GalleryFilm has been going for some seven years and has become a meeting point for people who are interested in films but not in the popcorn chomping and fizzy drink slurping which tend to take place at most cinemas nowadays.
At Dulwich Picture Gallery there are glasses of wine and exciting bites from local restaurants or delicatessens. And all that is included in the ticket price.
“It’s not just about the film; it’s also a social occasion before the film starts. It is, relaxed and informal,” says Nigel Thorpe, who is one of the eight who make up the GalleryFilm team. “We like to think we are offering a club atmosphere but without a membership.” The audience also gets something that the cinemas do not offer. Each film is preceded by a well-researched introduction and there is also a fact sheet to take home for further reading.
When asked how the team selects the movies Nigel Thorpe says there are no special criteria, “but we are looking for classical films from all over the world and specifically those that are not constantly shown on the television. They must also resonate with our core audience, who are both curious and broadminded.” The eight team members are meeting this week and will then have a discussion on what to offer during 2013. “We all have our specific ideas but it’s a question of presenting a mix that is well balanced.”
They also have been very successful in encouraging local restaurants and caterers to sponsor the pre-film snacks. “Yes, we like to be able to offer our audience food that connects with the film, “says Nigel Thorpe and mentions tapas for Spanish films.
Each season also features a film for children. On 2nd December they will show The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn. This is a visual feast that combines computer animation with acting of the highest calibre. Daniel Craig plays the villainous Rackham and Jamie Bell gives voice to TinTin, Herge’s famous boy detective. This is a film that will appeal to all ages.
To set the season off, GalleryFilm presents the lauded film The Artist, which was voted best film in Cannes 2011 and secured a total of five Oscars last year. It is a charming homage to Hollywood of the silent era and without any dialogue it manages to capture the tragedy, romance and comedy thanks to the wonderful acting of Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo – and watch out for the wonderful performance by the now famous dog. It is shown on 10th September.
Next month, on 15th October another fairly new film is shown. Bright Star won plaudits after its first showing in 2005. The film is directed by Jane Campion and stars Ben Wishaw and Abbie Cornish. It is a portrait of the young poet John Keats who in 1818 falls in love with Fanny Brawne. Their young love is opposed by her family and leads eventually to heartbreak. Many consider this Jane Campion’s finest film – a feast for the eyes and emotions.
Less well known is November’s offering, which is shown on 12th November. The Beat that My Heart skipped was premiered in 2005 and won two BAFTA-awards. The film is directed by Jacques Audiard and stars Romain Duris, who gives dazzling performance of a young man torn between a life of crime and music. It is a gripping noir thriller and a film that electrified critics and audiences alike.
In the lead-up to Christmas it is time for a classic comedy,that has stood the test of more than fifty years. The Apartment was directed by Billy Wilder and stars the brilliant Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. It garnered five Oscars, including one for Best Picture. Jack Lemmon finds promotion by lending his apartment to his philandering boss’s extra-marital dalliances – and then finds that his boss has an affair with the girl of his dreams. He has to make a decision – lose his job or the girl. It has some of the most sparkling dialogue in movie history. Put 10th December in your diary now for some pre-Christmas entertainment.
GalleryFilm offers the best way of enjoying a good film, in the company of likeminded and in a convivial atmosphere.
Each sociable evening includes complimentary glass of wine and snacks, an introduction to the film and film notes.
Bar opens at 7pm
Screenings at 7.45
Tickets £9, £7 Friends
Linbury Room, Dulwich Picture Gallery
You can buy tickets at friends Desk in the Gallery; you can also book online at www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk.