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Rod White introduces the December 2015 brochure

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Tue 24 Nov 2015

Rod White introduces the December 2015 brochure

"IT’S CH-R-I-I-I-I-S-T-M-A-A-A-A-A-A-S...!" - N. Holder, 1973

Some people's "most wonderful time of the year", full of days off work, family gatherings, drinking and general merriment; and for others a time of compulsory and enforced jollity, family gatherings and not being able to go to work. We have a few of the latter here, for sure. Choosing to ignore those seasonally-unadjusted few (though there is one film in there chosen with them in mind), our December programme is, as has become the custom, packed with films aimed at getting you right in the mood for the holidays ahead. Some of them we show just about every year, others are making their Christmas at Our House! (as we call the 'strand') debuts. One of the latter, Trading Places, may be the film I have seen more times than any other, so oft on the telly has it been over the years and so hard I have found it to 'channel-hop' past it. Don't tell anyone, but I actually love it. I've never seen it in a cinema though so this is a rare opportunity for all of us in that particular boat to put it right. You are welcome. As has also become something of a tradition, there's a whole host of Scottish films on around New Year, in partnership with our friends at Edinburgh's Hogmanay.

Speaking of seasonal cinema, there's a minor phenomenon goes on in Glasgow every year in the run up to the 25th. Our sister cinema, if I may call them that, the Glasgow Film Theatre, shows It's a Wonderful Life every year for a couple of weeks, and last year saw audiences upward of 8000. We, on the other hand, managed around 1500. What's up with that?! Are we short on Christmas cheer here in the East? Are we so jaded? So tone deaf to the sound ofan angel getting its wings? Too sure the world's a better place with us in it to be able to empathise with a man who has lost sight of it? Let's get with the (Filmhouse December) programme and see if we can challenge for IAWL supremacy. It may well be our civic duty.

As the world awaits the new Star Wars film, ours is, as ever, to take the road less travelled. Sunset Song is Terence Davies' long-anticipated film version of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's beloved work of Scottish literature, and if the response to it at its Scottish premiere (here, as I write, last night) is anything to go by, it's been worth the wait. Carol is Todd Haynes' sumptuous and altogether wonderful film version of Patricia Highsmith's ground-breaking, taboo-busting novel (originally published in 1952 as 'The Price of Salt') starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans (amusingly translated as The Man and The Mans in this year's Cannes Film Festival Guide) tells the story behind the actor's obsession with the 24hr auto race and the film he made about it - the flawed but fascinating Le Mans (also screening). We're catching up too with a few things we were unable to show any earlier: Denis Villeneuve's mightily impressive Sicario, Yorgos Lanthimos' dystopian romance The Lobster, and the hugely entertaining SPECTRE.

We're kicking off a new 'strand' as well: a regular (not every week, but most weeks) Sunday afternoon Double Bill which kicks off with the aforementioned Steve McQueen/Le Mans double, followed by a couple of classic Alastair Sim comedies. We look forward to bringing our (ahem) usual programming flair and imagination to that over the coming months. Great double bill ideas gratefully received (though not necessarily acted upon)!

One more thing: thanks a million for all your support over 2015, and we look forward working toward deserving the same in 2016. In the meantime, have a very pleasant holiday season, and enjoy that screening of It's a Wonderful Life! And Carol. And Trading Places. And The Muppet Christmas Carol....

Rod White, Head of Filmhouse

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