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City On Screen

Written by: Matthew R Ford |   Directed by: Matthew R Ford  |  Genre: Documentary

I love documentaries about filmmaking, and I love discovering things that I would never really understand because I live in Canada. This film, “City On Screen,” focuses on Birmingham in England. Matthew Ford recalls the movies that made him fall in love with film and television, and most of them came from America: the Fugitive, Transformers, the Simpsons, and Twin Peeks. My knowledge of British content would be Monty Python, Benny Hill etc…as well as films like Snatch, Trainspotting and many more of course. Apparently, Birmingham accents are made fun of a lot. Ozzy Osbourne is noted here. In this film, we hear from many people in the industry from all sides of the film industry. There’s a common thread between all of them which is that there is not a lot of Birmingham represented on film and that most people who grew up there could never recognize anything familiar to them. Even when films were shot there, it still seems like somewhere else. I love all the clips of movies, and television shows that people cite as influences that were made in Birmingham. Pebble Mill was a BBC studio which closed down in 2004. Also, channel 4 moved to Leeds. Many American films are shot using locations around the UK, but they are always considered US films. DIY is a big part of the film industry in Birmingham. There is “some” funding available but most need to have funding in place in order to get more funding. Not a lot of room for development. I loved hearing about the Odeon theater chain, which is the largest in the UK and started in Birmingham. The original building is still in use. There are many pioneers who come from there, and the artists are clearly still creating. “City On Screen” is a wonderfully informative piece of work and incredibly entertaining. Go Birmingham! 4.5 out of 5 stars. Thank you for reading.

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