On Feb 27th we are screening "Being There" - a film which could easily be mistaken for a simple comedy. What looks like a charming little tale of mistaken identity is in fact a complex web of references to Plato, God, Buddha, artificial intelligence, mass psychosis and even the search for reality. Despite being made in 1979, it's core message is bang up to date for our era of 'post-truth'. Come along on 27th February and find out what links "Being There" to Stanley Kubrick, the Second Coming, Chess, Trump and the most basic question of all... "what does it mean to be a person". We'll even provide a primer before the film to highlight the many hidden references and themes that are encompassed within this "riddle wrapped up in a mystery within an enigma"
We screened "MUSTANG" on January 9th and it was a massive success. The attendance was 159 people which is a record for FLEET FILM and an interesting challenge to get that many people seated comfortably in the Harlington (well, as comfortably as the chairs permit anyway !). The audience feedback was overwhelmingly positive and it got the second highest score of any FLEET FILM screening. A great evening and lots to talk about. One future challenge that cropped up at "Mustang" was the need to find a way to speed up bar service... our audiences are very patient, but the queue this time was clearly too long and we will talk to the Harlington management about this.
As promised, here is the second of our selector’s personal “top 10” lists. This week it's the turn of Maurice Kent to present his top 10 all-time favourite films
The Film Society of the Year awards were held last Saturday and a small group of us had a great time at the awards where we met lots of lovely film society people and enjoyed the free beer ! But did we win anything this year ? Watch this space ?
As promised, Fleet Film are publishing the "Top 10" films chosen by each of our film selection team. To kick things off, here is STEVE SMITH’s list. Maybe some of these films are your favourites too ?
The Consequences of Love directed by Paolo Sorrentino
The film that initiated my interest in foreign language films and introduced me to a director that I've followed ever since. Incredibly stylish, fantastic framing and cinematography, excellent editing, all backed with a beautiful and varied soundtrack covering everything from classical to techno and pop. It's no coincidence that we've screened two of the directors already at Fleet Film, The Great Beauty and Youth. A film that is guaranteed to remain in your thoughts long after the closing credits!
In The Heat of the Night directed by Norman Jewison.
Oscar winner in 1968 including one for Best Picture. I remember seeing this film a long time ago when I was young and it's always stayed with me. Again has fantastic cinematography and very atmospheric. I love the scenes at the station where they meet at the beginning of the film and say there farewells at the end. A classic and timeless.
Whiplash directed by Damien Chazelle.
We screened this at Fleet Film on the final night of our first season. I can remember the first time I saw it at the London Film Festival and how exhilarated I was when coming out of the cinema. Completely blew me away much like his new film La La Land did at this years London Film Festival.
The Man with No Name A trilogy directed by Sergio Leone.
Take your pick from A Fistful Dollars, A Few Dollars More, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and I'll also add Once Upon a Time in the West. All of these films have stayed with me ever since I saw them all as a teenager and have seen numerous times since. The close ups, the long takes, and the incredible soundtracks by Ennio Morricone which compliment the films perfectly. Classics!
Jaws directed by Steven Spielberg.
I can remember being scared to go in the water after watching this as a young teenager! The suspense the soundtrack builds is immense, duh na...duh na...dun, dun, dun, dun...
Carlito's Way directed by Brian De Palma.
I love a good crime film and this is a very underrated one starring Al Pacino and Sean Penn. It's always stayed with me and I've watched it several times over the years. When Al Pacino used to make decent movies!
All About My Mother directed by Pedro Almodovar.
I remember thinking this wouldn't be a film for me but I absolutely loved it. The director is now a favourite of mine and I've watched many of his films that are all excellent including Julietta which we'll be sceening at Fleet Film later this season.
The Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont.
Absolute classic that I never tire from watching again and again.
Oldboy directed by Chan-wook Park.
A film that made me want to explore more Korean cinema which can be graphically violent at times but if you're not squeamish I recommend watching others like Memories of Murder, Mother, A Bittersweet Life, The Chaser, I Saw the Devil, The Man from Nowhere and many, many more...
Drive directed by Nicolas Winding Refin.
I just love the look of this film which is backed by an awesome soundtrack.
Here's a question... what are the 10 best films of YOUR time ? What films have had the most impact across your life (not the films that have pulled in the biggest audiences or the films with the biggest budgets, but the ones that still spark in your memory as "something special").
To explore this question, we will be asking each of our Film Selection team to tell us what their personal favourite films are - and will publish them on the Fleet Film website. Perhaps other members will be inspired to let us know what their personal life-time favourites are too ? Watch this space...
The first film of the season was marred for many by problems with the sound. For some people it was too loud, others heard a faint clicking from the speakers and many felt the sound balance was all wrong. So... after the film we set the Fleet Film forensic film investigators to work and they have now reported back ! The good news is that the problems with the sound were nothing to do with the sound system at the Harlington or the projection equipment or even our laptop. The problem originates in the (poor) quality of the audio on the brand-new DVD that we used to run the film from. What our tests revealed was that the sound was just as problematic when played through a top-of-the-range super TV system equipped with fully integrated surround sound. Interestingly, since becoming aware of the problem, we've noticed other recent (Hollywood) films that have really awful sound tracks that seem to have been put together in a slap-dash manner, so perhaps some directors are overly focused on the visual at the expense of the quality of the many different elements that make up a sound track ?