When the door of the Lumiere factory opened to release the workers, it was more than just the end of the day - it was the beginning of a brand new art form that has shaped the consciousness of the twentieth century. This very first moment of the very first film gave birth to other moments that are cherished in the recollections of people all over the world. In this issue we collaborated with the French film magazine Positif.The centrepiece of this issue came to us from Positif. For their 400th issue Positif asked the film-makers with whom they had forged a special relationship over the past forty years to write about the films, directors and actors who have had a special significance for them. An array of seventy international film-makers - including Altman and Angelopoulos, Chabrol and the Coens, Eastwood and Frears, Kazan and Kieslowski, Leigh and Loach, Makavejev and Marker, Ophuls and Penn, Resnais and Rohmer, Rosi and Rudolph, Tavernier and the Tavianis, Varda and Zulawski, among others - responded, and we present this treasure trove of film-making comment as a way of celebrating the 100 years of cinema.1995 was also the centenary of Buster Keaton. In honour of this, Kevin Brownlow - noted film-maker, historian and restorer of the silent cinema - recounts the making of Keaton's masterpiece, The General.
John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was 'Catch Us If You Can' in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making.