of the best advantages of attending the Bradford Film Festival in the
Golden Age of the Widescreen
Weekend, was being educated, informed and entertained by the superb
introductions to the films by Mr Slomon. In turn, witty, instructive and
erudite, they were the best possible curtain raisers to these special
screenings. No question, when it came to Cinema, that much loved art form,
what Tony Slomon did not know about Cinema was not knowledge.
• Go to 'REEL LIFE', a memoir by Tony Sloman
For those of us of the baby boomer generation who grew up in London in the
fifties and sixties, there is no better guide down memory lane, than Tony
Sloman. In Reel Life, his hard won knowledge and expertise combine with a
mordant wit and and a realistic appreciation of the frailties of human
nature, not least his own. Were we boomers a self centered generation? Here
is an advocate who could sway any jury. Reel Life grips and engages.
As Number 6 demanded to know in The Prisoner:
“How was this done?”
The answer? Great narration, evolved from exceptional film and sound editing
skills. In confiding in the reader, he creates a special bond of friendship,
introducing his collaborators along the way, who also, happen to be the
biggest names not only on the craft side but also in show business,
including Raquel Welch, The Beatles and the legendary Eric Sykes, amongst
Much has been written about one of the most talked about screen productions
of all time, The Prisoner. Nothing comes close to this insider’s account of
the Herculean efforts involved in bringing this masterpiece to the small
screen. The Prisoner shattered many a comfortable illusion of what
television should be. Some saw it as creating a comfort zone, to relax in,
after a hard day. Others perceived it as essentially a brain washing machine
confined to a corner of the living room churning out mostly mindless pap, or
Prolefeed as Orwell had it.
This was something completely different. This was seen in the UK, at any
rate, as something perniciously subversive, which in a sense it was. For
others with a yearning for something more than pap, it was a true
revelation, not so much a breath of fresh air, as a hurricane, sweeping away
conventional notions of television content for good. This reviewer was lucky
enough to see a pristine 35 mm print of one episode, Checkmate on a big
screen in Cheltenham Town Hall, back in 1977. There, was the wonderful shock
of realising that The Prisoner far transcended the medium in which it was
presented. This was down to very high production values, for which the
author of Reel Life was in no small measure responsible.
One stroke of genius is worth mentioning, the use of the Radetzky March, a
much loved triumphalistic march as funeral music. Surrealism par excellence.
This truly set the tone of the series for many. This was down to our author,
having artistic as well as technical input in The Prisoner. Having been
royally entertained by our author, the reader can then seek his monument,
The Prisoner, is available now in HD bluray and hopefully in UHD 4K in the
not too distant.
Reel Life is a highly readable, highly entertaining and highly recommended
autobiography written by a master of the art as well as an outstanding
advocate for the craft and creation that goes into the making of cinema.
ORDER REEL LIFE
Paperback, 304 pages with approx 40 photographs, ISBN: 978-1-911537-15-1
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'REEL LIFE', a memoir by Tony Sloman
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