The World of Cinema

By Bella Pallett

As the tall American walked along the bustling street, the crowd surged around him. Feeling overwhelmed he pushed through to the corner and walked along to a street that was empty. Gazing along the empty road he was taken aback by the space where once stood one of his favourite venues.   

Now long abandoned, the movie theatre once stood tall and grand. Inside the crumbling plaster, he could just about make out the sight of the crushed velvet seats and they transported him back to a distant memory of sweet-smelling popcorn.

Remembering the feeling of his first loves’ lips kissing his for the very first time before getting lost in the plot of the first-ever Star Wars movie and his feelings, the nostalgia hit him instantly and he sighed in disbelief at the remains of the location of his memory.   

The craft of movie-making has been long established due to the strong power of immersion that movies hold. But creating the right atmosphere to allow the viewer to become deeply engaged in the magic of the movie is the real craft. Having the right surroundings such as intimacy, warmth and cocooning, allows for the plot to become much more real and meaningful, making the movie that much more significant to its audience.   

In the early days of movie theatres, once the ‘talkies started’ massive speakers were used to ensure not a single word of the movie could be missed. This improvement in sound gave way to the Golden Age of Hollywood where more movie theatres were created and they became the principal form of popular entertainment and welcomed millions of people each week to immerse themselves in the craft of film.

However, due to rapidly improving technology such as streaming services, the once-popular culture has dwindled and many movie theatres have become transformed into venues for different purposes such as bingo halls, fitness centres and flea markets.

Prolific French photographer duo Marchand/Meffre, who began their collaboration in 2002 exploring Parisian relics, are celebrating the tattered remains of hundreds of movie theatres across America in a new major project, Movie Theaters.   

Not only placed in every American city but town too, the grandiose movie palaces were constructed during the early heyday of the entertainment industry. Now stood abandoned and empty, this project aims to capture the once-glorious culture and craft that now resembles crumbling plaster and abandoned concession stands.   

Using a large-format camera, the images are carefully composed by the photographers to consist of a range of landscape exteriors to shockingly beautiful close-ups. Printed with luxurious inks, this brand new book for the American movie palace is bound to be a modern-day classic that celebrates a dying craft.

Plenty of perfectly crafted films are just around the corner in case you need inspiration for something to watch now that cinemas have reopened. Or watch from the comfort of your own home using streaming platforms if you fancy a night in.

Films

Disappearance at Lake Elrod

A missing daughter’s mother hunts for the truth behind her disappearance just as another girl disappears, this crime thriller is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

EDICIUS

Ambitious lawyer, Jason, is shocked to discover his life is on the line when he learns the truth behind his most powerful client. When he gets a visit from his intuition, a man identical to him, he has to learn to trust him to survive.

The Viewing Booth

Exclusively screening at the ICA, this film is a one-of-a-kind cinematic testimony to the psychology of the viewer in a digital era through questioning the simple act of watching in a society filled with manipulated images.

Dune

In cinemas from the 21st of October, ‘Dune’ tells the story of a gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding as he must travel to one of the dangerous planets in the universe to ensure the future for his family and people.

The Nowhere Inn

When musician St. Vincent hires her friend Carrie Brownstein to film a backstage documentary about her music, touring life and public persona, the pair quickly discover unpredictable forces lurking within both the subject and filmmaker that threaten to derail their friendship, the project, and the duo’s creative lives. 

Lost Kings

Searching for food, a desperate boy breaks into a neighbourhood home. But when the homeowners return, he becomes trapped inside with those he’s stealing from.

Memory Box

Maia, a single mother, lives with her teenage daughter, Alex. On Christmas Eve, they receive an unexpected delivery: notebooks, tapes, and photos Maia sent to her best friend from 1980’s Beirut. Between fantasy and reality, Alex enters the world of her mother’s tumultuous and passionate adolescence during the Lebanese civil war.

No Sudden Move

A group of small-time criminals are hired to steal what seems to be a simple document. But as their plan goes drastically wrong, they find themselves lead through all echelons of the race-torn and rapidly changing city.

Shepherd

After the mysterious death of his wife, Eric Black runs from his grief and takes a job as a shepherd. Trapped alone on a majestic, weather-beaten island, he keeps an ominous secret.

Champion

Michael is a boxer whose fight to the top is unhampered by ethics or gratitude. To his fans, he is a hero, but to his friends, he is known to be a selfish egomaniac. As his life is threatened by an angry mob, he has to return to the ring to face his biggest opponent, himself.

Short Films

MOUSIE

Hiding in a decaying Weimer Cabaret Club, 7-year old Roma girl Hélène hides from the Nazis and hopes to escape to America.

Play it Safe

Coaxed into playing a racial typecast in a fellow student’s play, Jonathon is faced with the decision to either challenge prejudice or to play it safe.

FRIMAS

A woman is forced to decide whether to end her pregnancy in a country where abortion is banned. Deciding to seek out the services of an illegal abortion clinic, she is faced with devastating repercussions.

Ganef

Spooked by a dark tale from her mother’s Holocaust past, a little girl begins to believe that her adored house cleaner is a sinister thief.

I Am

Withdrawn Noè finds a motionless android in the forest and decides to reactivate it, not knowing that the android will copy her identity as their strange relationship unfurls.

Forbidden To See Us Scream In Tehran

Focussing on an Iranian woman who wants to instigate change organises an underground concert. Shedding light on the reality of banned Western music in Iran and the restrictions on women performing publically, this film highlights the current situation for Iranian women.

Footsteps On The Wind

This animated short film focuses on the reality of refugees and climate change by telling the story of two siblings who go on a mysterious journey after losing their parents and experiencing a devasting earthquake.

CRACKA

This alternate history short aims to push back at racism through the use of media. A present-day white supremacist is mysteriously transported back into an alternate past where African Americans rule the land and whites are enslaved. 

Free Fall

As the first plane hits the World Trade Centre on the morning of September 11th 2001, Tom is convinced that it is a terrorist attack and not an accident.

Americanized

Focusing on important themes including cross-cultural relationships, acceptance, and self-discovery, Americanized focuses on an Asian female basketball player who struggles to fit in, both on and off the court, as she finds her way between two cultures.

Film Festivals & Streams

DC Fandome

DC Fandome celebrates the stars and creators of DC’s upcoming feature films on Saturday, October 6th with the brand new streaming event.

Climate Crisis Film Festival

Presenting the raw human experiences of climate change, this film festival hopes to show an intersectional analysis of climate, politics, economics and social justice.

With all this information we can indulge in some movie magic, from the books on the iconic buildings to the stories told within them or even just a bit of a film night at home, the world of cinema awaits.

If you enjoyed reading The world of Cinema, read In Film, In Time here.

Buy the book, Movie Theaters here.