Babyteeth is screening this weekend at Biograf Reflexen, the community cinema where I work as a volunteer, and after several rave reviews, not least from DuCool, I am really looking forward to it. A drama comedy about a teenage cancer patient who, to her parents’ horror, falls in love with a drug dealer, it’s the first feature film from Australian director and actress, Shannon Murphy. Have any of you seen it?
The salon seats 200 but the Covid 19 regulations mean that we can only sell 50 tickets. Slowly, cinemas here in Sweden are starting to reopen, with appropriate adjustment to enable social distancing. Babyteeth is sold out so we will make a small profit. But the important thing is to be up and running (hobbling?) again. The looks of joy and expectation on the faces of the munchkins, clutching their cuddlies who turned up for our Sunday lunchtime matinee last week were a joy to see.
“We are going to the ciiiiiiiiinema!!!” shouted one enthusiastic cinephile, as his buggy came hurtling into the foyer. You should hear his howls of pleasure when we have had a Bergmn retrospective or shown The Turin Horse.
We are cautiously optimistic that our repertoire of non-blockbuster, independent, “quality” films will attract local people back to the cinema.
Over in the UK, there seems to be much doom and gloom. In an article last week, Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian had some thought-provoking things to say about the current, rather dire, state of affairs for the British cinema industry:
”For the first time, everyone in the industry is beginning to entertain the queasy thought: what if our cinema industry is like vaudeville? Or silent movies? Or evensong – that once widespread middle-Britain churchgoing habit wiped out by TV? Is cinemagoing finished? A loss-leader adjunct to the home entertainment industry that’s long been vulnerable to infection?”
Cineworld had just announced the closure of all its 128 cinemas. Anyway, I learnt a new term:
”Big blockbuster movies are routinely nicknamed “tentpoles” for a reason. They keep the whole big top upright.”
Some of the blame for the sorry state of affair is that the big studios are delaying the release of these films. But meanwhile in the “real” world, cinemas are screening excellent, non-tentpole movies and doing OK, all things considered.
Since we re-opened, we’ve had Armando Ianucci’s David Copperfield and Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks. The former is probably one the best Dickens adaptations ever: a wonderful feelgood movie with stupendous performances and a clever, post-modern script.
Do any of have some non-tenpole films you are looking forward to seeing at the cinema? Or will you be staying at home with your Kenneth Williams boxsets: Carry on Streaming?
Personally I am very excited about the low-budget, Welsh language, Bond film, currently being filmed in the Prescelly Hills of Dyfed: Dai another day.