This is a small update of what is going on from behind the scenes at Moviola HQ and some time-busting recommendations
Thank you to everyone who has been in contact with us to talk about the current challenges with your community cinemas (and checking in on us – we’re doing well – thank you!).
Last week, we sent out a small survey to our Partners and Associates to grasp a general idea of when your cinemas might be returning and what tasks may lie ahead to ensure your audiences return.
We are ever so grateful to everyone’s input which will shape how Moviola can support our network of community cinemas going forward. Many of your concerns have been heeded and we will look into how we can aid the re-opening of your wonderful cinematic sanctuaries with gusto!
Some of you have mentioned the type of films and particular titles which you would like to see on the next season’s offering (many of them were already in our planned summer menu anyway). Whilst we might struggle to nudge the multiplexes out of the way to be first in line for the new James Bond film, we will be reviewing some titles to see where rights issues have changed over the intervening months to offer an exciting mix of crowd-pleasers, escapism and stunning film-making.
With these matters in mind, Neil is still in the office helping any cinema organisers who ping him an email or a WhatsApp. Don’t forget that you can drop him a line/call him, too (about absolutely anything) on the contacts page here.
Here’s some of Moviola & film-related ventures that he’s been up to:
I’m sure many of you are cautious as to what the future holds for cinema and indeed I am too. It’s the second thing on my mind after an emergency visit to the barber’s!
Whilst currently looking like the wild man of Borneo does help in keeping social-distance breakers at bay, I do also enjoy interacting with so many of you through phone calls or emails from Moviolans over the past few months. It’s the evergreen deep passion to keep community cinema alive which has kept the home-fires burning here at mini-Moviola HQ!
Last Friday, I had a good natter with a Wales venue about their new screen and, after nerding about various aspect ratios, I soon found some money-saving options – as well as discussing their current films and what they think the immediate future might hold.
Starting the #MoviolaTogether initiative was great fun and having rested the idea for a few weeks, I hope that Moviola audiences might find some interest in the idea once more. You can find out more by clicking Julie Walters or Michael Caine above!
Virtual film clubs have sprung up all over the place in the past few months, offering some comfort and replication of the community hall chin-wag which we’re all so accustomed to.
Between playing Zoom pub quizzes (which has netted a fair amount to local food banks), I have missed many of these film-a-longs, but I did finally join director, Carol Morley’s Friday Night Film Club.
Her choices and guests have offered insightful context for films usually off my radar – all of which have been made available for free to all.
Last Friday saw Jeanie Finlay’s SOUND IT OUT (2011) transport me back to the days when I would go fishing for vinyls and CDs in my local record shop.
I highly recommend her Friday Films and then scrolling through her feed to find reactions and information about the film to fill in the gaps – they’re often fascinating.
As a devoted film fan, I have been pulling out some forgotten classics (and ashamedly, some unwatched films) from my library during lock-down. It has given me pause for thought to explore more about cultures I’m less familiar with, than those that I am. From the very relatable laddish behaviour of the men from the small village in Fellini’s I VITELLONI (1953), to the polite bitterness of an arranged marriage falling apart in the Japanese film THE FLAVOUR OF GREEN TEA OVER RICE (1952) (part of the BFI’s new Japan season). Despite now being on a no-carb lockdown diet, I have tried a small amount on the weekend and can confirm that it is delicious – whether or not it has the power to ameliorate broken relationships is yet to be tested!
Without being overly political, the world’s events in the past week have also touched a raw nerve – and the usual way I cope with any of these sorts of events is normally through the guise of something I understand, and that tends to be the lens of film
While all my colleagues at Moviola will stand by me in asserting that prejudicial behaviour is not tolerated in any form – I’m conversely encouraged by the type of films which Moviola does offer for those audiences who wish to have those more difficult conversations and are willing to confront subjects in a similar manner to myself. (Pic to left is THE LAST TREE offered by Moviola last season).
I’m incredibly proud to see titles which reflect all walks of British life in Moviola’s menus, and with that spirit in mind – here are some of my recommendations that you can research further (and hopefully watch) which I think are DEFINITELY worth your time.
LUCE – based on a stage play, the story of the same name with rising star Kelvin Harrison Jr as a boy who is adopted by a white American family who then have doubts about his intentions as an adult.
Available to rent from £3.49 on Google Play, Amazon and YouTube.
LA HAINE – Matthieu Kassovitz’s 1995 ground-breaking French drama of bored youths from all backgrounds in the rundown French banlieues. It’s an exciting film that shook up the French establishment, and some may argue nothing has changed in the past 25 years, but it gave visibility to young people in France who found themselves in a rigged game, determined to keep them in their place.
Currently available on Sky Store, Rakuten TV and the Microsoft Store.
THE 13th – From director Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle In Time), comes this powerful and balanced documentary which seeks to inform the viewer through each presidential reign about the 13th amendment – a law formed in 1865 which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for conviction of a crime. A damning (and surprisingly balanced) exploration of how this law has been manipulated over the ages.
Available through Netflix only.
And that’s the lot!
I will save my forays into cross-stitching for another day.
I wish you all the very best – stay safe and do drop a line to me or call if you ever want a chat about your cinemas or films. I’m available Mon-Fri during office hours and will always get back to you!”