(james benedict brown) on the road

Rainy cinema Sunday

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 18 March, 2007

It’s cold in Strasbourg, with grey clouds and gusting rain. Snow is predicted to fall on Monday or Tuesday, and the mild spring that had begun just a few days ago seems to have been forgotten. Ever one to be frustrated by minor mishaps that are not worth being worried about, I am still lamenting loss of a single glove in Marseilles a few weeks ago. It grates me for two reasons: firstly because I had managed to persuade myself that it would be warm enough now not to need gloves (not true) and secondly because I had already lost and then found one of that very pair of gloves in Chicago in January. It fell out of my pocket and onto the pavement as we left the apartment, but was still there on the concrete slab when we got home some time after midnight (significantly more drunk than we were when we left) – exactly where I had told myself it would be if I were to find it again. There was much celebration and glove-inspired happiness that night, so to have had the pair of gloves separated so cruelly again has been difficult. I did scan the pavements of Marseilles closely the next day – but my luck had run out. Someone in Marseilles might have given a new home to a single blue M&S glove, while its partner lies in the darkness of my cabinet, a sorry reminder of broken dreams and cold hands.

So it’s cold and damp, and most definitely glove-wearing weather. Being without gloves on a cold and damp day, I decided on the most logical solution, which was to go the cinema and see a couple of films. I thought I was lucky in Belfast, living just ten minutes walk from the city’s (and really the province’s) only half decent art house cinema, the QFT. But here in Strasbourg I’m five minutes walk from not one, two, nor three decent cinemas, but four. There’s also an American-style UGC multiplex on the edge of the city, which like the UGC multiplex in Sheffield, is just a tram ride away. But obviously good Strasborgeois don’t even contemplate going there.

At 11h10, the day began with Taxi 4 at the Ciné Vox. After lunch and the afternoon at home came Contre-enquête at 16h at the Saint Exupéry. Then at 18h25 it will be Entre adultes at the Star. These three cinemas appear to be jointly owned, or at least co-operatively managed, and a ticket stub from either one usually allows you to come back and see another film for a bit less than the normal rate during a specified week period in the next month. I happily offered my voucher, but instead was offered a flat rate for the Printemps du cinéma weekend. Until Tuesday, a certain multinational bank is attempting to spread the love (and maybe their advertising reach) by subsidising tickets for every film in every cinema. So I got in to all three films for just €3.50 a pop (£2.40 or US$4.65). As the dying Rémy says when he is offered a massage by a voluptuous Bulgarian nurse in the Québecois film Les Invasions Barbares: “joie!”

I’m racking my brains to try and remember the last time I gorged on three films in a day. The very first triple-bill for me was in Cambridge many years ago at the Arts Picturehouse when the sublime In The Mood For Love was followed by the black and white indie-flick Judy Berlin and then the emotion-smashing Dancer in the Dark.

Simple pleasures continue to keep me entertained.

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