November 2011 newsletter

Annual General Meeting Thursday Nov 17th at 7.30 pm

The key points will of course be the officers’ annual reports and the election of the new committee. There are definitely committee vacancies and it is important we fill them, as there is always work to be done and we can only benefit from the fresh perspectives that new members can offer. So please consider letting, or even putting, your name go forward. If the committee withers, so will the society.

We hope to complete the meeting within about 25 minutes and to start the film, A Screaming Man, by about 8pm.

Special Event: THE RETURN Thursday Dec 8th at 7.30 pm

John Riley will be visiting again to introduce a Russian film. Please note the earlier than usual start time.

Choose Abingdon Events Calendar

This facility has just become available and we have started to post our events on it. We would ask you to to the following:

  • Use it
  • Tell others about it so that they use it (and tell other others about it)
  • If you are a member of other clubs and societies in Abingdon, try to ensure that their events are posted here

Why? Because it’s in our interest that the site is well used – and it won’t be if it doesn’t have most Abingdon events on it. Choose Abingdon is funded by all three levels of local government and works hard on many fronts, including community activity. This events calendar deserves and needs to succeed. Go to: .

Our Own Website – a Reminder

There’s lots of information on the ABCD website, including audience reactions and comments and a listing of all the films we’ve shown since 1977.

Our Website and Internet Explorer 6

If you do not use the Internet you may skip this item. Feel free to skip too if you use Mozilla Firefox, Opera or Safari as your Web browser. If, however, you use Internet Explorer and may still be using Internet Explorer 6 (IE6, the 2001-2006 version), please read on.

For some years our website has been assembled using WordPress, which is free and ‘Open Source’ software originally developed for Internet bloggers but now widely used as a ‘content management system’ for websites. This has alowed many features to be included that would be more difficult by older methods, such as the website calendar and the database of past titles. Using WordPress, the whole website is a database and the webpages your browser displays are generated when your browser requests them. This all happens invisibly to the user, but this will not be so for IE6 users much longer. Over the summer, the website was rebuilt to operate under the penultimate release of WordPress. If we are not to let the software become out of date we must soon upgrade to the current version, and this does not support IE6. This means that the database commands will not work and users with IE6 will see nothing resembling the website at all.

The visitor logs of the website show that there are site users with IE6. If they include you, please upgrade to a newer version or an alternative browser. If your browser cannot be upgraded from IE6 (perhaps because of your company IT policy), please tell us by emailing

A Note on How We Get Our Films

First of all it’s seriously against the rules for us to simply buy a DVD and then simply screen it. We have to find out who holds the digital rights to a film we want to show. Usually this is quite straightforward – we agree a licence fee and that’s that. But in a small number of cases it’s quite hard to find out who to contact and very occasionally it proves impossible. Sometimes there is a dispute about who has the rights (some of Buñuel’s Mexican titles, for instance). Or ludicrous fees may be demanded. Thus we find we can book a large majority of the titles we would want to show, but not quite all. To return to the opening point above: It’s irrelevant that there’s a DVD of a given film – a retail distributor doesn’t usually have the right to license non-domestic screenings (i.e cinema and film society ones). However, we often buy the actual DVD, for operational reasons, in addition to paying for the licence.

Our next newsletter will appear in the first week of December.