Boast time: I’ve met David Wilkinson. He gave a guest lecture on film distribution while I was studying Film at university. As a fellow Yorkshireman, I wanted him to be right about the first film being produced in this great Northern English county by French expat Louis Le Prince. The investigation he undertakes, the evidence he compiles and the argument he delivers is convincing, if not definitive. For me, more exciting than the story of THE FIRST FILM is the story of the first reverse-shot, but I suppose that wouldn’t be such a catchy title. Wilkinson is an engaging presenter telling a story personal to him and very keen to steer any discussion towards his side of the argument. A few more differing opinions wouldn’t have gone amiss, but I get why the final film is how it is: this could be Leeds’ time to shine, and the possibility that a Yorkshire city was at the cutting edge of a new art form shouldn’t be dismissed as ridiculous. Wilkinson’s feature documentary’ focus might be narrow, but it comes from a good place, a desire to tell an obscure story and to artistically big up your home town. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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