Another month, another film night. We showed The Good Lie, and I hesitate to say, starring Reese Witherspoon, as that’ll give you entirely the wrong impression as the film tells the story of four young Sudanese refugees and their life during and just after the Sudanese war (which started in 1998 and went on for years). There are great performances from Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany and Emmanuel Jal as the older versions of Mamere, Jeremiah and Paul. We see their village destroyed, their families killed and their long trek to a refugee camp in Kenya. And finally, after a decade in the camp, their life in America. Based on real events (but not a real story) it’s only towards the last half of the film you meet Reese Witherspoon who is their social worker who helps them get jobs.
Sounds a bit dour, a bit earnest? Seriously, it’s a great film with, yes, some parts a hard watch. But several people left saying it ought to be compulsory viewing to anyone who whinges about refugees. We have no idea how the other half of the world lives – and I’m not using those words lightly. But the film is also quite lovely and sweet-natured and best of all, you see life in America from Mamere, Jeremiah and Paul’s point of view. You’ll finish watching this film feeling moved and humbled by people surviving extraordinary challenges and difficulties, and without giving the game away, it is a ‘good lie’! Do look out for it.
I’ll show you the clothes I wore. Actually, I didn’t get the lighting right but, gosh, what a fashion fail. Not sure why I’m showing you the pics below. But on the other hand, why always show you me at my best? Yes, I wasn’t all that pleased with the outfit. And I so miss my faithful bootees. I rummaged through my wardrobe and found a ‘dainty’ pair of shoes, but to my eyes, they don’t look right, at all. I’m off on a search now to get some look-alike Alexander McQueen studded and very goth boots. Much more me!!!
Those shoes are awful! And everything is too black.
Also, the way I put the outfit together shows you what not defining a waist does. It thickens it.
So, no matter what your size. Always attempt to wear something that goes in at the waist. I liked the skirt though, as the photos don’t do justice to the sequins that sparkled as the light caught them – I do like a bit of bling!
I’m continuing this post to comment on what it takes to run a ‘film society’. I am, btw, optimistic that our film society will continue, but this post is not about that. It’s about ‘programming’ films. OK, the thing is, every now and then we get what I’d call a polite enquiry about running our film society. It goes like this. ‘Well, what does it take?’ You start telling them, and you just get the tiniest feeling they’re not on the same wavelength. And the reason? People think it’s all about the ‘night’ and putting out chairs. Or, we get asked how we choose the films. But, almost in the same breath, this comes up. ‘When would you, or would you, show Cinema Paradiso? Or Jean de Florette and Manon de Source? Or Citizen Kane?’ And at that point, I want to bang my head on a metaphorical table. Because i) those films come up again and again and again, and, tbh, this is boring, because ii) it’s absolutely not about showing your favourite old films! The thing is we only show one film a month. We have only one chance to get it right and we know our audience really appreciates new films that they’ve just missed and/or new films that have gone under the radar. As in, not big mainstream films.
Honestly, we’re ever so polite (could be MOH or me). We describe the process. It’s about programming new films along with knowing your audience. Each season a short-list of 30 films is drawn up, and then a cross-section of the audience votes for them. ‘But how do you find out about all these films?’ Well, it’s going to the cinema, reading all the reviews in specialist magazines and newspapers, listening to podcasts, streaming from Netflix, Amazon or Curzon if you’ve missed them, and watching approximately 2-3 films a week throughout the year, apart from holidays. Because to programme you must watch all the short-listed films to know they’re worthy of the short-list. For instance, the film ‘The Good Lie’ was at an independent local cinema for one week, and we missed it, so we watched it when it came out on Netflix and thought what a great film.
Yes, throughout the year, you have to be on the hunt for films. And that’s what it takes to run a film society! And, really, truly – hunting for films is great fun! However, time to move on and that’s the situation at the moment.
That’s all for now, but do tell me, are any of you avid film fans like we are?
Penny, the frugalfashionshopper
P.S. I’ve just re-read this and thought I must sound a bit severe, as in, why am I not more grateful re: the people enquiring about Cinema Paradiso (which is a totally beautiful film) but once the favourite old film is shown, then what?
P.P.S. Sharing with:
Catherine of Not dressed as Lamb and her iwillwearwhatilike session
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style and her Visible Monday session