New venues for mo­bile screen­ings

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - FILM -

WHEN did we, as a na­tion, be­come ob­sessed with tal­ent shows and cook­ery pro­grammes?

Or has it al­ways been that way?

In my house these days the rooms ring to the sound of The X Fac­tor and Strictly Come Danc­ing.

Throw in seem­ingly end­less se­ries in­volv­ing celebrity cooks and my en­forced leisure view­ing ric­o­chets from prime­time TV karaoke to celebri­ties danc­ing like left-footed farm­ers by way of “edge-ofthe-seat” cook against the clock epics. It’s rub­bish, isn’t it? And, what’s more, there’s no es­cape.

If it isn’t wannabe pop stars or D-list celebs cook­ing up a storm, it’s home ren­o­va­tions, tat in the at­tic space, or how to dress like a chav and still look (vaguely) like a hu­man be­ing.

This is when I’m grate­ful for the movies.

I’ve of­ten vented my spleen in this col­umn about the lack of in­tel­li­gent prod­uct on our cinema screens but at least in one as­pect I share a point of view with the world’s pro­duc­ers and stu­dios: tal­ent com­pe­ti­tions and cook­ery shows don’t trans­late to mo­tion pic­tures.

Of course that’s a huge gen­er­al­i­sa­tion. There have in­deed been films of that ilk.

Think of Amer­i­can Dreamz, a fear­less satire on the Amer­i­can re­al­ity TV phe­nom­e­non with Hugh Grant as a self-loathing Cow­ell-es­que pop sven­gali. Or even Scary Movie 3, in which the real Si­mon Cow­ell, gamely play­ing him­self, is judg­ing a rap­ping com­pe­ti­tion but winds up tak­ing a fusil­lade of bul­lets when his acer­bic com­ments fail to find favour with his au­di­ence.

If I am to watch this stuff I want to see ec­centrics like Fanny Craddock and Johnny, her mon­o­cled and per­pet­u­ally pick­led hub­bie. You couldn’t make that up.

I was mo­men­tar­ily in­trigued by An­drew Lloyd Web­ber, sit­ting on his throne like a gi­ant bull­frog, when he weeded through the mul­ti­far­i­ous con­tes­tants to se­lect a new Maria for The Sound of Mu­sic.

Now it’s all got a lit­tle too pre­dictable, cheesy, and man­nered.

I’m a tad hes­i­tant to jump aboard the band­wagon that claims Down­ton Abbey is the saviour of tele­vi­sual drama, but there’s some­thing throb­bing away in the back of my head that is gen­tly prod­ding me in that di­rec­tion.

Be­com­ing an­noyed – nay, vol­canic in my vi­tu­per­a­tive ex­plo­sions of ex­as­per­a­tion – is now a weekly event when I am forced to wit­ness yet more screech­ing karaoke ama­teurs. I blame the mis­sus...

Turn it off, I hear you say. Don’t watch it. Go for a walk. Tsk, say I. This drivel is ev­ery­where.

It per­me­ates our lives, our ev­ery mo­ment. It’s on break­fast TV, Ra­dio 2, online, in the news­pa­pers, ev­ery­where. Like I said: no es­cape.

Thus the cinema pro­vides a dis­trac­tion. Some­times only wal­low­ing in fluff can take away the bad taste of the trash on my TV screen.

Per­son­ally I’m look­ing for­ward to the movie of Glee. Can any­one re­sist those an­gel-voiced teens belt­ing out Don’t Stop Believin’ with a power and pu­rity that could make Julie An­drews jeal­ous? I can’t.

Oh, hang on. Glee is a se­ries about a tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion, al­beit fic­tional with a hint of cru­elty at its core. My de­fence is that the kids star­ring in it have a gen­uine gift. But it’s good. Maybe I need to give The X Fac­tor an­other look.

Some you win, some you lose... FOL­LOW­ING a packed sum­mer which saw cine­mas pop­ping up at mu­sic fes­ti­vals, mills and rail­way sta­tions, Cine York­shire has an­nounced a new sea­son of screen­ings and events tak­ing place across North York­shire.

The BFI-sup­ported ven­ture brings screen­ings to ar­eas of North York­shire where res­i­dents would other­wise have to travel long dis­tances to see films in a cinema. Since it launched, the scheme has screened over 400 films to more than 14,000 peo­ple. New venues in­clude Selby Town Hall and the Gal­tres Cen­tre, Eas­ing­wold. De­tails at www.ciney­ork­shire.co.uk

THE SMALL SCREEN: ITV’s hugely pop­u­lar se­ries Down­ton Abbey, “the saviour of tele­vi­sual drama”?

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