Welcome back to a new year of cinema. I left the desk of 2017 not knowing what to expect for the remainder of December. In the mainstream world everything was about the latest Star Wars franchise with little else getting much of a look in. I had finally taken the approach of showing some of the best films at Watershed from the year. My thinking was that films like The Death of Stalin/Loving Vincent/Call Me By Your Name still had an audience and also this time of year was an opportunity for people to catch up on films they had not got round to seeing such as Moonlight & Get Out. The only new film which we opened over this period was Mountain which I wasn’t expecting much from. So it was a welcome surprise to see it doing healthy admissions over a difficult period. As a result I kept it running into early January and looking to keep it for a third week. Also pleased to say that the “catch up” with 2017 films played well to Watershed audiences with some great admissions particularly for Call Me By Your Name which seemed to suffer from a bit of audience apathy on its initial release. I’d certainly recommend a few screenings of it especially given BAFTA noms Best Director and Best Actor.
Also well worth mention over the Xmas and New Year period were good performances from the re-issue of Powell & Pressburger’s magical A Matter of Life and Death. Also, I finally got round to screening the Gloria Grahame double bill of The Big Heat and In A Lonely Place which again did better than I was anticipating. Audiences can clearly see a good value double-blll.
The first full cinema week of 2018 kicked off with Hungarian Jupiter’s Moon, Bulgarian Glory, Chilean Rey with mindfulness documentary Walk With Me (following previews from 1st Jan) and Mountain continuing for a 2nd week. Pleased and relieved to say that we had good audiences all round. Walk With Me and Mountain took the lion’s share but even the experimental Rey on single shows still managed to attract respectable admissions.
Roll on 2018……….