A Town Called Panic
I’ll keep it short for this week’s second in my new as-regular-as-I-can-remember-it’s-Friday-and-I-need-to-write-one feature, which is simply intended to advise you the best ways to spend the upcoming cinematic week. This weekend, the 30th Cambridge Film Festival draws to a close, and those lovely people who organise it have had the wonderful idea of giving you a second chance to see a couple of the best films already shown this year.
Monsters – Showing today (Friday 24th September) at 14:00
A lovingly crafted, well constructed hybrid of monster movie, road movie and love story, people are trying to compare it to all of those but this feels fresh, original and both epic and intimate.
A Town Called Panic – Showing tomorrow (Saturday 25th September) at 20:00
A piece of surreal madness and wonderment by two Belgian animators about three oddball characters on an odyssey to get the walls of their house back from undersea fish monsters.
And if that’s not enough, there’s still the last part of the Millennium Trilogy, the 3D directorial debut of The Matrix’s fight co-ordinator, an Oscar-nominated animated movie, the surprise film and over two dozen other treats if you’ve got the time. So if you’re in the area, do yourself a favour and try to get to something before it’s all over for another year.
And even if you can’t, then some other Festival highlights, including Winter’s Bone and World’s Greatest Dad, are on at the Arts Picturehouse from Monday. You really have no excuse for not seeing something good this week now.
Nearly two weeks ago, I had a wonderful weekend at the Empire / BFI Movie-Con in London. Among the movie previews, trailers and Q & A sessions, there were some unexpected treats, not least for this Belgian animated movie from last year, soon to receive a limited cinematic run in this country.
The most refreshing thing about this trailer for me was not only the wonderfully off-the-wall, absurdist humour, but the fact that the trailer itself was in French with English subtitles. I get the same thrill each time a foreign language film has a trailer which sticks to its principles and its original language, which sadly isn’t always. I’ve now seen 71 movies in a cinema this year, and a fair proportion of those have been not in the English language. The list is currently as follows:
Friggatriskaidekaphobia. Also known as paraskevidekatriaphobia. Two ridiculously long words, one common condition; a fear of Friday the 13th. The powers that be, for reasons best known to themselves, had decided to start this year’s festivities on the Friday night, meaning that my one and only phobia was likely to get another outing. I don’t know what it is, it certainly isn’t rational, but although I don’t believe any supernatural force is acting to always make that day worse for me, something statistically speaking is out of whack in terms of my much higher propensity to bad luck on that day.
Certainly, the day arrived with an unexpected change. My draw winner, Fever Dog, had to drop out of the ticket he’d bought, resulting in a final week flurry of activity on the forum. Of the remaining three people in my draw, the next two had secured tickets and the last couldn’t make it at such short notice, which left only the Empire forum as a source of a replacement. Thankfully, there was a stag do of 1 that could become 2 thanks to my intervention, so HASHBROWN76 took on the role of Fever Dog for the weekend.
My plan, due to the need to be at home every night to do certain household jobs and also to sleep in my own bed, was in theory simple. I hired a car for the weekend at very low rates, which was upgraded to a Corsa free of charge (woo hoo!), and had the plan in place. Start work around 7 a.m., so I could then finish around three, drive down to Newbury Park tube station, park up the car for the very reasonable price of £2.70, then tube into London, possibly disembarking at Hoburn to allow me a casual stroll through London on a warm summer evening to arrive at the venue at around five for pre-con drinks and general socialising with all the lovely people from the forum, who had already collectively started calling themselves Forumites.