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Monday, 11 March 2013

Cinéastes are well dispersed

In metro-centric England, Herefordshire, the county where I live, is virtually unknown. Often confused with Hertfordshire which is nearer London. Actually Herefordshire deserves to be unknown.  Total population, 183,600, is roughly that of Wigan or Crawley and population density is fourth lowest in England. One small city, four market towns, masses of tiny villages - that's it.

However, many villages have halls, hence Flix In The Sticks a scheme forming part of present film festival. Residents choose movies and foregather in the hall to watch. Halfway through there's wine, coffee, cakes and pop. Like slipping back into a 1930s whodunnit. We've trekked out to Garway
and Gorsley; Ross tomorrow. Village audiences more sophisticated than those in city; they don't titter.
Movies we saw/hoped to see at Borderlines Festival
In The House. France. Discouraged, middle-aged lycée teacher of French Lit discovers writing ability in one of his charges and devotes time to bringing him along. Gradually the lad's reportage, the reality of what he describes, and the teacher's corrections and suggestions become inseparable
and doom seems imminent. Three-dimensional performance by Fabrice Luchini - he simply is a teacher, good and bad.

The Impossible. British family, holidaying in Thailand, assaulted and dispersed by tsunami, finally fly off by chartered jet (paid for by travel insurance) to Singapore to be patched up. Supposedly true. Special effects impressive but I was never hooked. However, PB (The Guardian) cried throughout.

Anna Karenina. Keira Knightley. Too exhausted; will rent DVD.

Where do we go? Japanese. Two kids separated. Was looking forward to it but illness intervened.


  1. Anna K. was recently showing here. Did not go to see it because I remember how reading the book exhausted me.

  2. This reminded me of an article in our paper - about a different kind of movie theatre south of us:


    Nice, but a little too far unless you are vacationing there! No hopes of one like it in Vancouver. The small old theatres that would show mostly foreign and art films are disappearing here. I still miss the grand one like an opera house which I used to go to in my youth. Now we watch most films on DVD (free from the library) at home or through son-in-law's Apple TV device.

  3. Ellena: Hey, you didn't go to see it because you didn't want to see it.

    M-L: Inescapable economics tend to force "dedicated" cinemas out of business. Village halls are different. Often they have been created by local residents; and they are always run by volunteers. Turning the hall into a cinema takes about ten minutes: putting a computerised projector on a table (these are far far cheaper than the old optical devices), erecting the screen, and setting out the chairs. Once the movie (on a rented DVD) has been shown everything can be put away and the hall is ready for all sorts of other uses: dieting classes, regular meetings of local clubs, scouts, polling booths for elections, etc.

    There is, of course, one reason why such halls would be unacceptable to North Americans. Everything from the acquisition of the land, supervising the build, rasing money to cover the overheads and enjoying the facilties is done communally. There is a word for this and it seems to terrify many living on your continent. Tant pis.