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





15 thoughts on “Film night – April 2017 And a right fashion fail! Plus, it’s all about programming!

  • 25th April 2017 at 7:45 am

    We have trouble in finding suitable films for our aging filmgoers. The ones we like to watch are not what they want to see. So it’s personal preference aside ~ which is correct. We did have a joke, somewhat close to the truth, that for a film to work for our club these criteria must be adhered to ~ no sex, no violence, no swearing and must contain a National Treasure preferably Judy Dench! Still, it makes fun conversation between us as to suitability and we do slip in something a little “different” from time to time!

    • 25th April 2017 at 7:54 am

      Hi there and simply great to meet another person running a film club/society. Yes, we never show our favourite films, which are, btw, science fiction, mainly, although we slipped in The Martian this season which was well received. I totally agree about what would suit older people and we’ve had negotiations with an older people’s forum to run matinees for older people (mind you I’m 71!!!!) which would include the ubiquitous national treasure – don’t forget Maggie Smith! Actually looking forward to seeing Their Finest with Bill Nighy, that could be eminently suitable. However, our audience can take edgy films and our most popular films are foreign films. Before we moved into the larger hall I had to turn people away from one foreign film – this surprises people as you wouldn’t think this of where I live. But there really is an appreciative audience for (new) foreign films in our small town which is great! So glad to meet you!

  • 25th April 2017 at 7:54 am

    I like the look but yes a bit black and better with Boots.

    I have a very similar skirt I got in a charity shop in Great Dunmow it’s originally from Whistles.

    The film sounds like a must although heartbreaking, I will try and watch it later today.

    Happy Charity shopping!

    • 25th April 2017 at 8:00 am

      The film’s not as heartbreaking as you think – apart from the scenes of war and their long trek to a refugee camp (which I think is highly educational) it’s actually very sweet natured and lovely. Yes, do give it a go x

  • 25th April 2017 at 11:36 am

    I do empathize with finding quality films for us over-50 movie lovers. As Lynn said above, anything with Maggie Smith or Bill Nighy will usually suit me just fine! I think all black is dramatic and artsy, and I think you look terrific (but do add boots, yes). Thanks for linking, xo.


    • 26th April 2017 at 7:17 am

      Patti, I found the most amazing black boots yesterday – will definitely post about those very soon!

  • 25th April 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I love the outfit – perfect for your evening out. I am a fan of black-it goes with everything and goes anywhere. ?

    • 26th April 2017 at 7:18 am

      Thank you so much, Eugenia. The skirt is really great, it was just the shoes, and I’ve found a pair of great charity shop boots – will feature them soon!

  • 25th April 2017 at 2:56 pm

    When I first saw your photos I thought “wow!” I thought you looked very glam. I could see there was a little sparkle going on, and all-black works for glam events. But seeing your comments a pair of killer studded boots would look fab with the outfit.

    One of my friends runs a similar film club to yours and they’ve just shown a “thinking” sci-fi film, Arrival. I’ve seen it and it’s definitely a different spin on aliens who come a-calling.

    • 26th April 2017 at 7:21 am

      Gail, I found some amazing boots which I’ll feature soon. And yes, we’ve seen Arrival, which is good because yes, it’s an intelligent take on aliens and science fiction. Loved Amy Adams.

  • 26th April 2017 at 11:19 am

    Hi Penny! Love the skirt but I agree that boots will probably enhance the look. I can’t help but love a ‘rock chick’ look and I can’t imagine I’ll ever stop wearing black. I don’t care if the ‘experts’ say one shouldn’t wear black over a certain age… wear what you like!
    As for films, I must admit I have a very eclectic taste and I adore films with subtitles, not just French ones. On a completely random note, have you ever seen/shown ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ ?

    • 28th April 2017 at 7:45 am

      I’ve found some great boots!

      I have seen The Grand Budapest Hotel. And we’ve showed it. Thought it wonderfully typical of the director Wes Anderson. Do you know what I love about him – he makes films that have that ‘perfect square’ look. As well as the TGBH go back to, for instance, Moonrise Kingdom (don’t you love Bruce Willis in his too short trousers) also shown in a previous season, and watch for the shots which are numerous of those ‘squares’. Very Wes Anderson. I just totally swoon in admiration.

  • 27th April 2017 at 1:52 am

    Hi Penny, I loved this outfit and thought the shoes looked great with it. I wear a lot of black, probably less than I did a few years ago but feel my most confident when I’m dressed in black……even though my husband says I always look like I’m either going to a casual or dressy funeral (after 44 years its too late to trade him in!)

    • 28th April 2017 at 7:47 am

      I do like that remark! Black is a wonderful colour, but in the spring personally I also like green. Absolutely always wear what suits, I think, and if it’s black, great!

      • 30th April 2017 at 7:59 am

        Feel free to use my husband’s quote……..I wore jackets or suits all my working life and found it very difficult to transition from “that look”….so much so I still have my favourite in spare wardrobe even though they no longer fit…….I try to stay “smart” but difficult as chemo put so much weight on me and my hair grew back so different to the way it was (I always thought my hair my best feature – vanity thy name is woman)….I find it so important to look my best when visiting my drs as if you don’t, they think you have given up (my theory has been confirmed by one of my Specialists) so no matter how long it takes me to present my best face and look I do it before appointments……so enjoy your posts – please keep them coming xx

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