British Feature Films (Fiction) Released in 2009 – 4
British Fictional Feature Films (Released in 2009) Watched in the Cinema in 2009- 2
Ticket Outlay £4.97.5 (on British feature films released in 2009)
‘Going Out’ [to the cinema] – 4 films
‘Staying In’ [with rental DVDs] – 4 films
Clubbed, the second British film release of 2009, was not shown in any of the multiplexes in the Leicester area last week. In fact, it was only available in 30 cinemas in the UK on its opening weekend averaging £423 per site (compared to Slumdog Millionaire‘s chart topping £7,972) . It has now closed in Leicester, lasting only a week at the City Cinema. The take for the 7pm screening I attended with my friend Steve last Wednesday at cannot have been more than £30. I will be very surprised if I experience any more memorable British cinema nights this year than this one.
A rather rushed paneer dhosa at Mirch Masala, Market Street, did not save us from crashing the credits. At the City Cinema the film started at the advertised time. It is a cinema with a long history, proudly recalled on its flyer. One wonders how this budget ‘city centre’ three-screener manages to survive, but it provided a perfectly creepy 80s aura for the film, with staff-less food and drink kiosk, tabloid-reading box officer and hurriedly abandoned floor sweepings left on the stairs of the aisle. I could not tell if the person I met in the corridor was staff or bewildered patron. The ‘two for £5’ ticket could have doubled up as an entry for a tombola or raffle. As an audience we made mockery of the the conditions on the reverse of the ticket. A small group of teenagers talked loudly throughout, ignoring the screen, but thankfully leaving before the end. They were a constant distraction while the show was on and showed no discipline, and I am sad to report tht my pockets were packed with photographic equipment:
I could not tell if the film was badly projected or just oddly framed on occasions. I recalled that it was made on 16mm and might have gone squiffy in 35mm format. Unlike Steve, I could not read the bloody message scrawled above the victim crucified to the wainscot by the film’s gangster villain, but, unlike Steve, I could make out a strange cameo appearance by Neil Morrissey hiding behind a bushy goatee.
Earlier that afternoon at Leicester’s newest cinema (Showcase Cinema de Lux) there were more bloody scrawlings in My Bloody Valentine 3-D. This was for mainly technical interest in the latest revival of stereoscopic 3D. The screening seemed to be full of students – but none of mine. The smell of fast food was intrusive. The duty manager and the visiting head office lackeys roamed the concourse all concern for detail. We were charged a small premium on the ticket price to cover extra costs. A disgruntled man in front of me queried the lack of free glasses, and the manager swatted his offer to buy them by claiming they cost £25. They were quite smart (see photograph below). I bet we could have made some just as effective out of sweet wrappers and packaging down at the City Cinema (if they could find someone for the kiosk). I’m hoping another British film will be on there soon.