Arches originally was as a weight bearing buttress to help spread not only the load of Central Station and its massive steam trains above but also this monolith....The Grand Central hotel.
Down in the bowels of the arches however its impossible to ignore the thought of this colossus rising so high above you.
Inside it was just as interesting.with stained glass portholes,Squares and dark marble throughout.This was where the sailing ships received instructions from and the rules of the river maintained..
Eventually on the stroke of 4 pm a very weary and footsore me got the bus back home.
As full on as any hill day.
Finally a word must be said about the sheer number of Actors/actresses filming in Glasgow and surroundings this past year.I could hardly go out the front door without tripping over one.That young flossie Scarlett Johansson was the worst culprit.
You see I like to get up very early in the morning and go running through Kelvingrove park and the Botanic Gardens. She, when she was over here,did also.Who,d a thought that then? Go Figure. I was forever bumping into her down there with her personal trainer.Got on my nerves after a while.
Also she and the Brad/ Angelina extended family and entourage ordered deep fried Mars Bars every night from chip shops in the west end as they think that,s what Glasgow Punters eat every day.That,s 200+ bars away right there.
Speak it softly so the American,s and others don't hear but I,m the only Glasgow man I know that has a hankering for a triple deep fried mars bar supper for my tea most nights.Its not a popular item. As a result of them hovering up my small supply of deep fried treats however I was left without and had to settle for deep fried Jamacian ginger and syrup muffins instead.Bloody disgraceful. Made a hell of a mess of the pan.
Under the Skin is about an alien roaming around Scotland harvesting body parts from hitch hikers and random strangers.Its by the same Dutch writer,living on the Black isle that penned The Crimson Petal and the White,a recent TV production.
When I bumped into her in Glencoe,still hurting over missed melted Mars bars and the lingering taste of ginger in my mouth it was the last straw.It looked as if she was harvesting animal pelts as well as human parts..She had fur lined boots and a mega furry Jacket on and looked as if she was just about to say something when I walked across her set to get to my hill of choice on the A 82 just short of that village.She,d closed the entire road as well.Bloody cheek of it!
I got in first.
"Sexual predator my arse! "I told her."You look like a cut price muppet standing there with that dead yak on your shoulders..And I hope those aren,t Scottish beaver furs covering your own.Those poor wee animals have just been re-introduced recently,they,re not here to cover your pampered skinny muff.
By the way lose the black hair for the next film,its doing nothing for your star appeal.You look like a tired old drag queen in that get up."
Several police officers got involved at this point but I soon showed them a clean pair of heels.The old legs have still got it up the mountains over a distance.I swear to God she,s actually stalking me.She,s a worry.
Anyway, what with Emma T and sweet Dakota Going period in Perth with "Effie"...The new Grange Hill "Waterloo Road" series relocating from Rochdale to the former Greenock Academy....Timothy Spall filming in High Blantyre... well .....its all been happening.
Mind you I,ll be glad when they all bugger off and get back in the screens again where they belong.Except for Emma of course,bless her, as she,s clearly doon the watter sometimes.
Anyway.Seems getting the right streets in a city location then getting someone else willing to shut them all to traffic over several days is not that easy which is why the films were shot here.In the past decade Film and TV work in Scotland has brought in an estimated £150 million to the economy.This last year alone these three films have brought in more than 5 million beween them and should raise the profile of Scotland as a result.
We may yet see tourist pilgrimages to visit Wishaw High Street. People......I have a dream....