Now, I’ve been doing Movie Night at the Legion for seven years. I love it. I’ve always loved films and, in covering a number of different genres, years, actors, I’ve been lucky to keep my crowd entertained for some time.
I’m about to hit a snag. See, while my Movie Nighters are wonderful, there are some films they just won’t like. This is not really a case of ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’. This is more: if there’s strong language, violence or scenes of an adult nature, I know I’m going to lose quite a few of them.
I won’t lose them for long. Most will come back the next week. But, I don’t like to go out of my way to upset them. I may be sharp, dark and sarcastic, but I don’t try to offend.
Here’s the snag. There are two films I really want to show. Both – absolutely brilliant, but there’s some envelope-pushing.
Cloudburst (2011) – an absolute cracker. Starring Olympia Dukakis as Stella and Brenda Fricker as Dot, Cloudburst tells the story of an older lesbian couple, torn apart by growing infirmity. Dot has a fall, and is set to live in an old folks’ home by her family, who fail – quite completely – to understand the depth of her relationship with Stella.
Stella springs Dot from the old folks’ home in a brilliantly clever ruse – appearing outside the home in a nightdress, pretending to be a resident who’s simply been locked out – and together, they embark on a road trip up to Canada, so they can get married, and Dot’s family won’t be able to make decisions for her anymore.
There are some stunningly moving moments, a powerful storyline and some great jokes along the way. I love this film. That said, there is full-frontal male nudity at one point. I don’t say that my people can’t handle an amount of penis, even on a Monday evening, but once it’s on an eight foot screen, it becomes quite a different animal. So, there’s that.
Irina Palm (2007) – oh, how I love this film. Starring Marianne Faithfull and Miki Manojlovic, Marianne Faithfull plays Maggie, a middle-aged, middle-class widow. Her grandson is very ill and requires a madly-expensive treatment, which his family cannot afford. Maggie is turned down, repeatedly, for loans because she has no collateral and no marketable skills.
Searching for a job, Maggie finds herself outside a club in Soho which is looking to hire a new ‘hostess’. ‘Hostess’ is a euphemism, however, it transpires that, squeamish as she undoubtedly is, Maggie has quite a skill for working the glory hole. Indeed, there’s a glory hole.
Naturally enough, her family is in the dark about how she gets the money to send her grandson for his treatment. When they find out what she’s been doing, of course, they’re devastated. Some words are exchanged. Maggie’s friends judge her in the Post Office queue. It’s all quite awful. Except that she calls out her neighbour who had an affair with her now-deceased husband. It’s an epic scene. With time, her son begins to understand that, whatever she’s done, she’s done it for her family. And she falls in love with the guy who runs the club in Soho.
All in all, fabulous. There’s no male nudity in the film, but there’s quite a lot of wrist action.
Inevitably, I’ll show them both. They’re brilliant films.
I might be a bit careful, and not show them too close to Christmas. People tend to bring their grown-up children and in-laws around Christmas and there’s nothing more awkward than an inescapable sex scene in the company of family.