20 July

On his popular Facebook page tonight, one man posted “Ramadan Mubarak” for his Muslim followers – a simple gesture of goodwill not unlike wishing someone “Merry Christmas”. Unfortunately, a few people took this as opportunity (in their minds, provocation) to spew hate in the most tiresomely clichéd manner. My mind was cast back to one of my old film lecturers revealing, in one of his wonderful tangents, that he had recently written about the major role music had played in the defeat of racism in the United States across the 20th Century, no doubt with regular reference to Bob Dylan.

The germination of this particular memory was in all probability due to the tragic events in Colorado last night, the news of which horrified me – in all honesty more than other mass shootings in recent memory. One particular aspect stuck out but didn’t surprise me: many of those witnesses and victims at first believed the gunfire to be part of the film they were watching, which happened to be The Dark Knight Rises. All sorts has been written about how we engage with film, how it reproduces the workings of experience (such as the optic system) and the human mind. The metaphor often used is “dreaming”. While on that plane, those in Theatre 9 were needless to say in a tremendously vulnerable state. I and many members of this site were lucky enough to see the film two days early, but these people were attending a midnight screening, their very first opportunity to see the film, their anticipation that eager.

Christopher Nolan, the director, released a statement a few hours ago. One line in particular echoed my own feelings:

The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.

But cinema is not just a sanctuary for escapism. I believe it is a place of compassion. When we invest ourselves in characters and situations we become stronger, better people. On some level we learn to recognise ourselves in others. In her essay on the issue of Aboriginal representation in film, there is a passage by Marcia Langton in which she claims the worst form of representation is none at all. Rather than “Why are people racist?”, she prefers to ask, “Why are some people not racist?” It is a profound observation. There is a process of learning and experience involved, but it is one which requires constant renewal. Seeing more films, reading more books and comics – regardless of what is claimed by the sensationalist media – can only help to destroy social barriers, race, religion, class or other. Not only that, art helps us find purpose and true appreciation for one another. It is thus greatly saddening to realise that many will be put off going to the cinema by what happened in Colorado, at least for a while. It is my belief that no-one with this appreciation would willingly raise a gun at a fellow human being, or so readily spout hate over the internet. Luckily I know we’re all tolerant and understanding people, but I implore you: keep seeing films. Don’t let them win.

And Ramadan Mubarak for my Muslim friends.

Oscars! Predictions! Winners!

So, last year, Beate demolished everyone else’s score with daylight between her and the nearest competitor. The question on everyone’s mind was, is she gonna do it again? Well, no surprises here, she got a great score (16). But she was just edged out by markrobertpetty with a whopping 17 correct predictions, who takes home the prize. Level with Beate in 2nd place with 16 are JordanFRAV and brand new member pcowell1938. Just behind on 15 is ciro22. Honorouble mentions to those on 14:  jupe17, Emma20, jewelz and alythonian. Read on after the jump…

Oscar Nominations 2010 are in!

Play our prediction game and win a £5 DVD voucher!

Last year we had a lot of fun with this, and it was great to see people get involved in a bit of competition so we thought we’d do it again! Beate will be hoping to win again, but it’s all up for grabs – simply pick a winner for each category and the player with the most correct predictions wins… read on for details and this year’s Oscar nominations…


Harry Brown

This by no mean looks a bad film, but I think it might give an unrealistic, Mail-tinted view of “thuggish” Britain. We’ll see. Some reviews in already… andrews gives full marks and reports: Absolutely marvellous – this is easily the best film I’ve seen all year. Michael Caine does the Gran Torino, and boy, how Read more about Harry Brown[…]

Dorian Gray

Reports are coming in that disastrous organisation resulted in a vast number of people being turned away from this screening, even after waiting as instructed by the cinema staff. One such person was a certain Birthday Gal whose evening wasn’t ruined I hope. Tut-tut Momentum. One of the “lucky” ones to get in eventually was Read more about Dorian Gray[…]

Inglourious Basterds

Tarantino’s tense latest delighted the majority of forum members, the first of which to review the film (nintendo) said: saw this 2day, 10/10 film of the year for me great dialogue as is always the case with Tarantino films, and a fantastic blend of comedy, drama and action. Quite gruesome in places but it fits Read more about Inglourious Basterds[…]


If you are going to see this on 1st September, you might appreciate what some forum members thought of it on 17th August. For all past previews starting now, I’ll be publishing the first review posted on the forum… Says Ms Thrifty: I thought this was a pleasant, if undistinguished teen movie and an enjoyable Read more about Adventureland[…]

Funny People

Dilemma: on the one hand there’s Judd Apatow, Comedy King of Hollywood, bringing along his usuals (Rogen, Hill and real-life wife Leslie Mann) and two talented actors new to his world, but not new to comedy – Schwartzman, hilarious in I Heart Huckabees and due to break out with a mysterious role in next year’s Scott Pilgrim if this film doesn’t do it first, and Eric Bana who apparently began his career in sketch comedy. On the other hand, there’s Adam Sandler.


New Inglourious Basterds Trailer!

Most people didn’t like Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino’s segment of 2007’s double bill Grindhouse. Personally I liked the film and I’m sure I would have loved it if I had grown up during the era of exploitation flicks it faithfully replicated. At any rate, the only real complaint you hear is that it was ‘boring’. So QT has stepped up to win back his fans with what looks like a hugely enjoyable ride, Inglourious Basterds (yes, its meant to be spelt that way), due out in August. Trailer after the jump… […]