Newsletter – 2 February 2018

This month’s news

It may seem a tad early, but this is the time of year when we start planning for next season. Our first programming session will take place on Feb 15th. Then on May 10th, following a further half dozen meetings, you will be invited to our annual members’ open evening to have your say on what the selection group has come up with – your reactions can and do result in changes. On Feb 15th we will be taking a first look at the film titles, speakers, special events, etc., that have been put forward. So do let us have your ideas as soon as possible, either by email ( or on the back of a reaction slip at a screening. Please note that Feb 15th is not a deadline (for members’ suggestions), but why delay?

You may recall that Feb 15th was the day we might have put on an extra screening. However, we have decided not to, simply to give ourselves a break from the weekly routine. (Which allows us to have our selection group meeting on that day – a different kind of pressure).

Thus, the next film following The Lunchbox on Feb 8th will be the special event on Feb 22nd, when film makers Ian Wiblin and Anthea Kennedy will present their film The View from our House. Made in 2013, it’s a thoughtful, engrossing and quietly moving ‘film essay’ based in part on the memories, unsent letters and notebooks of a young Jewish photographer who lived in Berlin-Tempelhof in the 1930s and then took refuge in the UK. Aspects of her life are mapped out within this small area of Berlin through a succession of haunting images and sounds that imbue the place with a sense of memory and history. “I’m only just eighteen but sometimes I already feel so old that I think of dying,” she writes in a letter to her would-be lover. You might be interested to learn that Ian Wiblin comes from Abingdon and recollects seeing an ABCD film around 1980 – Pasolini’s Canterbury Tales. (If you would like further information about this special event, we will happily send you an A4 flyer, in the hope that you would then forward to it anyone who you think might be interested).

Promoting our screenings more generally: we have plenty of spare copies of our annual brochure. Please take a few and spread them around. It would be really good for us to have a few more people at our final screenings of the season.

As you probably know, we have produced a very brief questionnaire seeking to find out how you like to receive the members’ newsletter and to elicit any comments you may have about it. Many thanks if you have already completed it, but we want everyone to respond if possible. So do look out for it the next time you come to a film.

At our AGM in November, Richard Smart joined the committee and he is now well into the process of learning how we set up and present our films. This is truly a great step forward, but it would really help us if we had a short list of people we could call upon to help in other ways as well on film nights – not necessarily technical things and not necessarily every week. We would be delighted to discuss this with you.

Finally, our friend Ian Christie is due to run a session on ‘Eisenstein – the shape shifting genius’ at Stonehill House, just south of Abingdon, on March 10th. Ian, who presented our Russian silent comedy in November, is quite simply one of the world’s leading experts on this towering cinematic figure, famous for Battleship Potemkin and Alexander Nevsky and many other films. If you would like to attend this event, you will need to book and pay. Full information is at: (scroll down until you find Ian’s name). As you will see, Anthea Norman-Taylor’s Russian Days at Stonehill House put on some of the biggest names in their field – and all on our doorstep.

The next newsletter is planned for late February.