Last night was the final Reel Issues of the year and I was delighted to have 83 come along to watch It's a Wonderful Life, easily a record attendance. What a delight it was to see the film in it's original black and white on the big screen in such great quality - digitally remastered and sent to the cinema on a hard disk - it looked stunning.
Watching it in a cinema was a great atmosphere and I had forgotten how funny it was, as well as (obviously) it being so moving. My friend Andy lead the discussion afterwards and pointed out that many of the themes were similar to Up (our first film in the series) and also, at the end of the discussion, drew out how it is a truly Christmas film, featuring a lead character who repeatedly sacrifices himself and empties himself of everything for the benefit of all those around him. He put it better than that though.
We intend to continue Reel Issues in February and asked for feedback last night on ideas for films that we could show. Given that the idea is to discuss the big ideas and moral and spiritual themes in a film it was amusing to get one suggestion that we should show "musicals - i.e. Sound of Music" or "comedy - i.e. Dad's Army". Clearly need to work on communicating what we are trying to do!
It has been freezing cold here with such heavy frosts that the the grass and trees have been covered and not thawed out during the day. It looks like it has snowed and so it felt a bit like Christmas before we watched the film. Afterwards, so much more so...