International feature film exhibit
We are living in a time of large film platforms (also used for other audiovisual content) in streaming, home cinema, nights of blankets and pizza. The screens in our homes have grown to unthinkable sizes, sound has evolved and series have become glued to the retinas of audiences across the globe. Nothing however, seems incompatible with the possibility of watching films on even bigger screens, alongside other people who infect us with their laughter, tension and emotions. With the mobile phones out of the way, no calls, no interruptions of any kind. The experience of watching films in the darkness of a theatre continues to have something intangible about it, something full of charm and warmth.
It is difficult to compare the visual and emotional experience of watching The Shape of Water in a movie theatre with watching it as an entertainment product at home. Neither would we be outraged and motivated to get behind Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. And a historical documentary such as the colossal Cold War would not make us feel that same mix of beauty and sadness. Navigating the psychological and sophisticated depths of that free recreation of Balenciaga called The Phantom Thread requires the enchanted vessel which is a movie theatre. The candour and beauty of adolescent first love in rural Italy is almost palpable in the Mediterranean (yet with the delicately British script of James Ivory) and sensual Call me by your name. And the contagious energy, fun and tenderness of Champions ricochets through the audience at the theatre.
With no nostalgic intent, but rather armed with the certainty that good films, when seen at the theatre, become great films, we are inviting our audience to leave the blanket at home and experience cinema in all its grandeur, the best crop of the year, at this new edition of the International Feature Film Exhibit.