Jonathan Melville: Good night and good luck

EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara. Pic Ian Rutherford
EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara. Pic Ian Rutherford
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AFTER just over five years and somewhere in the region of 100,000 words, the time has finally come for me to say goodbye to this column.

When I started Reel Time in 2009 we were still watching many of our films in 35mm, Netflix hadn’t launched in the UK and the idea of playing films on phones was still a novelty.

Since then we’ve seen digital takeover and we’re used to the idea of streaming some of the latest films on the day they’re released in cinemas.

Keeping track of developments around Edinburgh has always been a challenge, thanks to the huge number of screens showing everything from silent Russian existential short films to the latest 3D blockbuster.

Add to those the dozens of film festivals and special screenings that take place every other week, and it’s clear the city is perfect for both film fans and film columnists.

It’s been fascinating to chart the progress of the EIFF, which hit a rough patch a few years ago but which seems to be back on the right path under the leadership of Chris Fujiwara.

The selection of films at Filmhouse continues to be one of the finest in the UK, while the IMAX is the only place to watch films such as the upcoming Godzilla. The Cameo is still programmed in London rather than locally and it’s shame we lost our Sunday matinees, but that’s progress.

I’ve enjoyed writing these 270+ columns, but with plans underway for my first book, it seems as good a time as any to bow out. I’ll still be tweeting about new and old films from @jon_melville and running, so stop by and say hello.

Otherwise I might see you at the pictures sometime soon - the Kia-Ora is on me!