Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Last Bookshop....


If you've been reading this blog for a while you may remember mention of a film production company who visited my old shop a few years ago. They were a lovely bunch of guys who I could see straight off were passionately enthusiastic about the project they were working on. Within a few minutes they had persuaded me to not only do an interview about the state of the book trade as I saw it but also to have my shop featured in the film they were proposing. They were going to call the film The Last Bookshop which, in itself, was quite ominous when I come to think of it! It took, not far off, a couple of years from that point to the actual premiere of the film and it's only now that, at last, it's available for all to view on YouTube. When you watch the film, and I would urge you to do so, you might think that it's availability for internet streaming to be somewhat ironic but that's just a little aside. I've seen it three times now and each time I notice another clever bit that I hadn't on previous viewings. Without ruining it for you the basic premise is that a school boy is bored after his home holographic cinema system breaks down (I should have said that it's slightly surreal and a bit futuristic) so he is forced to go out into the great outdoors and, among the boarded up shop units he chances upon the last bookshop. And I mean it literally is the last bookshop, so it would seem, in the world. It turns out to have some wonderfully uplifting ingredients as a movie and, like all great films, also manages to be sad at the same time. I haven't even mentioned yet that my old shop, Mr. Books, when it was around the corner in Bank Street, is featured in the shop as are Halls in Tunbridge Wells and Baggins in Rochester as well as one or two others. On first viewing you would be forgiven for thinking that the whole thing was filmed in Halls as Joe, the boy in the Last Bookshop, walks in that door having stumbled across the shop. But those clever film editors have played tricks with the audience but putting together some of the best internal shots from the other shops and blending them altogether seamlessly. There are some great little touches like the stuff about the Gamazon Corporation not allowing the books to be sold because they own all the copyrights and the scene when Joe handles a book for the first time in his life and starts to try to scroll it and make it interactive like he would with his hologram machine. Bearing in mind that this was made around three years ago now some of the more far fetched ideas are becoming somewhat scarily close to reality. Whether we will ever witness the final days of the physical book and the actual last bookshop remains to be seen, and let's hope to God not, but The Last Bookshop, at the very least deserves to be watched, if only because it's entertaining. I'll have a bet though that it'll make you pause for thought on a possible scarey future I'm not sure even the darkest minds at Google and Amazon would wish for. I'm glad I agreed to take part in my own small way in the project and I wish those talented guys at The Bakery great things things in the future. Long live real books!...
There's more than a touch of Just William about the boy Joe in the film

3 comments:

Paul Bailey said...

An enjoyable and well put together film.

Long live real books, and also REAL, independent film-makers.

Tim James said...

Buy a Kindle, save energy. You don't even need to turn any lights on to read.

hastathaas said...

What an absolutely excellent and endearing little film. The originators ~ to whom I've posted A rave of a post~ are to be supremely commended.
I only hope it goes viral and global and contributes to the defence of books and the book trade. especially its shopkeeping sector.