21st September 2015 newsletter

In this newsletter:

1 Here we go again

2 Forty years on

3 Help us to promote ABCD

4 Short films 2015-6

1 Here we go again

You should by now have received your copy of the 2015-6 annual programme brochure, this year with added colour. Fear not, there are several wonderful black and white titles. (The BFI bookings library once had a complaint that The Third Man turned out to be a b/w film).

We think that our season is very attractive and we hope that you will agree. ABCD’s strengths are surely the overall mix of titles, the way it ranges over 100 years of film and still acknowledges plenty of good contemporary filmmaking. In particular we are proud of our special events and that for many years we have produced a programme note for every screening. Our first special event will feature Susannah Brough, Art Director on the feature SIXTEEN that we are screening on October 22. Sight and Sound wrote of this movie:“The film has a polish that belies it’s resources”. It’s easy to take a film’s visual quality for granted (and not just the cinematography), but here we will have the chance to find out a bit of how it comes about.

So we hope you will join again.

2 Forty years on

You may have noticed that this season will be our fortieth. Only one of our current members was involved in 1975, but to indulge him we are showing just one film this year from our very first season, namely WHAT’S UP, DOC? It’s going to be our Christmas film on Dec 17, when we always find something to celebrate; who knows, it might just be our anniversary. In any case we promise not to go on about it endlessly.

What have you to say do about our longevity? It would be good to have your perceptions and recollections. For example, can you remember the first time you came to an ABCD screening – what were your impressions? Have we changed for better or worse or simply become sclerotic? We’ll collect and publish your comments later in the autumn (emailed to info@abfilms.org.uk or on paper).

3 Help us promote ABCD

Do we need you to help us with this? We certainly do. We would like to have, say, fifteen more members this year than we had last year. People who join us often do so because they have been to one screening and found thay they like the set-up. This points to two things you can do – bring guests, which in any case raises funds; and tell people generally that they can come to any one film for £6*. They can can simply show up unannounced – though they can book if they wish. (Exception for contractual reasons: no “one week members” without advance booking for CALVARY on January 28th).

*By way of comparison, the cost of admission to the Phoenix on a Thursday evening is £10 (£9 retired); and for a weekday matinee £9 (£8 retired).

Here’s another way you can assist us. We have a short message which we would like to appear on workplace (or other) intranet bulletins. Can you help with this? So far it has been accepted by one of the big labs near Abingdon. Either submit the text to the bulletin editor (but tell us you have done so, to avoid duplication) or send us the contact details of a person who can help. This is the text:

“Did you know there is a film society in Abingdon that shows films on Thursday nights from October through to March? The programme is a mixture of thirteen modern and nine classic films (including a Buster Keaton silent comedy with live piano accompaniment); and the split between English language and sub-titled films is roughly half and half. It’s a very international selection, with product from fourteen different countries. Four screenings are introduced and discussed afterwards by visiting experts; and there are a couple with drinks and nibbles. You can see all 22 films in the main programme for £64 or any one for £6 (£7 for the silent comedy).The first film is THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL on Thursday October 1st.

For further information contact ABCD Film Society by email: info@abfilms.org.uk; or phone 01235 521976/525464; or visit: www.abfilms.org.uk .”

We can also send you an A4 poster which you can forward to anyone who you think might be interested. Just email us.

4 Short films 2015-6

This year all but one of our short films were prizewinners at the 2014 Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival held in Bristol. They are very varied and of a very high standard: everyone will have their own favourites. They will be shown individually, paired with eight of our feature films. We plan to produce a programme note (perhaps two) about the shorts, the first of which, A MILLION MILES AWAY, will be on October 8, paired with MILLIONS LIKE US. The link is not the big number so much as the fact that both films give us portaits of women, during WW2 and now.