The first Leytonstone Loves Film watch party is hosted by the Women Over Fifty Film Festival (WOFF), with festival founder and director Nuala O’Sullivan choosing the film, 'Minding the Gap' (2018)
Join us in watching a coming-of-age story of three young American teenagers held together and broken apart by their love of skateboarding. Details on joining the watch party can be found here. Keep an eye out for the next watch party on Thursday 7 May and Tuesday 12 May programmed by Last Frame Film Club.
Nuala (WOFFF) and Vera Hems Anderson and Natalia Garay Ceron from Last Frame Film Club share their thoughts and memories on why film is important to them.
What is your earliest/best memory about watching movies with someone else? Do you remember a conversation you had sparked by a film?
Nuala: When I was still in primary school, a girl called Lesley invited me to her cinema birthday trip. The film was 'The Boy Friend', 1920s-style flapper musical by Ken Russell, starring Twiggy. I don’t remember much about the film but what I do remember was the luxury of that cinema visit. Lesley’s mum bought sweets and ice-cream for us both. I had a box of Maltesers, I think, – all to myself. I grew up with 8 brothers and sisters, so individual time – just my mum and me or just my dad and me - didn’t happen often, and neither did individual boxes of chocolates. I remember thinking how incredible it seemed to be a girl who could spend her birthday in the cinema with her mum. As soon as I was old enough to pay my own way, chocolate, popcorn and a fizzy drink were always part of any cinema trip. I wish I could take my mum to the cinema now.
Vera: One of the most vivid memories I have was watching 'Scream 'with a group of friends at home in 1999 when we were definitely too young to be watching it. I was a huge Drew Barrymore fan which finally convinced me to watch it. We all assumed she would be the lead. The collective shock when her character was killed off in the opening scene was intense! I think the experience of watching horror completely changes depending on whether you are watching alone or with a group - the whole atmosphere is different.
Tell us a little about some responses to the WOFFF Watch Alongs and Cheap Cuts livestreams – how has your community responded to your programmes?
Nuala: For our Thursday night WOFFF Watch Alongs, we’ve had people tune in from Southwest France to Newfoundland, and closer to home, from Orkney to Cardiff. A small but growing loyal band of people are participating in our Watch Alongs on social media.
Our shorts are proving very popular as part of the Watch Alongs. If my own shortened attention span is an indicator, I think other people may be finding it harder to concentrate on longer tasks during this lockdown. I’m finding comfort in shorter art forms, particularly short stories, so I think short films may be offering something that’s much needed just now.
Vera and Natalia: Lots of people tune in live, which is always great as it's nice to see viewers interacting with each other about the films. We recently held a lockdown themed film festival and screened twenty short films that had been shot at home with minimal equipment and support. The response was amazing, and we think that the audience were really surprised and hopefully inspired by the content coming out of these difficult times.
What’s your favourite physical cinema to visit – anywhere in the world and why?
Nuala: For the last three years WOFFF has taken its Best of the Fest out on the road around Britain and Ireland. We visit brilliant cinemas, churches, community halls and pop-up venues all-round the country. One of my favourite places is The Magic Lantern in Tywyn in West Wales. It’s a one-screen old-fashioned cinema with a balcony, a bar, a wee stage for music, poetry and Q&As, and lots more. It feels like a real hub of the community and we love visiting The Lantern and sharing the WOFFF films there.
Natalia: Cine Albeniz in Málaga, where I am from is one of my favourites. It is a beautiful cinema next to a stunning Arabic Fortress showcasing European indie cinema and it is the longest standing cinema in the city. This is where I learnt to love cinema in my teens.