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.