Mild Concern Goes to Indie Cinemas

Brixton Ritzy

My earliest memories of movie-watching are of going to our local flea-pit to be scared witless by The Secret of NIMH. In the same cinema, I was also terrified by The Fox and the Hound and Oliver & Company but then the cinema closed. So in order to experience future animated frights, this scaredy-cat had to take a 40-minute bus trip and walk another 20 to get to a 15-screen multiplex on the outskirts of Peterborough.

In the entirety of my childhood and teenage years, all that seemed to change in that Showcase – or any other Showcase for that matter – were that the seats got shabbier and more uncomfortable and popcorn got more expensive, safe in a retail environment with zero competition. They even rolled out the exact same Christmas message every year.

We at Mild Concern like independent cinemas because where else would we get to watch weird Portuguese films that no one wants to read the reviews of? So, we’re starting a feature highlighting and reviewing the ones that we get to try. This will, inevitably, be mostly London-centric because unlike the BBC, we can’t afford to make any of our writers relocate to Scotland. But when we do get a chance to visit an indie cinema out of the capital, we’ll be there, jealous of the ticket prices.

Which leads neatly onto the Austerity Britain Box. If you’re Squeezed in the Middle or repeatedly hitting snooze on Alarm Clock Britain or whatever other spin term we want to hijack to say that it can be expensive to go see a movie these days, we’re here for you! The Austerity Britain Box will summarise the ticket prices in comparison with other nearby chain options, the cost of snacks and any special deals. Then maybe you can put that £1.20 we save you to setting up your own cinema one day.

Coming soon… The Rio, Dalston

Arts Groups Lose Funding, Thanks David

With the UK Film Council disbanded, and partially reformed over at the BFI, you might think the British film scene had lost enough funding for now. Sadly not. With the Arts Council England’s budget cut by £100 million back in October, more casualties were revealed yesterday as the various grants were announced. Plenty of bad news for arts groups.

Some fared well, the Young Vic had gained 15.8% in it’s funding, so it’s not all grim news, but for every extra penny one group received, another is losing that penny from it’s funding. One of the hardest hit is the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, losing between 37% and 43%, depending on which news source you believe. The ICA covers all sorts of art but most importantly is our source of bizarre Portuguese films, and is where I once saw Hot Fuzz before release with Wright, Frost and Pegg in attendance.

I realise that every sector is feeling the pinch and plenty of people I know and love are losing their jobs but this is a blog about the arts, or 3D films with gore and nudity, so it’s our job to highlight our loss when such severe cuts are made by the government.

Some might say tax money shouldn’t be spent on the arts, but that’s just silly.