Film theatre

I just read a post on Instagram about the problems the Film Theatre at Staffordshire University is having to deal with before it can reopen after covid. I wrote a response because this independent cinema had a great impact on my understanding and appreciation of films. Here is what I said.

I used to love coming to the film theatre. You could see films that made you question your beliefs, challenged your thoughts, tickled your imagination! It seems mad that it’s not open. I first saw a film there in 1979 and it was also used for the film studies part of the Fine Art Ba(hons). My hubby came to a projectionist course and learned how to project the reels and know when to change them. It’s sad you are having these problems.

Spoilers

I just started watching an old film ‘the Winslow boy’. Five minutes in hubby pipes up, oh this is that’s story where…… I stopped him, please don’t tell me. I haven’t seen this for years! Doing that is called a spoiler. Thankfully he stopped telling me about it!

It’s not the first time he’s tried, and succeeded in spoiling a film for me. The worst occasion was in the cinema when his voice boomed out, oh its so and so who’s the killer! I was mortified. Shhhhhh!

Films I want to see.

I ddon’t have cable or streaming services but I’d really like to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind again. I first saw it when it came out in the 1970’s. I think I remember being in a queue that went round the block the cinema was in. I’d never seen anything like the film. The special effects, lights and music got me! I loved Richard Dreyfus’s performance.

No spoilers here. The film is old enough that some people may not have seen it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. But it’s a very good film. I urge you to see it.

Favourite film

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Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas fight each other for the love of a woman Janet Leigh who plays Morgana, she is kidnapped by Curtis but then taken captive by an English king and taken to his castle. Curtis is maimed and makes his way back to the vikings. The vikings attack the English and the outcome is resolved in battle.

I don’t want to go into details because you may not have seen it. I think it was made in the early 1958. The music is tremendous. There is a beautiful theme enhancing  rip roaring, death defying fight scenes.  I fell in love with Tony Curtis when I saw it as a child. He was always ‘my hero’. I’m showing my age!

Pirates of Penzance

sketch-1560973460669Last night we went to see the Pirates of Penzance. The comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan was a live broadcast from the London Coliseum by the English National Opera shown at cinemas throughout the country.

The story is about Frederic, a pirate whose nurse took him to the sea to learn to be a ships pilot. Unfortunately she mistook the word pirate for pilot so he was indentured to be one until the contract ran out. The story starts when he is leaving the pirates. He tells them his duty will be to stop their piratical reign when he is free of them.

Later he meets a daughter of a Major General who he falls in love with. As the opera continues he is caught in a dilemma, whether to persue the pirates or rejoin them.

Many memorable songs made up a wonderful night out. The song ” I am the very model of a modern major general” and ” A policeman’s lot is not a happy one”.

I won’t give the end away. But it is very enjoyable. The twists and turns of the plot hold your attention. Excellent.

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Old film projector.

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I was looking through my old photos and came across this from about a year ago. This is a film projector that was used for a local cinema. I have no idea what all the bits are for. But it’s interesting to see what used to be used before digital came in. My partner once did a training course to learn how to project films. There is usually a splodge marked in one corner of the film so you know when the next piece of film  (reel) is due to start. Apparently some films could have up to eight reels. I don’t know enough to describe it properly. But these machines are beautiful, so well made, which allowed classic films to be shown to audiences. There is a national film and cinematography museum in Bradford, England, which is well worth a visit. I think it still has an IMAX cinema which shows twice the normal sized film. I think it’s 70 millimetres instead of 35 and the film has to be run on its side…. I might visit again soon.