Filmspot 2014: We’re back!

Happy New Year, Filmspotters – we’re back in the saddle after a winter break.

We’re still confirming much of our programme for 2014, but we are very pleased to be able to announced our first screening of the year – ‘Sunset Boulevard’ at St Michael’s Church Community Hall, Brighton, 21 March, 7.30pm (for 7pm). This screening will launch the Filmspot CMPCA Pop Up Cinema Club. It is planned that we will present four films a year, giving audiences the opportunity to see classics not often shown on the big screen, as well as rare or undiscovered gems.

Billy Wilder’s classic noir, Sunset Boulevardis a scathing satire of the movie industry. William Holden portrays an unsuccessful screenwriter who is sucked into a web of sleaze and insanity by a deluded, faded silent movie star, played by tour-de-force, Gloria Swanson. With caustic, bitter wit this story exposes the corruptive, devastating decline of the old Hollywood legends, after the coming of sound. Highly regarded on its release, with eleven Academy Award nominations and winning three Oscars, it is now seen a one of the greatest films of American cinema.

Here’s a clip of the inimitable Gloria Swanson, to give you are taster:

Space at this event is strictly limited, so advance booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. Tickets are £5 advance from or 01273 328683, or £6 on the door. Special snack boxes of quiche and salad, including a vegetarian option, are available to be booked in advance only, priced £3.50 – please indicate if you would like to purchase this when booking tickets.

As well as our new Pop-Up Cinema Club with the CMPCA, we are looking forward to to other exciting new partnerships for 2014. We will be publishing details of these shortly – as well as our upcoming plans for screenings at Newhaven Fort and Salisbury Museums.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all soon, as wish you a (belated) happy New Year!

Filmspot goes to Hollywood with Billy Wilder!

Hope you’ve all had a splendid Easter! We have been getting ourselves ready for next weekend when Filmspot goes to Hollywood, without even leaving Eastbourne!

We have two fantastic Hollywood themed films over the weekend, on Friday 5th April at 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) we are screening Sunset Boulevard, and on Saturday 6th April at 4pm (doors 3.30pm), we’re showing Singin’ in the Rain. In my last blog, we explored some great Gene Kelly moments, in honour of Singin’ in the Rain, so this time we’re looking at some of the classic Billy Wilder moments…

Some Like it Hot (1959)

Probably Wilder’s best-known film, Some Like It Hot stars Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and George Raft. Lemmon and Curtis play two jazz musicians who accidently witness the Valentine’s Day Massacre. Struggling to find work, they disguise themselves as women and join a women’s band, headed by Marilyn Monroe. The American Film Institute listed Some Like It Hot as the greatest American comedy of all time.

The Apartment (1960)

Starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, this charming drama-comedy focuses on a lonely office worker, C C Baxter (Lemmon), who allows his four managers to use his apartment for their extramarital liaisons. The initial idea for the film came from Noel Coward’s play ‘Brief Encounter’, and also from the real life Hollywood scandal when producer Walter Wanger shot agent Jennings Lang after discovering Lang was having an affair with his wife. Released after the success of ‘Some Like it Hot’, it was widely thought of as a comedy when it came out, but it has a very melancholic, dramatic air.

The Lost Weekend (1945)

Very different in tone from the above two films, this Noir masterpiece shows the life of an alcoholic, particularly focussing on a weekend-long binge. While less bleak than the autobiographical novel by  Charles Jackson on which it is based, this is a rare depiction of the grim realities of alcoholism, rather than the usual Hollywood tactic of using drunken-ness for laughs. The film rightly swept the board at the Academy Awards, winning best picture, director, actor (for the lead, Ray Milland) and screenplay in 1946.

Double Indemnity (1944)

Co-written by Wilder and the great Raymond Chandler, based on a novella of the same name by James M Cain, Double Indemnity is regarded as one of the classics of Film Noir. Featuring hardboiled dialogue, and a cruel femme fatale, this film was actually created before the term ‘Film Noir’ was even coined! Barbara Stanwyck plays a provocative housewife, who schemes a complicated insurance scam, in which she entangled Walter Neff (played by Fred MacMurray), a successful but greedy insurance salesman.

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Starring Kirk Douglas, Ace in the Hole is Wilder’s scathing examination of the press, and its ‘victims’. Douglas plays a disgraced reporter who is desperate to regain work on a national newspaper. He senses an opportunity to get back onto front page national news when a man gets trapped in a cave, while gathering ancient Indian artefacts. He gets involved in the rescue mission, trying to prolong it in order to get the biggest story possible from the situation, turning the rescue mission into a ‘circus’. Unsurprisingly, given its theme, the film was poorly received by the press on release, but it really is classic Wilder material, with his typical biting outlook.

On Friday, however, we are showing one of Wilder’s greatest, and possibly darkest, works, Sunset Boulevard. We hope to see you at the Devonshire Park Tennis Centre, for the film start at 7.30pm.

Tickets may be booked here – and tickets for Singin’ in the Rain (on Saturday 6th April, at 4pm – doors 3.30pm) may be booked here