Any Club That Would Have Me As A Member

In an average year I pay to go to the cinema 20-30 times. If I manage to go every week as I plan to with this experiment, I’ll be going twice as much as I normally would. In order to afford this I’ve been looking at cheap cinema options.

I’m a member of my local cinema which is a Picturehouse. If I go on a Wednesday before 5.30pm, I can get 2for1 tickets with an Orange voucher. This means £2.75 a ticket. The difficulty is finding someone to go with me. It also means if I’m busy on a Wednesday then I miss that. I also found out that my Picturehouse membership gives me 90 days free use of Mubi. It’s puts up a new film every day that remains available to stream for a month. It’s like having a personal indie cinema curated by a cool film buff.

I also discovered that joining the Prince Charles Cinema is only £10/year and can get you £4 weekday tickets. They show a lot of films on late release which is why it’s so much cheaper than many other cinemas. This works out well for me as I can catch films I might’ve missed. It’s also convenient as it’s right in the centre of town (just off Leicester Square).

Today I went there and I saw Safety Not Guaranteed at 4pm. It was screened downstairs in what is a huge, beautiful, old music hall style cinema. I think there were fewer than 10 people in. I felt like a millionaire. I went and bought a drink & a snack from a Chinese supermarket in nearby Chinatown. I took myself on a great date.

As for the film, it just about passes the test. I was quite surprised that it only passes on one short exchange considering the lead role in this film is a woman.

I feel now I’ve started this experiment demanding more women in my movies, that a film that only just passes isn’t good enough. I want films with 50% women! Or half of the films I see to have 100% women!

I know that’s a bit silly, but I definitely do feel that my awareness of the absence of women in many films does distract me from enjoying it. Before I started this experiment I would go to every film I saw and consciously note if and when it passed the test. For example, Dredd passes within the first few minutes & I felt myself celebrate internally, then relax and enjoy it – if you’ve not seen it, I recommend doing so. It was one of my favourite films of 2012.

It’s very hard to un-notice the lack of women once you’ve become aware of it. So, sorry if I’ve done that for any of you following this blog, I guess. You can join me, though. Especially on Wednesdays afternoons when I need a 2for1 partner.




2 thoughts on “Any Club That Would Have Me As A Member

  1. I have been thinking a lot about this bechdel test. Like you have said it isn’t really a way of deciding is not sexist. I know it won’t happen but supposed you set out just to pass the test. If my understanding is correct at the start of the film you could just have 2 named female characters asking where they parked the car.

    But my thought is if you do it in comparison with the reverse bechdel test. But also count the number of occasions it passes. That would be a good indicator. But really would spoil watching films.

    But then given that it is in theory so easy to pass the bechdel test. It kind of means the fact that so many films fail it means that it is not really just a chance thing. More likely to be as a result of a system built in that in very much favours men. From my facebook and generally people I know I get the impression that cinema is attended more by females but not found stats to back this up. So it seems funny that so much money then seems to be directed at male orientated films..

  2. If you ever decide to move to North Devon, I will definitely be your Orange Wednesday partner. I think your experiment is wonderful. I too am fed up with women being invisible in films. An alien watching an average Hollywood film would come to the conclusion that we women are a rare phenomenon. I look forward to hearing more of your recommendations. 🙂

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