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That Sinking Feeling

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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 15:12 UK time, Friday, 14 September 2012

I met up with director Bill Forsyth at the recent Shetland Film Festival where he showed me some extraordinary never-before-seen documents showing how he financed his first film That Sinking Feeling.

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Hear Mark Kermode review the week's new films every Friday from 2pm on BBC Radio 5 live. Kermode & Mayo's Film Review is also available as a free podcast to download and keep.



  • Comment number 1.

    This just proves that the most creative part of film making is raising the money. A film could be made about the making of That Sinking Feeling, Bill's matter-of-fact approach to financing and budgeting would make this the great film Ealing never made. This has to be one of the best Kermode Uncut blogs in ages. These kind of little background stories are things you never read about and may get briefly alluded to on the DVD commentary but never get such detailed attention.

    Christopher Nolan shot his first feature on weekends with a group of non-professionals and probably financed on his credit card and like Bill it was enough to get him noticed and launched his career.

  • Comment number 2.

    That was excellent

    What is Bill up to these days?

  • Comment number 3.

    Whatever happened to John Gordon Sinclair? Just like the Elephant Man, Ghandi and Ali G, he made that one movie and disappeared. Clare Grogan was in Altered Images - a Scottish jingly-jangly pop group she fronted in the early 80s; she used to sing like Violet Elizabeth Bott having a paddy in a variety of fetching hats.

  • Comment number 4.

    #2 Buying more meet !

    On a slightly of topic note, i ve fianly got around to watchung Iron Sky, great fun, its Carry on Flash Gorden with space Nazis.

  • Comment number 5.

    Blimey! I always love these blogs, but this is one of the most fascinating things I've seen in ages.

  • Comment number 6.

    Reply to comment made by Phud
    Sinclair went on to do an advert for McDonalds. I think he advertised a cheeseburger that costed 59p. Mind you that was over a decade ago

  • Comment number 7.

    Agreed. Best blog for ages! Especially for aspiring film-makers such as myself. Very inspiring stuff!

  • Comment number 8.

    Reply to spaceodds

    Thanks for that update, sir. I just hope Gordon isn't working at a McDonald's now.

  • Comment number 9.

    The screenplay most have been written on a beer coaster. That would make the story complete

  • Comment number 10.

    Dear Mark, this is I think your best ever blog, and is now my favourite.

  • Comment number 11.

    John Gordon Sinclair also did some ads for Tescos with Jane Horrocks. He has been on stage in a number of musicals such as She Loves Me and The Producers and he had a novel published this summer.

  • Comment number 12.

    At 3. Phud - JGS is still around and was interviewed recently on Radio Scotland. He is happily married to someone he was introduced to by Clare Grogan (sort of life imitating art I guess) and has kids. He also recently turned 50!! He is currentky trying to carve out a career as a crime writer.
    Clare Grogan is still around too although her the thing I saw her in most recently was a re-run of Red Dwarf (as Lister's girlfriend).
    I think my favourite actor/character in Gregory's Girl was the late, great Chic Murray as the "Heedie" (headmaster)

  • Comment number 13.

    Mark I realise this is not video related but I and I am sure many others would appreciate a Mark Kermode piece about how you view and listen to movies whilst at home. What do you aim for when choosing a screen? Do you have any preffered brands? What sort of sound system do you use?

  • Comment number 14.

    Surely white gloves should have been used to handle such important docs? ;-)

  • Comment number 15.

    Thought you might like to know: 'THAT SINKING FEELING' is showing at PORTOBELLO POP UP CINEMA, the biggest screen in the west, FRIDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 7.30 PM.

  • Comment number 16.

    This was fantastic, thank you. He has a keen ear for dialogue and is right up there with Bruce Robinson and the Coen Brothers. "Off you go - you small boys." In fact, talking about quality dialogue, I eventually saw The Ninth Configuration yesterday and it will not fade from my mind. WP Blatty wrote remarkable dialogue right there. This is ripe for your film club, though I did see an old introduction you made for it -while you were still at school - has surfaced on youtube. I'm wondering what your views are of it now.

  • Comment number 17.


    This is one of the most insightful blog entries you have ever produced. A real behind the scenes look into the life of a film maker. More like this please.

  • Comment number 18.

    That was a superb blog with the wonderful Bill Forsyth. One of my long-time favourite directors for Local Hero and Comfort and Joy.

    A sublime joy to watch this lovely man talk about how he financed his first movie. Lovely that he has kept such detailed accounts after all these years.

    One of your best blogs to date.

  • Comment number 19.

    I would just like to add to the plethora of praise for this blog entry. Great stuff!!

  • Comment number 20.

    Indeed, good stuff.

  • Comment number 21.

    Advice for young film makers? They have access to affordable gubbins and tech I could have done loads with back then! Young film makers get far too much support and attention, and have no life experience on which to base a film. How about advice for old cranky film makers who didn't get up to all that much who'd like to have a go now?

    I'm not asking for my self, of course....

  • Comment number 22.

    Have you seen the reviews on Amazon for the new release of this film, the soundtrack has been dubbed and most reviews say the film is destroyed because of it

  • Comment number 23.

    Bill & Mark's Excellent Adventure.


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