It's been, to my surprise and minor delight, 10 years since I started
this page devoted to films - since then the whole term "film" has taken on a rather antiquated form, when so much of it is actually digital - in America, of course, they have always been called "movies". An astonishingly large number of those movies have been watched only mere inches from where I am blogging now - on a computer. Without YouTube
or the like, we would without a few interesting cinematic gems or oddities.
Movies are still movies, thank goodness, for all their cliches and their flaws. In spite of certain popular notions that franchises and blockbusters rule everything, a look back over the last 10 years shows that there are still interesting films being made, at just the same ratio as they used to be made in relation to commercial studio product. The growth in the number of multiplexes and mass distribution are two key factors that make it look that the popcorn movies are taking over, when this may well be an illusion. The popcorn films still by and large get passed over for the more highbrow choices at awards' time.
Cinema is definitely becoming the minority interest, despite, we are told, increased cinema attendances. It proves that the appetite for movies is still there, but the diet is rather limited. Fast food cinema outweighs quality eating, although noticeably some of the arthouse circuits are trying to make cinemas boutique and leisurely experiences, almost akin to sitting in living rooms on sofas than gathering with a mass audience. And just sometimes, those big movies have a more than a crumb of intelligence behind them.
One heartening aspect of the last 10 years is to compare the number of new
cinema venues (especially at a local and community level) that have outweighed by far the number of older venues visited in this blog that have since had to close:
OLD (now closed) NEW
Empire Leicester Square (Screen 1) Apollo West End/Vue
Notting Hill Coronet Piccadilly
Odeon West End Hackney Picture House
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith Headgate Theatre
Regent Street Cinema
Rich Mix Centre, Bethnal
Showcase De Lux
South Hill Arts Centre,
Servicemen's Club (former
With hopes for the next 10 years, whilst the good ship cinema stills bravely on, in spite of its many competitors and secret enemies.
Odeon Leicester Square, just after seeing Rogue One