The upcoming year holds many opportunities to celebrate these milestones, but my goal with this announcement is to herald a new, ongoing film series that starts this month: Essential Cinema. This series will give us a chance to re-visit some of the most notable films of our first twenty-five years, and to celebrate repertory cinema in general by screening some of the best movies of all time.
This idea has been stewing on the back burner for a while now. Ironically, it has been made more possible by our new digital projection equipment and the growing list of previously unavailable film prints now available as newly minted digital copies.
The recently established Guelph Movie Club (GMC) has also proven to be an inspiration for the Essential Cinema series. The GMC grew out of audience demand for older movies to be shared in a theatrical setting, and all GMC films are chosen by the moviegoers themselves. Yes, the titles are often available in other viewing formats, but the GMC mandate was for public screenings and informal gatherings before and/or after shows to gather and talk about movies. The initial GMC choices have leaned in the direction of relatively recent Hollywood titles (although who knows what members might pick in the future); the birth of the Essential Cinema series is, in part, a response to frequent requests for older or more international film choices. Regardless of the programming format, one thing is certain, and that is the shared enjoyment of publicly-screened classic movies.
We are launching the series with two notable films from our first year of operation. Wim Wender's award-winning Wings of Desire (Apr 9 & 10) delighted Bookshelf audiences during what was just our second program of Sept/Oct 1988.
And the following year we brought Steven Soderbergh's debut film to Guelph: sex, lies and videotape (Apr 30) is largely seen as the film that started the indie filmmaking movement in the US and is still considered the template for the hundreds of filmmakers working outside of the Hollywood studio system today.
There you have it, the cinema programming birth of a notion.
Join us in this celebration of cinema history, brought to life onscreen in your local rep cinema.
Hoping to see you in the dark,