Films are best on a screen

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Musing on the problems besetting Matlock Film Society (Nature of films is the problem) Pat Batstone questions the need for people to leave the comfort of their own home to see a film.

I would question this assumption.

Watching a film at the cinema, as part of an audience, is a very different experience from that which you have in your own home.

Firstly, there is the added dimension to be gained by viewing the film as part of a wider group. We are, let us remind ourselves, social animals and take comfort and support from being with others. Secondly, viewing a film at home can be interrupted by telephone calls, knocks at the front door, requests from spouse and/or off-spring for refreshments etc.

Pat Batstone also attributes “the obscure nature of some of the films listed” as a major factor in Matlock Film Society’s fall of audience numbers.

Whilst I would agree that there is little sense in screening films that would only attract one man and his dog, the alternative is not to screen films that are exclusively Hollywood blockbusters.

There is a wealth of films available and a major role for any film society is to provide a rich variety of films for its members.

Darley Dale Film Society, for example is screening ten films during its 2011-2012 season. The season opened with The King’s Speech a film that I am sure would meet Pat Batstone’s request for popular films to be screened locally.

However, the programme of films also includes four foreign films - two French, one Indian and one Japanese.

These films are being screened because (a) they are excellent films and are worth seeing; (b) they are not readily accessible at local cinemas.

As Chairman of Darley Dale Film Society, I would like to invite Pat Batstone, as my guest, to a screening of Departures on Thursday, April 12.

Departures is a Japanese film whose story is based around a young man’s initiation into the undertaking business.

Whilst the subject matter may not be an obvious one, the film conveys warmth, affection, poignancy and humour.

In short it is a great film, and one that is all the better for being viewed with friends in a cinema setting.

Ed Runham

Two Dales