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Rod White introduces the November 2015 brochure

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Mon 2 Nov 2015

Rod White introduces the November 2015 brochure

Scotland Loves...

As I write this we've just had our annual Scotland Loves Anime weekend, and true to expectation had one of our busiest weekends on record. When we held the inaugural SLA back in 2010 and decided to name it Scotland Loves Anime, we really didn't know whether Scotland really did love anime or not, but having taken that (albeit informed) leap of faith, I reckon we've proved beyond any reasonable doubt that it does.

So... the name can be seen as some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, and I've been thinking about perhaps adopting such nomenclature across the board to build up the audiences for other things we do. Scotland Loves French Cinema, or Scotland Loves German Cinema (to name but two national cinemas being showcased this month) or, even, Scotland Loves Hardcore Portuguese Art House Cinema (there is one in this programme) but I'd be stretching credibility there, perhaps.

If there is a downside to hosting a 'festival' that sells out every show over the weekend, it's that it necessitates the use of our biggest screen to the exclusion of all other films, and this time around Suffragette, a film doing numbers that would warrant our biggest screen, had to be relegated to a smaller one. Apologies to all who were turned away, but it really is essential to us that we can maximise our income by putting each film into the screen best suited to the likely scale of its audience. (Indeed, if you ever come along to see a film expecting a different screen than the one it's in, this is nearly always the reason why we have moved it.) We obviously have to set the dates of such a thing (SLA) quite far in advance and so are at the mercy of the film release schedules as to what else lands on that weekend. It was looking good for a while with the aforementioned Suffragette set for the 30th of October until Sony set SPECTRE for release on the 26th and Suffragette's distributor felt the understandable need to not go into direct competition with it and moved it to the 12th very late in the day. So it goes.

Looking to put pressure on our Screen One this month is Dame Maggie in The Lady in the Van, Nicholas Hytner's film of Alan Bennett's play, adapted by the author and based on an incident in his own life, when, as the title and star might suggest, an elderly lady in a van took residence in his London street... Funny, poignant and hugely enjoyable. Brooklyn tells, in classical style, the tender, bittersweet and ultimately very moving tale of a young Irish girl (played by Saoirse Ronan) who ups sticks to New York in the 50s, based on the bestselling novel by Colm Tóibín. Toward the end of the month comes Steven Spielberg's deeply satisfying, Coen brothers-scripted biographical Cold War espionage thriller Bridge of Spies, which stars Tom Hanks as a noble New York lawyer hired to defend a supposed Soviet agent, played by our very own top thesp, Wolf Hall's Mark Rylance.

On top of the national seasons mentioned above we've an [almost] week of Greek Cinema, Ridley Scott's hugely enjoyable The Martian (screening in both 2D and 3D versions), Iranian state-banned filmmaker Jafar Panahi's impish and outraged Taxi Tehran, and a couple of ace documentaries: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution which tells the history of the revolutionary black nationalist movement founded in the 1960s; and Listen to Me Marlon, which chronicles the life of the man (Brando, that is) through the hundreds of hours of the great man's self-help tapes.

Rod White, Head of Filmhouse

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