Why is film club like an organic veg box? Don’t worry, we’re not gearing up to show Forrest Gump or anything rash like that. But bear with us and we’ll elucidate…
It’s just that in order to operate as a film club we have to be legal, which means having a specific licence for every film we show. Which is really expensive, as a single title license will generally not leave you much change from £100. So because we started on a shoestring, we chose an “umbrella” licensing scheme which is a bit more economical and allows us to show lots of films – as long as they are produced by companies covered by that licensing agency. It also means that we can only show these films to members, hence the membership system.
So far, so good – except that every time we want to show a particular film, or are asked if we can screen such-and-such, we have to check it with our licensing agency, who don’t actually have a database where you can look up what’s available. Each title has to be checked individually. We love MPLC and they have been good to us, but what a totally bonkers system. So we have to phone or write with a wish-list to see if we can show specific films, and then they get back to us to say Yes or No. Sometimes this takes a really long time. But hey, these little things are the nuts and bolts of film club. So this is where the veg box analogy comes in, as we don’t always know in advance what we can definitely show, and rather than hand-pick selected titles, we may have to concoct a whole programme around unknown quantities. Sometimes it seems that none of our first choices are possible. So sometimes it will be like getting a whole load of purple sprouting broccoli and at other times it’ll be nothing but potatoes, and globe artichokes that do terrible things to your insides!
This month it’s all gone bit mis-shapen as we had planned to show Icelandic film “Cold Fever”, but the licence to screen it in the UK is not currently available. So it’s back to the drawing board and because we’re not operating on full cylinders at the moment with Alison away, we’ve picked something completely different from the list of films we know we’re covered for. All will be revealed in the “Coming Up” page this weekend, so look out, and start getting your cinematic tastebuds ready for a different flavour….