On International Shadowplay, partisans are tasked with selecting their favourite post and sharing it online. As a card-carrying Shadowplayer (this post being where I came in) its really hard to pick a single favorite. For right now, I'll settle for this one. It has everything I love about SHADOWPLAY.
It's Let the Eagle Soar. As part of Hitchcock Year, David traced the proud Cockney's career from beginning to end over the course of a year, each week covered one of his films. The fact that Hitchcock's second official film, The Mountain Eagle, is lost did not stop Mr. Cairns. Oh no! He decided to go ahead and restore the film, pioneering and patenting the now widely used practise of "Dream Restorations". That is a film print does not exist, dream it, will it into being. The extent to which cinema can penetrate into people's lives, their dreams and memories returns us to Plato's Allegory of the Cave, an allegory which Bernardo Bertolucci likened to a blueprint of a movie theatre. All of which suggests that if history was altered and we longer had the words "film", "cinema", "movies" to refer to it, Shadowplay would be a pretty good alternative.
Mr. Cairns' favorite film-makers lean towards the image fabulists, he has written eloquently on Welles, Sternberg, Hitchcock, Lang and of course Michael Powell. Genuinely stimulating and original ruminations on cinema, aided by good-natured and much needed rustling up of the established canon(such as Mr. Cairns' case for the neglected Julien Duvivier) makes SHADOWPLAY a fun website as well as a fount of scholarly research on cinema.