Category Archives: Cinema Blog

Latest News & thoughts from the Selsey Cinema Club

Thoughts on running a cinema club

We’ve been wanting to run a themed film season here for quite a while, but as many of you know we don’t own our own equipment, instead relying on the lovely crew from Cinema 2U to provide all of the necessary gear for our screenings. This means that we can be limited in the availability of slots when we can screen films, and it also means that our overheads are quite high, as we have to pay for both equipment rental and film licencing fees. All of which has meant that a  themed season has felt like too big a risk for us to take financially when we are still finding our feet in our first year.

Thankfully, there is a huge amount of support out there for groups like ours to try and make cinema as accessible as possible to isolated communities like Selsey. We belong to a brilliant group, called the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS), who through their Cinema for All Scheme give us access to both films and materials like vintage posters and help us with the nuts and bolts of running a cinema club (it’s just not as simple as you would think…).

We are also members of a British Film Institute (BFI) funded initiative to help spread cinema throughout the regions, called Film Hub South East. This is a really great group of like-minded film clubs and societies, and also industry professionals. What it means is that we get access to distributors, industry events and film makers that would otherwise be impossible for a small group such as our own. It also gives us access to valuable funding to enable us to try something a bit more risky every now and then.

We have been very lucky in having a funding application that we submitted through the Film Hub South East Audience Development scheme accepted. This means that in the new year we will be able to run our first themed film season. We will give you more details of the films we’re showing and why they were selected over the coming weeks. The season is called ‘How Soon is Now’, and is a look back at cinematic visions of the future, with the benefit of hindsight. As well as the films, there will be a vintage film poster exhibition, talks, workshops and lots of other extras – we’ve got lots to do, but it’s all VERY exciting….


Autumn Season 2014

It’s always great fun putting together the next season of film for the Cinema Club, but it’s also quite frustrating, as inevitably we just don’t have the time to fit in everything we would like to show.

We are particularly sad to have had to leave out some great documentaries including Tim’s Vermeer and Next Goal Wins and unfortunately release dates mean that we couldn’t run How To Train Your Dragon 2 at half term.

But, we do think that we’ve come up with another great programme of films.

Tracks is a virtual one-woman film, carried throughout by a remarkable central performance by Mia Wasikawska and featuring amazing cinematography to capture the scale and beauty of the Australian outback.

Calvary is a blacker-than-black comedy which has Brendan Gleeson’s priest trying to work out which member of his congregation has promised to kill him in a weeks time in retribution for his past abuse at the hands of the Church.

The Two Faces of January is an atmospheric thriller adapted from the book by Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote the ‘Ripley’ series of novels. With great central performances, and an atmosphere that swelters in the heat of Athens & Istanbul viewers will be left guessing as no-one is quite what they seem.

The Lego Movie was one of the surprise animated hits of the year, but as it was produced by the team behind Cloudy with Meatballsviewers should expect enough wild imagination and great story telling to keep all of the family happy.

Frank is one of the sleeper hits of the year so far. What begins as a black comedy romp through the thinly veiled life of comedy creation Frank Sidebottom ultimately becomes something much deeper and more meaningful as it considers the price of creativity and the impact of mental illness on those we love.

Belle is a sumptuous drama, loosely based on the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the daughter of Admiral John Lindsay and a slave, Maria Belle, who was brought up in the house of her great uncle Lord Mansfield. Mansfield went on to become Lord Chief Justice and effectively ended slavery in the UK when he declared it had no basis in English law.

Chef is a feel-good movie with a great heart. Warm, funny and uplifting it features a great ensemble cast including Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johannson, Dustin Hoffman & Robert Downey Jr. and tells the story of a man rediscovering the passion and joy in life by giving up everything and going back to doing a job that he loves.

Finally, we finish with Boyhood, a truly remarkable piece of film-making, charting the journey of a six year old boy through childhood, adolescence and finally to the brink of adulthood. Filmed with the same cast over a 12 year period, viewers watch as the whole family develop, grow up and grow old before our eyes. Both epic in scale and yet intimate it captures the very essence of what it is to be a family and provides an unforgettable journey for the viewer that resonates with us all .

Final schedule for Spring 2014

We’ve finalised the schedule for the Spring 2014 season, and we have to say that it is cracking.

The final list is as follows:

Rush: Monday 27th January

Sunshine on Leith: Monday 10th February

About Time: Monday 24th February

Captain Phillips: Monday 10th March

Blue Jasmine: Monday 24th March

Philomena: Monday 7th April

Gravity: Monday 28th April

It’s a really strong list (it was hard to whittle it down to just seven films), and as awards season starts to kick in, we’re pretty sure that these films will feature pretty frequently amongst the winners. So make sure you come along and see what all the fuss is about, and let us know what you think of our choices. What would you have added in, what would you have left off, and what should we be looking at for the next season?

Thinking ahead to 2014

Wow! We’ve been overwhelmed by the support that people have been showing the Cinema club since we had the slightly mad idea to try and get it going back in September. From our first screening on October 14th we have had such wonderful responses from our ever-growing audience that we don’t know why we didn’t do it years ago! As far as Selsey is concerned, Monday is definitely the new Friday. We are just sitting down with the lovely boys from Cinema 2U to start planning our next season.

After the Christmas break, we’re planning to resume screening films on Monday 27th January. We are still working on the screening order, which is dependant upon licensing agreements and availability of prints, but the list we are working to take us up to Easter at the moment is as follows:


Blue Jasmine



About Time

Captain Phillips

We’re also tempted by Austenland and Sunshine on Leith, but we may not have time to fit them all in.

Keep checking back regularly, and as we can confirm dates and schedules we will update our listings page.


Nearly Christmas

So, just three days until we start showing our FREE Christmas movies on a Saturday morning, we thought we’d explain why we chose the films we did. It’s a really hard job trying to choose four films that can appeal to a whole community, that spread festive cheer, and that basically herald the start of Christmas.

In the end the four we settled on were a diverse mix;

  • Elf: Chosen because we love the way it harks back to the innocence of an earlier age, whist still maintaining a bit of bite and satire about the modern commercialisation of Christmas. It’s not often that films are made which can make serious points but still do it in a way that is funny, heartfelt and charming, but we think that Elf just about pulls it off.
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol: A great version of a classic Christmas story. It’s as warming and familiar as mince pies and hot chocolate, but with just enough Muppet anarchy and mayhem to make it new and fresh. It just isn’t Christmas without Scrooge, and it just isn’t as much fun without the Muppets!
  • White Christmas: Because we all need a bit of glamour at Christmas. This film takes us back to a time when it was acceptable to wear full-length sequined santa-suits with fur-lined hoods. Men smoked pipes, women wore heels whatever the weather and life was lived in technicolour. Of course it was never real, but a bit of escapism is fine by us.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life: Just about our favourite Christmas film ever. Nearly 70 years old, the script is still as sharp, witty and emotional as ever, and duplicitous banks and financiers are still causing havoc for ordinary men & women. It may be an old film, but it still tells a story for all of us today, and it is impossible not to have at least a little tear in the corner of your eye by the final scene.