A Letter from the Editor

March 21st 2015

Dear Reader,

David Hockney once spoke of his childhood love of going to the cinema (or the ‘pictures’ as us northerners refer to it). He admitted that watching a film had a powerful effect on him. Beforehand, he’d be walking though the dingy streets of his hometown, eager for the cinema to transport him to another world: “when you come out you’ve been in the French Revolution or somewhere…you come out with your imagination working.”

I’ve always felt this way about visiting the Tyneside Cinema in my own hometown of Newcastle upon Tyne. Opened in 1937, and designed and built by Dixon Scott (the Great Uncle of Sir Ridley and Tony Scott), this independent cinema remains one of the city’s key cultural landmarks. As a teenager, I fell in love with world cinema here, and, like Hockney, I too felt transported to another world.

It is for this reason that the cover of this issue of StepAway Magazine has great personal significance. Our cover photograph, shot by local photographer David Hall, captures the Tyneside Cinema’s alleyway entrance. The image has great cinematic appeal in its own right, reminiscent of a slick, high contrast still from Sin City. But beyond this, it makes me think of all of the cinemagoers who have walked this alleyway still dreaming of the faraway worlds they have just recently encountered on screen.

The alleyway, for me, has always been a liminal space. It is here that you make that slow transition from the cinematic world in which you have been immersed back to the reality of everyday life. Walking this alleyway allows you to adjust, and to daydream, momentarily, of still being in Paris, New York or Rome, before rejoining the crowds of shoppers at Grey’s Monument.

David Hall’s photograph is fascinating in the sense that it captures this phenomenon, projecting a gritty neo-noir filmscape onto what, for some, is no more than a mundane urban thoroughfare. David is driven by the desire to capture the beauty of Newcastle upon Tyne from as many unique and poetic angles as possible. His portfolio is not to be missed.

As always, this issue holds the power to transport the reader far and wide. Our writers include: Malcolm Friend, Laura Glenn, E. A. M. Harris, Monique Kluczykowski, Ann Matthews, Jane Molinary, Sue Spiers, Brendan Todt, Melissa Tombro and Sally Vogl.

I hope that you enjoy reading this, our sixteenth issue, marking the fourth birthday of StepAway Magazine.

Yours faithfully,

Darren Richard Carlaw