Monday 24 November 2014

A little addition to the matters referred to in a previous post about the NFSA

Veteran Cinephile and foundation director of the Sydney Film Festival David Donaldson has delved deep into history to compose a history of the National Lending Collection. The future management of the current collection managed by the NFSA is a matter of current debate and has been heavily discussed at the recent consultations.


Friday 21 November 2014

Calls to Action

Phillip Adams reminds us of the passion that kick-started the film industry in the late sixties and seventies. Legend and national treasure Phillip Adams has delivered this year’s Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture and called for a rousing renewal of a national spirit of enterprise and ambition. A sample: Film projectors project so much more than film.  They project ultimately, belief systems. Ours is a country with comparatively sane gun laws. We do not drown in mass-marketed religiosity. Nor do we see the theory of evolution as blasphemy. Women here have the right to choose. Thanks to a campaign-energized by Barry Jones we long since abandoned the death penalty – whilst the US – most notably Texas – maintains an assembly line to deliver victims of a racist legal system to the execution chamber. In so many ways Australia remains light  years ahead of the US in its social attitudes. Yet we allow ourselves to acquiesce to insane American laws regarding drugs and we have increasingly echoed their law and order rhetoric and legislation. Anybody who doubts for a moment that US film and television hasn’t played a crucial role in this dangerous osmosis simply hasn’t been paying attention. The complete speech has been posted on the Film Alert website here . Read and enjoy a robust bit of argument and a reminder of the debates that it seems we need to have all over again in the era of Team Australia.

Vale Phil Motherwell (1946-2014) Rod Bishop writes: Actor, playwright, novelist….Phil Motherwell lived, breathed and worked in the shadowy, creative world of Carlton’s alternative theatre. He wrote at least 15 plays and several books. He acted in 17 films and two television series including “Mad Max”, “Pure Shit”, “Monkey Grip”, “Dimboola”, “Tom White”, “The Trespassers”, “Stir”, “Halifax f.p” and “Correlli”. He wrote about Australian street gangs, drugs, crime and Russian revolutionaries. His most celebrated theatre work came with Nightshift –a creative band of junkies and outsiders that sprang from the Australian Performing Group (Pram Factory). In actor Richard Murphet’s words Nightshift believed - “theatre is life, life is theatre, both at the edge of death”. Phil Motherwell’s plays included “Dreamers of the Absolute” “Steal Away Home” “The Fitzroy Yank” “The Native Rose” and “The Bodgie Tree”. He adapted Bertolt Brecht’s “Jungle of the Cities”and “The Beggar and the Dead Dog” for the stage. His novels were “Mr Bastard” and “Sideshow”. His stage performances for Nightshift and the APG included “Cowboy Mouth” by Sam Shepard and Patti Smith; “AC/DC” and “Local Stigmatic” by Heathcote Williams and“L’Amante Anglaise” and “La Musica” by Marguerite Duras.  He was working on a piece about Edward de Vere and Shakespeare at the time of his death. Fellow Nightshift actor Jane Clifton observes: “If he’d lived in America, they would have had another Harry Dean Stanton or Sam Shepard. Tough exterior. Never mean. Unique”.

Actor and writer Tim Robertson has published this tribute (Pardon the censorship but too many emails bounce back when they contain certain words):

On the wall of the white stir creation story
of lags and jacks, dags and dreamers,
of the crooked inner ring of c---s who run the joint,

he wrote.

Phil the joker in the jungle of the city,
Artful Dodger out on the tear with Celine,
scraggy dark pierrot on a pale scagged horse,
questing across Brunswick Fitzroy bluestone,
popping epiphanies, a-buzz with revelation,
backstreet character high definition actor,
he blew away any other bastard in the scene,
with the Motherwell eyes:
saucers of astonishment,
the Motherwell mouth:
snaggletoothy, thimble-rigging grin,
that way he had of pursing his lips
a moue for taking mind-stuff in...

All gone. Up in smoke. Done
like a poet, in the lungs,
Phil's let the shadow go one last run.

Playwright and author Barrie Dickens has also published an obit which you can find in the Fairfax press including  in the online Brisbane Times.

Barrie Pattison’s Festival and other Notes: Well my luck ran out on the Russkie Film Fest. The copy of DERSU UZALA was as murky as the film prints - and showed streaking in the processing. My guess would be that Akira imagined that you just sent off your shooting to the lab the way he did at home, while locals like Mikhalkov and Ryazanov knew about buying foreign stock on the hush hush and probably other measures we didn't hear about.

On British Film Week, I remember arriving in London in 1961 in time for their Film Awards and they ran the prize winners for a day at the NFT - when they had an NFT - THE INNOCENTS, TUNES OF GLORY, SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING and THE ENTERTAINER. I thought I'd come to the right place - misleading as it turned out. Well BECKET and THE KNACK were still to come.

These film weeks provide an unprecedented access to their subjects. We are even getting retrospectives which go some way towards plugging the Cinematheque hole. Two major problems - the cost and the lack of information on the material ... and, of course you can always rock up to Randwick Ritz and find the Pola Negri silent is being cropped to wide screen. 

As usual the locals don't rise to the challenge, they don't even notice it ,

I spend a day most weeks trying to work out what these things and the odd TV channels are handling. It would be so nice if some of the largesse the film bodies fling about was devoted to a newsletter annotating these.

Speaking of which, here are some contributions about the best of 60s British cinema that might have been better choices than those included in the recent/current somewhat lamentable British Film Festival (see previous Film Alert for context!)

Richard Brennan: Accident (Joseph Losey), How I won the War (Richard Lester), The Sorcerers (Michael Reeves), Tom Jones (Tony Richardson), The War Game (Peter Watkins and Station Six Sahara (Seth Holt).

 Rod Bishop I can’t do six, so here’s my eight: The Day The Earth Caught Fire (Val Guest), Billy Budd (Peter Ustinov), A High Wind In Jamaica (Alexander Mackendrick),  The Spy Who Came In from The Cold (Martin Ritt), If… (Lindsay Anderson), Performance (Nicholas Roeg & Donald Cammell), Kes (Ken Loach),and Our Mother’s House (Jack Clayton).

Adrienne McKibbins completely ignores the rules of the game: Sixties British cinema produced a lot of terrific films, a number of big commercial films, Dr Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Beckett etc..) the start of the Bond series, and any number of other interesting films so it would not be hard to find six films, particularly films not often seen , or not seen so much in their original format. A few suggestions Billion Dollar Brain (Ken Russell), The Charge of the Light Brigade (Tony Richardson), The Collector (William Wyler), The Day the  Earth Caught Fire,  The Devil Rides Out (Terence Fisher), Hell is A City (Val Guest), A High Wind in Jamaica, Isadora & Night Must Fall (Karel Reisz), one of the early James Bond films,  Our Mother's House, Peeping Tom (Michael Powell), Performance, Quatermass and the Pit (Val Guest),, Repulsion (Roman Polanski), Seance on a Wet Afternoon (Bryan Forbes), The Servant (Joseph Losey), Two for the Road (Stanley Donen), Witchfinder-General (Michael Reeves). You could also pick a couple of directors say Joseph Losey, Seth Holt or Terence Fisher, Jack Cardiff or Ken Russell and do three films each for a more cohesive, though mini, retro.. or even David Lean (although he has been more widely seen).

 Geoff Gardner: The Criminal (Joseph Losey), The Innocents (Jack Clayton), Taste of Fear (Seth Holt) Peeping Tom, Cul de Sac (Roman Polanski),  Witchfinder-General.

National Film & Sound Archive matters (pardon the duplication if you have read this already). First a reminder that the NFSA’s final round of meetings about its Draft Strategic Plan, and more broadly its future directions and activities, conclude with meetings in Canberra on 3rd December and Sydney on 4th December. The Sydney meeting will be held in the AFTRS Theatre inside what used to be called Fox Studios and is now called The Entertainment Quarter starting at 9.30 am.

The three topics listed for discussion in Sydney are non-government sources of funding, footage sales and greater accessibility. The only feedback I have had from any participant anywhere from the Melbourne Adelaide and Perth meetings was from an attendee who, inter alia, said “I think the process has passed its use-by date. There were only about 20 there this time compared with about 80 at the first workshop”! Maybe the natural end is nigh and what we should quickly see is a final document and a full-blooded commitment towards getting things done.

In the meantime, as you would be aware other longstanding contributors to the film industry are developing thoughts and plans for a major re-location of the Archive. The plans are ambitious and involve a sinewy  and difficult mix of Commonwealth, State and philanthropic funding. If you would like to know more you can read a proposal prepared by producer Sue Milliken which has been posted on my Film Alert website here.

Historian Elizabeth Craig, the Co-ordinator of the Film & Broadcast Industries Oral History Group, has also circulated a most interesting contribution about one of the NFSA’s activities, the Oral History Program. Her paper first appeared in the NSW Oral History Association’s publication Voiceprint,  a subscription only site, and I have, with Elizabeth’s permission, posted it here.

 Finally just in case you might think that we are unique in having our cultural institutions squeezed for funds until the pips squeak here’s a salutary story about what the Brits are doing to the Imperial War Museum.
22 November 2014

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Highsmith's Final Stages

Back in the year 2000, when the remake of The Talented Mr Ripley (Anthony Minghella, UK, 2000) came out, I wrote a piece for Senses of Cinema (here) which began: In 1976 I met Patricia Highsmith at her house in Moret, a tiny village near Fontainebleau. The encounter did not last very long, perhaps three quarters of an hour, and did not lead to any enduring correspondence. Highsmith’s distraction at the presence of this Australian enthusiast was not allowed to last. I missed the local train back, walked all the way to Fontainebleau and allowed a couple of things to stick in the memory which I will refer to later. Let me start at the beginning.

Sometime early in the ’60s I saw the poster image of Alain Delon, stripped to the waist, impossibly handsome, at the wheel of a sailing boat, over the bold title Full Sun (not Purple Noon, as it was called in America). Then there was the film – a sleek glossy thriller, unlike any American film I knew, which to the innocent eye looked like a New Wave movie. It was a film whose characters have American names (like that of Charlie Kohler in Truffaut’s Tirez sur le Pianiste [Shoot the Pianist, 1960]). There was luscious location shooting, lots of slippery handheld camera work by Henri Decaë, loads of white and blue natural light. (Colour wasn’t a feature of the early New Wave pictures but I could not distinguish the films from each other then. After all, we were denied A Bout de Souffle [Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard, 1959] and any films by Rohmer or Rivette or Varda or Demy. For a while, those three little sex comedies with which Phillipe de Broca launched his career were, so were told, the essence of the French New Wave.) Full Sun (Plein Soleil, René Clément, 1959) featured an amoral hero of complete fascination. If ever a film turned an actor into a star it was this was one. Alain Delon as Tom Ripley seemed to epitomise so much beautiful grace, despite playing a character who was gauche and out of his depth socially. But his darting watchful eyes served a character who wanted to get inside other people’s skin. Delon was the epitome of the romantic bad boy at a time when amoral heroes in Chabrol’s films and Truffaut’s films were all the go – even without Belmondo’s Michel.

The source material only registered on a second viewing, a novel titled The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. I started reading Highsmith at a rapid rate. At that time she had published seven or eight novels which she once described, very simply somewhere, as books in which she studied the effects of guilt on her characters. Whether her characters had committed a crime or not, did not make much difference. One of the exquisite ironies of her narratives was that sometimes the most innocuous and innocent act would have the most devastating consequences. In others, elaborate facades, inevitably leading to murder, were erected by people whose psychology was so far off the rails as to render them impervious to any thought of apprehension. The Blunderer,  filmed in 1963 by Claude Autant-Lara (as Le Meurtrier, a film I’ve never seen), featured as its hero a man who buries a carpet in an attempt to simulate the feeling of burying his errant wife. This trivial stupidity leads to his doom. This Sweet Sickness, directed by Claude Miller in 1977, tells of a man who constructs an extraordinary separate existence for a woman who knows nothing of his infatuation.

Then there was the character of Tom Ripley, almost an antidote to the other Highsmith creations. Ripley is the street smart, smooth operator who feels no guilt at all, a man who can rationalise deceit, lies, criminal behaviour and even murder in a way not even the sharpest politician could equal. Highsmith’s opening lines of The Talented Mr Ripley quickly establish two things. Ripley is fearful of apprehension and he is already involved in a minor but elaborate piece of criminal confidence trickery.”

Tom glanced behind him and saw the man coming out of the Green Cage heading his way. Tom walked faster.

And a page or so later:

This raised his total in cheques to one thousand eight hundred and sixty three dollars and fourteen cents he calculated in his head. A pity he couldn’t cash them.

The little scam involves requests for money, cashing cheques and impersonation – all designed to show that Ripley can easily carry off the much bigger game of impersonating Dickie Greenleaf and living off his money. After Tom returns to his flat, having just got the job of going to Europe to retrieve Dickie, we read:

slowly he took off his jacket and untied his tie, watching every move he made as if it were somebody else’s movements he was watching

Already Ripley’s self-awareness, his ability to step outside himself and become another character, is set by quintessential Highsmith prose – flat, containing no superfluous adjectives yet conjuring up the image perfectly. The attraction of the prose for filmmakers has never diminished. (Hitchcock, Wim Wenders, Michel Deville, Hans Geissendorfer [twice] and Claude Chabrol have also filmed her novels, as has the BBC in a brilliant six part serial of the early ’70s adapted from A Dog’s Ransom.)

For years, Ripley existed in my mind in the image of Alain Delon, an image reinforced by the novels which followed: Ripley Underground and Ripley’s Game. I ignored the ending of René Clément’s film whereby the police net closed in right after the discovery of the body of the murdered Greenleaf (Phillipe in Full Sun, Dickie in the book and Anthony Minghella’s new screen adaptation [1999] which keeps the book’s title). Highsmith got Ripley off scot free, an ending apparently insufficient in drama for the filmmakers, both of whom go for a different take – Clément for the irony of the ’50s, Minghella for the ambiguity of the ’90s. For Highsmith there was just a momentary apprehensive sweat before he sails off to Greece, the beneficiary of Dickie’s will, a solitary psychopath of great fascination.

Which is a long way of telling the background to a recent evening at the Opera House’s Drama Theatre for a Sydney Theatre Company production of a new play by Joanna Murray-Smith titled Switzerland (directed by Sarah Goodes). The audience arrives to see an empty living room, spacious, tasteful. The look, because of the rather odd dimensions of the Drama Theatre, a great deal of width but little height and depth, reminds you instantly of a wide shot in good old 1:2.55 Cinemascope, the widest it ever got and hardly ever mastered by directors and photographers. The room is on a slight angle and the audience at the back of the theatre looks at it from slightly above, just as it might look at one of Kurosawa’s diagonals.

The character of Patricia Highsmith, a  brilliant physical impersonation by Sarah Peirse (and I reckon I might be one of a handful of Antipodeans who ever stood in something like similar surroundings to judge!), comes slowly down the stairs, neatly dressed in shirt and the chinos she loved to have Tom Ripley wearing. Not long after a young man barges in, deposits his luggage down and announces he is from her New York publisher and he aint leaving until he has her signature on a piece of paper signifying that she will write another Ripley novel, to go with the four already published. It was somewhat common publishing knowledge that in English at least, the Ripleys were Highsmith’s only sure fire money spinners. Whether an American publisher ever pursued her this hard is probably somewhat apocryphal especially given what she is reported to have said during a publicity tour in the US in 1992, the year she died.[1]

Never mind, the conceit fits perfectly and of course at every step Highsmith devotees recognise a reconfiguration of her own Ripley character, the young man who insinuates himself, lies and deceives and ultimately murders those who stand in his way. And so it goes. For one hour thirty five minutes the conversation rattles around Highsmith’s house, stripping out her character. It is a perfect capture of that wilful mixture of intelligence, prejudice and especially the hard-hearted business sense of the sole operator who has but a single skill to exploit and has developed a lot of rat cunning about how to do so.

Highsmith had an explosive ability to put a person down. She could be viciously vindictive and didn’t hold her tongue easily. So the young man finds. He’s determined too, notwithstanding being ordered out of the house on any number of occasions. He manages to stay overnight and after an hour the room darkens with its two characters exhausted. Not many seconds later it resumes.

Highsmith is refreshed, and refreshes herself further by suggesting a heart-starting beer to start the morning off. The boy/man has changed into a suit, light blue, very cool, more Ripley-like than his travelling garb seen previously. The battle for the signature resumes and its here we get the full on Highsmith, especially the ranter about race. In one of  her finest novels Edith’s Diary, Highsmith has the central character Edith write a letter to a local newspaper expressing the view that blacks are inherently or innately less intelligent than whites. Highsmith certainly believed that. She asked me if I thought it applied to the Australian Aborigine. (“Er no, I don’t think so” I gulped).

At the end of this sequence, there is another few seconds break before the final section of the play when Murray-Smith introduces her own wild fiction. It mixes Ripley, murder and sad demise and is a terrific and fitting ending. Telling more would spoil it and anyway I cant remember the details of just where this clever riff on Highsmith’s own fiction, her most intriguing literary creation, her sad final days as the combination of smoking, alcohol and cancer made things difficult to bear. As a theatrical spectacle though its exhilarating and like everyone there, greeted the actors at the end with what was quite an ovation.

[1] “Here in America they say get out, we’re not interested in the story, we don’t care about the quality, we’re looking at what the last books sold”  Quoted in Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith, p440, Andrew Wilson, Bloomsbury, London, 2003

Monday 10 November 2014

The general cinephile view, obtained from a random survey of both my friends, about the need to put on a British Film Festival, especially without any apparent co-operation from any Brit cultural partner (the only sponsor mentioned being an Arab airline,) is that this event is borderline between insult and injury. It does ensure that a number of films that will get released in the near future have a nice average ticket price bounce to the start of their box office careers but please, this event has to be the final word in why punters should start revolting. Following on from, this month alone in no particular order, the Japanese Film Festival (66 films), the Jewish Film Festival (40 films or so), the Baltic Film Festival, The Russian Resurrection Film Festival, (20 films), The Iranian Film Film Festival (an excellent six film selection but still almost entirely ignored by an media to my knowledge), Antenna Documentary Film Festival and a couple of others, the way ahead is clearly emerging. Identify a ‘niche’. Dont bother previewing. Dont expect reviews (though this week’s Weekend Financial Review did carry a report on the Palestinian Film Festival except it was an event held in London and the report was a reprint from the The Economist).  Most of all, if you can, find somebody who will tip in a bucket of money to cover expenses. It may be a government body, it may be an Arab airline but it’s all good. In the case of the somewhat ignominious Brit event who can blame Palace Cinemas themselves for developing and marketing it as part of their usually minimum $16 a ticket admission policy by which you only get movies at normal prices long after this circus has left  town. Maybe some blame should be spread around however for opportunities lost. A six film selection from the 60s as part of the inevitable retrospective consisted of Zulu, If..., The Italian Job (“a combination of action, humour, and anincontrovertible sense of style, that truly embodies the Swinging ‘60s”), Darling, Billy Liar and A Hard Day’s Night. Please.....the last named film is currently screening every day or so on a Foxtel channel using the excellent Criterion restoration. Surely trying to extract $28 admission from punters is way past what the market might bear.... but I wouldn’t know really.

Stop, please its madness..... and a waste of money.

....But notwithstanding this rant, Michael Loebenstein writes: Just to let you know if you're free and fancy a documentary film screening: I'm a discussant at a post-screening Q&A at the Jewish International Film festival (JIFF) here in Sydney on Mon 10 November at 7PM, for the documentary THE DECENT ONE. Although not involved with the film at all (which I haven't seen yet either!) Trevor Graham and I will discuss the ethical and aesthetical issues of using archive footage in documentaries. The local program notes for the film can be found here.

I missed an earlier opportunity to see the film at the Vancouver Film Festival. VIFF’s program note was as follows: On May 6,1945, soldiers of the 88th US Infantry Division occupied the family home of SS commander Heinrich Himmler in Gmund on Lake Tegernsee where they discovered hundreds of private letters, documents, journals and photographs. This chilling film makes use of these materials and copious archival footage to provide unique and at times uncomfortable access to the life and mind of the merciless "architect of the Final Solution” who committed suicide by cyanide pill while in British custody on May 23, 1945.The film’s title (which seems to require a question mark) comes from one of Himmler’s letters, in which he writes, “In life one must always be decent, courageous and kind-hearted.” How can a man be a hero in his own eyes and a mass murderer in the eyes of the world? How did this nationalistic lower-middle-class man become Hitler’s henchman responsible for developing and executing the strategies that led to the murder of millions of Jews, homosexuals, Communists and Romany people? Where did his ideology originate? Director Vanessa Lapa provides answers by using voice actors to read through dozens of chronologically presented letters and diary entries, so that audiences follow Himmler from his days as a student in Munich, where he developed his anti-Semitic beliefs, to his adherence to the burgeoning National Socialist party and his rise to the leadership of the SS. "Engrossing… A fascinating story."—Screen

...and further notwithstanding, Barrie Pattison has sent in notes about some films in the Russian event:  First, a chance to catch up with Mihkhalkov’s OBLOMOV.  Whether its content should ever have escaped type face is questionable. The care and skill they poured into it makes it impress tho the ending is really dragged out. Mikhalkov himself thought it was too long.  The film is overshadowed by his equally literary but even more accomplished UNFINISHED PIECE FOR MECHANICAL PIANO.  Elena Solovey does radiant in both. I discover she’s still working. There’s someone who should have had a better career. Interestingly, they did a new digital transfer and, while it wasn’t real sharp, the colours which were muddy in film copies, came up brilliant - the bottle of red cordial, the yellow light in the window in the hut on the ice or the ripe green of the grass fields. It's one of the things that drive it. Presumably the negative was boot leg Eastmancolor processed by their dodgy labs and, when you take it further into crummy by printing it on Sovcolor (East German Agfa), it shifts into the muddy end. Wish I’d seen MECHANICAL PIANO restored.

Karnavalnaya noch / Carnival Night/ Carnival in Moscow is not what I would have expected from Eldar Ryazanov, after the outstanding high serious Ruthless Romance. Interesting to see Igor Ilyinsky from the Protazanov silents staring in a film from the fifties. He's the bureaucrat trying to turn the New Year’s party, organized by those fixed smile thirty year old youngsters, into something more ideologically correct, with wannabe comic results. OK to see the performers with circus, ballet and operetta training deployed. A try for good production values and it moves along nicely. It is of course a Russkie equivalent of US films like Band Wagon or Mr. Big, touting the virtues of popular culture but the comparison makes it look strained. Never saw anything like this back in the day. Another better than film presentation though the tones are still muted against contemporary Technicolor.

Barrie has also passed on a note from film-maker Carmelo Musca about a TV screening of Carmelo’s new film: Hello Friends, I Hope this finds you.Tribal Scent screens on Wednesday 26th of November at 8.30pm on NITV (free to air ch34).

I am very proud of this film. A few weeks ago it screened in the market place at Cannes for MIPCOM TV in an article the editorial crew of Real Screen selected Tribal Scent as one of the stand out films, in their words......."The gorgeously shot Tribal Scent follows the journey of Noongar activist and aboriginal Renaissance man Dr. Richard Walley ....." Please tell all your friends to watch it. Thanks stay well. Carmelo

....and talking about the Russians brings us to...A world-wide petition is circulating regarding the treatment of Russian film archivist Naum Klejman who, with his dedicated staff, seem to be a victim of the vicious way things get played out in Putin’s Russia. An international shirtfront is proposed by way of a petition organised from somewhere in the British Film Institute. If you want to know more I (actually my techo-wiz brother) have posted some freely circulating documents on the Film Alert website. This includes an explanatory letter from the head of Bologna’s Cinteca Gian-Luca Farinelli. Please have a read and if you think there might be some injustice here have a look at the petition and its very heavyweight signatories and add your voice.

....and this being a week for rants, I pass on this letter of complaint from a punter unhappy at Event Cinemas treatment of various films from Asia recently screened: Dear Sir/Madam Twice in the past few weeks, I have been made aware of your company’s lack of information concerning some of the films you have been showing, mainly at your George St cinema complex.The first instance was when a Korean friend of mine told me about a film called Roaring Currents she had seen a couple of days beforehand; she recommended it to me, knowing of my love of cinema. This was on a Saturday so I referred to your full-page ad in the Sydney Morning Herald, only to find the film was not mentioned. Fortunately, I was able to find out screening times through your website. While the film was no classic, I was glad to see it. A week ago, the exact same scenario happened again, but this time via a different friend, for a China/Hong Kong film titled The Golden Era, which I saw last Wednesday. Once again, there was no mention in your Saturday newspaper ad. In addition, I have since learned that the recent screening of an Indian film has received the same (non)attention. I was going to say that you had treated that film, like the first two mentioned, in a cavalier fashion, but treating something in a cavalier fashion implies that there is something there; it is the complete opposite to your treatment of these films, which seems to be to ignore them. Why do you not advertise some films in your newspaper ad? You seem to spare no expense in advertising the latest Hollywood product. Why do you bother showing Asian films if you are not going to inform the public they are on? I’m not of Asian background but I am interested in seeing films from that part of the world. No other cinemas that I go to selectively advertise their offerings. . . 

I look forward to your explanation.


.... and for some interesting news,  you can go to a story in the New York Times  which suggests that all the legal difficulties regarding Orson Welle’s unseen last movie The Other Side of the Wind, made intermittently between 1970 and 1976 may have finally been resolved and the film might be shown sometime in 2015. Then if you read the comments sent in you might adjudge that this isn’t being entirely welcomed by fans, some of whom think it may harm Orson’s posthumous reputation somewhat. But everyone will want to see it so let’s get it on soon somewhere close at hand and then get out a splendid DVD.