ian-mantgani-portraitMy name is Sheldon Hall and this is my blog. I’m a writer and lecturer on (mostly) films and (sometimes) television. Most recently I’ve been looking into the history of the showing of films on television, especially British television, and this website arises partly out of that research. So expect to see a lot of articles about the relationships among cinema, TV and what can loosely be called ‘video’. I prefer physical media to online viewing so there will be previews and reviews of films available on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as those showing on broadcast television and in cinemas. My main interest is in older (pre-millennial) movies, so discussion of brand-new theatrical releases will be scarce; but you never know what might come along.

The site is still under construction and for now the wearing of hard hats and heavy boots is recommended. It won’t be completely safe to walk around until I’ve got the hang of this blogging thing, which is completely new to me (I still regard CEEFAX as a scarily modern innovation).

Its format may change and develop in the course of time. But it will immediately be apparent to visitors of a certain age and background that the appearance of the site masthead is modelled on that of a popular UK broadcast listings magazine at a particular point in its design history.

Radio Times, now an independent publication but once owned by the BBC, represented my first encounter with media journalism. Already a precocious film buff at the age of nine, I started buying RT in 1974, mainly for its films column. Keeping a regular check on the weekly TV movie listings marked the beginning of my serious interest in cinema and television. I still buy and collect the magazine (which has its own website, serving a different function from mine) and Sheldon Times is partly a tribute to its influence on me.

Some explanatory notes may be needed on the various categories of posts. ‘Features’ are (or aim to be) relatively substantial, longer articles about general topics. ‘Films’ is a source of reference information. ‘Previews’ provide news of films soon to be available in whatever format. ‘Reviews’ offer critical assessments of some of those films. ‘Viewers’ Views’ allow registered visitors and guest contributors to post their own items, subject to approval (all posts also allow user comments). ‘Links’ offer suggestions for other websites of related interest.

I hope the blog will be used and enjoyed by visitors other than just the editor. If not, I’ll be right here anyway, for as long as it lasts.

Photo credit: Ian Mantgani