Popcorn: Another Cautionary Tale

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Wed 16 Mar 2011

Popcorn: Another Cautionary Tale

Avid readers of this column (stop sniggering) may remember a story about a man (the memorably named Wofford Lomax) who was shot in a cinema in Philadelphia for letting his son eat popcorn too loudly. A story has reached me from Riga, Latvia, that a man was shot dead (yes, dead!) by a fellow audience member during the closing credits of Black Swan for the same offence. I have felt real anger at nearby ‘scoffers’ and ‘troughers’ myself, but have so far managed to limit the expression of my ire to an indiscriminate ‘tut’. Here at Filmhouse, it’s a subject of much debate... We are in constant (OK, occasional) receipt of letters and emails from members of the public who are not only pleased we don’t sell it (for reasons of associated noise, mess and smell) but who would also have us ban all forms of eating in our auditoria. Food for thought... Or not, as the case may be. And, whilst the debate rages on, a word to the wise: if you have to eat in the cinema, please do it quietly, it’s only fair. And your personal safety may well depend on it!

Oranges and Sunshine is surely-proud dad Ken Loach’s laddie Jim’s first big screen foray, which tells the incredible, heartbreaking, true story of a Nottingham social worker (played brilliantly by Emily Watson), who uncovered the heinous social scandals of the forced migration of children from the UK to Australia. The toast of the recent Berlinale, Pina is Wim Wenders’ astonishing tribute to dance legend Pina Bausch; L’Affaire Farewell is a Moscow-set, French Cold War spy thriller par excellence; Meek’s Cutoff is Kelly (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy) Reichardt’s spin on the Western, as three families hit the Oregon Trail in 1845; and Bernardo Bertolucci’s Before the Revolution, Robert Flaherty’s Man of Aran and Peter Bogdanovich’s seminal The Last Picture Show all get the glorious restoration treatment.

Latvia... that reminds me... our annual New Europe Festival comes around again (though having said that, that Baltic state is not represented this year!). Romania is though, and if you see one film in the festival see The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu... it’s stunning. There’s a mighty fine edition of our annual Italian Film Festival taking its usual April slot, and this month also sees the beginning of our ‘The New Objectivity: Realism in Weimar Cinema’ season, featuring a host of silent films with musical accompaniment (both with our almost resident pianist, Forrester Pyke, and the amazing Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra), that ties in with the National Galleries of Scotland’s August Sander exhibition.

And almost finally...  It’s time to play the music, It’s time to light the lights, It’s time to meet The Muppets with ‘Muppets™, Music & Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy’! We’re delighted to bring you, for the first time in the UK, this unique celebration of the work of the great man. Sensational. Inspirational. Celebrational. Muppetational!

And actually finally, did you notice how many Oscar® predictions I got right last month. Of course you didn’t, so I’ll tell you. Just all of them, that’s all! [Sigh. - Ed.]


Rod White, Head of Filmhouse

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