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Film society? I have always wondered how that works? Getting permission to screen?
'A film society is a
membership-based club where people can watch screenings of films
which would otherwise not be shown in mainstream cinemas.' ( From Wikipedia, the free
No admittance is allowed to charged at the door. Season membership has to be canvassed, which isn't an easy task. The money collected covers the hire of 16mm films from major and minor distributors. To keep the running of the society afloat a good deal of product screened was supplied free of charge from the then National Library Of Australia, who supplied 16mm films to film societies.
Film societies were low on the totem pole though with the major 16mm silm distributors. If a film was found to have been double booked and the other organisation turned out to be a RSL club or like, guess who ended up receiving the film and who received a last minute, often inferior substitute film?
We screened silent films, such as The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari. Battleship Potemkin and The Big Parade and classic sound comedies included I'm No Angel and Never Give A Sucker An Even Break and numerous Laurel and Hady sound shorts such as Tit For Tat and silent Buster Keaton shorts. There were many foreign language films screened including Seven Samurai,The World Of Apu and The Blue Angel. Titles from MGM that had once been television prints, completre with short black bars placed to indicate where commercials were to have been inserted. There were hundreds and hundreds to chose from going right back to the early days of sound. A good deal of the main films we screened though were modern films of the day that were neglected titles that had not been screened at the local cinema, or were never likely to have been due to little box office appeal. Of course to be a film society a certain amount of paperwork was required to be filled out, and you then had to be approved to qualify. Fondly remembered films than I selected and were screened include a very short 5 minute film from The National Film Board Of Canada titled Matrioska and a hilarious 21 minute comey short featuring W.C. Fields titled The Destist. .
( 1970 ) ( 1932 )
Some of the silent films we screened were supplied to us without a music track. My friend the projectionist went to great effort to select appropriate music to accompany the films. Sometimes this worked, in the case of The Cabinet Of Dr, Caligari brilliantly, but occassionly very badly ( sleep inducing ) with Battleship Potemkin. I have since seen a Battleship Potemkin 35mm print with an original music written for the film and some added sound effects on the film's soundtrack, and wow what a different film experience was delivered.
I probably need to finish up, but seeing this is a War movies thread I thought it would be approprate to end with mentioning more about a war film listed earlier. This film was The Big Parade ( 1925 ), The print we received was the 1930 re-release version, with music and synchronized sound errects added. A big film production from MGM in its day which was interesting viewing.
321 For whom the Bell Tolls (1943)
320. Rats of Tobruk
319. The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1955)