Hugh's website about cinema and the people who make movies happen, MrDemilleFM, has changed from a streaming platform, to being available as podcasts, via your chosen podcast provider.
“Two years ago, MRDEMILLEFM became a reality – a website streaming shows about cinema and the people who make it happen. Now, on Cecil B. Demille’s birthday, I am delighted to announce that after a lot of work it has become a podcast. Why is this? Simply because of public demand.
You’ll now be able to enjoy the shows whilst on the move and doing other things. Every month there’ll be three shows available as podcasts, either two new ones and one archive, or one new one and two archive.
About 50% of the archive has been taken down in preparation for their transformation into podcasts, and once they’ve all been made available, the other 50% will be taken down and transformed.
It’s a very exciting moment and I do hope you’ll enjoy moving into the future with us.”
Hugh Cornwell, August 2019
Q: So, tell me about MRDEMILLEFM.
A: MRDEMILLEFM is something of a passion of mine. I’ve always been interested in cinema. It’s a great escape from the world of music for me. A few years ago I set up SOUNDTRAXFM, an online streaming site, which has now been replaced by MRDEMILLEFM.
Q: How is it different from SOUNDTRAXFM?
A: SOUNDTRAXFM had interviews with people connected with cinema, playing their favourite film music. Also there were other shows that featured music associated with various different film genres. Unfortunately the chances of getting interviews with people are very slim, so I never knew where the next show was coming from. There was no regularity to the postings on the site, and as you must be aware, traffic to a site depends upon regular posts.
Q: Yes, that is very important. What else can we expect from the new site?
A: I realised there’s a whole history of interesting people involved in cinema, and most of them are dead. So that means no interviews are possible. But it does mean I can spend a whole show looking at someone’s career, and the music can come from the films they made.
Q: Will there still be interviews and themed shows?
A: Most definitely. On launch day, August 12th…..
Q: How old were you at this time?
Q: What sort of cinema were you aware of before that moment?
A: I used to sit and watch movies on TV with my parents, mostly musicals and light dramas. Anything serious I was too young to understand, or I wasn’t allowed to watch. The first film I was taken to see in a cinema was ‘El Cid’, which is very mainstream. But rather good, and very enjoyable.
Q: Do you think cinema should provide more than just entertainment?
A: Definitely. If you can entertain and make someone think at the same time, you’re doing well.
Q: What do you think of cinema today?
A: Unfortunately there seems to be an increasing amount of films being made that don’t credit the audience with a brain. There’s a dumbing down of the content. I go and see films that have high ratings and am constantly being disappointed. So standards are dropping, I think. There’s also an increasing reliance on special effects to gets thrills, rather than dramatic content. The standard of screen-writing doesn’t seem to be up to it anymore, either. There’s very little character development. I’m constantly being told that films like ‘Psycho’, Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, would have difficulty being made in today’s creative climate. Which is depressing.
Q: That's the anniversary of Cecil B. DeMille's birthday, I understand?
A: Quite right, and on August 12th, 2019 the MRDEMILLEFM podcast was launched.
Q: Are there plans for any other guest narrators?
A: I’m sure it will happen in due course.
Q: Has SOUNDTRAXFM closed down?
A: Effectively, yes. But the shows that were available there will be available over a period of time at MRDEMILLEFM, some of them with trailers on a Youtube channel.
Q: Tell me something about the origin of your interest in cinema.
A: When I was at secondary school we had to take extra courses that weren’t related to our ‘A’ level subjects. I picked one on Contemporary Cinema, which my Chemistry teacher gave. On his recommendation I went to see ‘Viridiana’ by Luis Bunuel at the Everyman in Hampstead and it profoundly affected me. I’d never seen a film that stirred my emotions so much. I began going regularly to the Everyman, and discovered Marcel Carne, Jean Renoir, the Italian neo-realist directors, and many others.
Q: You could say 'motivating' as well?
A: Of course. Part of MRDEMILLEFM’s purpose is to show interested listeners how good cinema could be, by pointing them to the past, and showing what has been done. Most of today’s cinema-going public are totally unaware of the quality of some older films. I even know someone who refuses to watch a film if it’s in black and white! Do you realise how many films have been made? In total?
Q: No. What's the figure?
A: Only about half a million. Less than I thought.
Q: That's a surprisingly low number. Do you think everyone who goes to see a film wants to be made to think?
A: Of course not. They want to be entertained. But without being insulted at the same time.
Q: Good luck with MRDEMILLEFM.
A: Thank you.