I liked the idea of showing an episode of Game Of Thrones on the big screen as soon as I heard about it. It's a show with undeniably cinematic moments, and many of its stars were film stars first. The distinction between film star and TV star is blurry these days.
Gearing up for Game Of Thrones. Photo by Euan Robertson. Photo: Euan Robertson
The episode chosen was Blackwater, the penultimate episode of Season 2, dealing with a climactic river-mouth battle; fire, explosions, and gore. Of course it's not only noise spectacle that makes cinema. There's just something about the big screen that packs an emotional punch, and Blackwater is a particularly emotive episode. It's helmed by Neil Marshall, director of Dog Soldiers and The Descent, and from its atmospheric opening sweep over the eponymous Blackwater Bay to its electrifying credit song, it's a cinematic experience through and through.
The cast of Game Of Thrones is quite astonishing, and Blackwater boasts some of Peter Dinklage's finest moments as Tyrion. Dinklage's involvement was key to getting Game Of Thrones made; arguably if he hadn't been able to bring his rising film stardom to the table I wouldn't have been treated tonight to performances by the likes of Charles Dance, Rory McCann, Stephen Dillane, Liam Cunningham and Lena Headey. It's a cast list that could easily belong to one of the Glasgow Film Festival's legitimate film offerings.
The screening was followed by a discussion with Glasgow actor Rory McCann, who plays Sandor Clegane, also known as the Hound. Though Clegane is a big, gruff bruiser, Rory was charming and candid, answering questions on who his favourite character is (Tyrion), who he'd most like to have a drinking competition with (Jason Momoa, though he opined he would likely be hospitalised as a result) and just how disappointed he is that he hasn't been hugged yet by James Cosmo.
It's always lovely to see the GFT full of excited folks looking forward to some big screen entertainment, and I'm really pleased to see an event like this as part of the Glasgow Film Festival.