So your local film society or independent cinema is showing something you have never heard of. Totally off your radar. You’re interested in movies, because you are a 21st century dude and have a living soul. But why would you leave the comfort of the sofa, the television, the myriad of streaming possibilities available right there in your living room, stuff you have heard of and know that on some level it’s safe. A known quantity. Why would you leave your comfort zone and take a risk with something new?
1. Trust the experts. Or, have a reason to disagree with them. Either way, if you’re interested in films, you’ll expand your knowledge. Most film clubs choose their titles carefully and programme films that they think their audience will enjoy. There are lots of good films that have gone out of mainstream circulation for various reasons, and film clubs have the flexibility to revive them.
The rapid growth of independent cinema exhibition is a brilliant thing, it means that there’s more interest in unusual, cult and forgotten films and more chances to see them. And there’ll usually be an opportunity to talk about it afterwards in friendly, informal surroundings.
2. You can see a good film in good company for under a fiver! So what if you don’t know what to expect? It’s just 2 hours out of your life. Seriously, what else would you be doing with that 2 hours? The ironing? Watching TV? Farting about on the internet?
3. You will meet cool people. People interested in local culture, making things happen, unusual venues and independent screenings. And yes some of these people may be film geeks – but film geeks are cool people too, right?
4. Sometimes you just have to take a punt. This could be the film that changes your life…
5. If you’re not already a film expert yourself, by seeing the more obscure titles you’ll be well on the way to becoming one. You start to want to share your new-found knowledge and enthusiasm. You talk to other film lovers and exchange opinions. That can be a lot of fun. You might want to investigate other hidden gems and share those, and before you know it, you could be hatching plans to start your own film club…