Friday 11 April 2008

In the service of Cinema

I was engaged and moved by the gentle German documentary Comrades in Dreams which focuses on 4 sets of cinema projectionists in different locations and very different circumstances round the world, in the US, in India, Burkina Faso and North Korea. And particularly taken by the description by Hang Yong-sil, the only female Comrade Projectionist in the country of how she and her male co-worker at the People's Cultural Hall in a primarily agricultural region will grow old like "2 spry chicks on the frontline of film". Wish I felt even remotely similar at this stage in the proceedings.

Appropriately enough at the screening on Monday the film had not been properly rewound so we whiled away the time as the projectionist nobly did his or her business behind the scenes by trying to remember what other films focus on cinema, film, projectionists. Came up with some fairly obvious ones: Cinema Paradiso, The Smallest Show on Earth, The Last Picture Show, The Player, Peeping Tom, and there are some classic childhood reminiscences of the movies in Fellini's Amarcord. And key scenes in Lust, Caution too, come to think of it. Can anyone come up with any more?

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