CineClub is bringing out classics

Film buffs in Grand Cayman have
enjoyed a diverse selection of public screened films in recent years thanks to
the National Gallery’s CineClub.

Beginning in 2006 as a partnership
between Our Secret Agency’s Ruth Dobson (a volunteer and film lover), who also
sponsored the company, the twice-monthly film club started with the mission of
screening classic fine-art movies. CineClub is now run exclusively by the
National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, which acquires international digital
videos from around the world.

According to CineClub’s
coordinator, Anne Goulden, the forum has subsequently diversified to take in
viewer demand whenever possible. “We hadn’t been operating the club that long
when we started getting feedback from our audience and they seemed to be very
interested in viewing films and documentaries from different cultural regions,”
she said.

Such demand led the CineClub to
introduce several seasons of new and modern films featuring the work of
filmmakers from around the world. Many of the films are art and independent
films, mixed with early pictures now considered to be classics.

CineClub has featured South
African, European, American, Asian and Caribbean seasons, to name a few, as
well as having other themed seasons, which have included documentaries and
several directors’ series.

“These past series were very
popular,” Mrs. Goulden said. “So going forward, gallery staff are compiling a
wish-list of classic entertainment films, covering different genres as well as
documentaries on famous and infamous people, actors and actresses.”

What movie goers think

Among the club’s regulars who
attend screenings on the second and last Monday of each month is Nancy Davey.

Mrs. Davey, who also volunteers to
facilitate the CineClub programme, looks forward to the break from the regular
diet of standard or commercial films seen on television.

“I enjoy meeting the different
people who attend,” Mrs. Davey said. “[CineClub] attracts a very diverse crowd
of regulars who like watching films that aren’t necessarily mainstream in terms
of themes and how they are dealt with. It’s great to view films you’d not typically
get to see and to revisit old favourites, like films from the ‘20s that can be
quite hard to come by.”

Marx Brothers series

The Marx Brothers Series, now until
11 October, highlights the slapstick genre that the brothers helped to develop.
“The brothers were well noted for commenting satirically on social and
political issues that were sensitive, making their films very edgy and widely
viewed at the time,” said Mrs. Goulden.

26 July – Room Service

Lucille Ball and Ann Miller co-star
with the boys in a riotous romp about a cash-strapped theatrical troupe trying
to nail down a backer for their new Broadway venture.

9 August – At the Circus

Big-top bedlam results in this
three-ring comedy caper in which Groucho sings the praises of Lydia the
Tattooed Lady and Eve Arden slinks around as a shady acrobat.

23 August – A Night in Casablanca

It’s the Nazis vs. the nutsies when
the brotherly trio foils Axis criminal activity at a hotel swirling in intrigue
and whirling with nonstop nonsense.

13 September – A Night at the Opera

Absolutely one of the most
hilarious movies ever made – a story of high society, matchmaking and chaos. In
order to bring two young lovers together, brothers Groucho, Chico and Harpo
must sabotage an opera performance even as they try to pass themselves off as
stuffed shirts.

27 September – Go West

Groucho, Chico and Harpo – all
certifiably wacko in a double dip of comedies. The Marxmen Go West (Side A) to
where the sun always shines, the fun never sets and where they outwit a land

11 October – The Big Store

(Side B) They go east
in The Big Store, becoming detectives-cum-bodyguards for a department store.
Crime is afoot in the store or, if in the Fabrics Department, by the yard.
Chico and Harpo share a piano keyboard, beds disappear into walls, roller
skates provide in-store mobility and Groucho warbles Sing While You Sell. Sold!


Tsotsi, set in the slums of South Africa, was screened by the CineClub during its South African series.
Photo: File