Tue 17 Jan 2012
"David is happy to authorize these screenings..."
Last month in this column I wrote about how every penny that you spend here, whether it be on films, food, DVDs or G&T-in-a-can, goes right back into the business of putting our films on our screens. A lot of what we do costs us more to put on than we could ever hope to make at the Box Office, so the reliance on new releases and the income that comes with them is very great indeed. There’s a lot of cinemas in Edinburgh, it’s a competitive environment, and though you’d think film distributors would want their films to play in as many cinemas as they could get them in, it is never, or at least rarely, that simple – not for us, anyway. For a whole host of reasons, some of which, admittedly, remain unfathomable by me, they don’t work that way. It’s a constant frustration, not just from a financial point-of-view, but also thwarts us when trying to bring you all the films we know you’d like, or would expect us to be showing, on their release. Please be assured, we’ll continue to bring you those films as soon as we are able!
One film we have been able to secure on its release is Roman Polanski’s brilliant ‘comedy of no manners’, Carnage, based on the polite society, upper-middle-class mores-skewering theatre sensation, Yasmina Reza’s ‘God of Carnage’, which features four ‘nomination-worthy’ performances from John C Reilly, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and our own Kate Winslet. And one we didn’t (much to the consternation of many of you!), the fantastic, French homage to silent-era Hollywood, The Artist, finally gets on our screens here at Filmhouse on 3 Feb. And we’ve The Woman in the Fifth, Pawel Pawlikowski’s long-awaited follow-up to My Summer of Love, an intricate, mysterious, Paris-set puzzler starring Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas.
The quote at the top of the page was the visual equivalent of music to our ears when Mr Lynch’s assistant gave us his permission to screen some of the films in our almost-entire retrospective of the great man’s work. There’s much excitement in the office over this season... Wild at Heart (on Valentine’s Day), Dune (in 70mm), Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr. .... Every one so-very-rarely seen on the big screen these days.
Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca (in this its 70th anniversary year) and Otto Preminger’s exemplary film noir, Laura (1944), get the full restoration/reissue treatment; our annual Middle Eastern Film Festival comes around again, with a focus on films from Kurdish practitioners; and ‘Whose Film Is It Anyway?’, a short season of films from contemporary Japanese auteurs, is our annual collaboration with the Japan Foundation.
And Valentine’s Day this year? Whether you like your love stories passionate, star-crossed, just plain old-fashioned romantic or a subtle combination of all three, I think you’ll find there’ll be something for everyone come the 14th. And to think I’ve been accused of being ‘dead inside’ before...