Cinema Shows Week 17: Genova, 25th April 2009, Phoenix, FAQ About Time Travel, 27th April 2009, CDL, Shifty, 29th April 2009, Odeon Freemans Park

Total Ticket Outlay (on 14 British feature films released in 2009) – £58.80




Let’s call this week ‘the Neopolitan’ – three different flavours of film in three different cinemas. On the Saturday at The Phoenix, and so a reasonable audience of about 40. It seems like there are always about 30-50 for screenings there, and so it feels like a much more social experience than going to a lot of the late afternoon or early evening multiplex screenings that are often almost deserted. Genova has to be a nailed on choice for the art cinema circuit. It’s primary goal is to create an emotional effect with a strong sense of place and middle-class family in turmoil, trying to find their equlibrium following the death of the mother. And it did make me feel, but unremarkably so, and with no great impact. Michael Winterbottom is British cinema’s most prolific director, but seeing the latest Winterbottom film can’t be regarded as a memorable event. And Genova rather than Genoa? Avoiding any chance  of awful punning jokes? “Genoa?” “No, never met her”. Vanilla.

Second up at an after-work screening at the Cinema De Lux was FAQ About Time Travel. It isn’t as funny as Shaun of the Dead, but a comic masterpiece compared to Lesbian Vampire Killers. I was carried along for most of the film’s plot about time travel and paradoxes, but in the end the cleverness of the script just fizzled out without any satisfying sens of what was going on. Shared the cinema with three couples. Strawberry.

Thankfully, chocolate, the richest and most satisfying experience of the week – Shifty at the Odeon Freemans Park. For an ultra-low budget film it is a bit of a gem. OK, it has a predictable television social realism feel, but the acting is really good and the twist lifts the whole thing. I can remember ambling back in the sunshine through Nelson Mandela Park towards the station in a wonderfully carefree mood. And this despite being the only person at the screening, what I call a ‘singularity’. The first in my year of British film.



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