The Strand Cinema have started a new 12 week series called ‘Silver Screenings’. Every Tuesday from June through to August the cinema will be showing a classic Silver Screen movie. The Strand Cinema is the last real Art Deco style cinema still running in Northern Ireland and is a great spot for this series. If you have read my blog before you may have seen my previous posts about tours and classic movie nights here, if you are looking for more info about the cinema itself you should check those posts out.
This was a great event and was much more than just a screening of a classic movie. Firstly The Strand boast rock bottom ticket prices and give you the best bang for your buck! I was greeted by a member of staff who was more than welcoming and gave me an insight into the series and other possible series and plans coming up in the future. I was then offered tea, coffee and buns, this was a great touch and best of all it was free of charge! Before the film started we were treated to the insight of a film expert. The purpose of this was to give us some context for the film that we were about to watch. This was really interesting and informative and was a nice touch rather than just putting the film on straight away. We learnt about the Director, John Huston and the genre of Film Noir as a whole. This is exactly the kind of event that I love and any movie buff would have a great time here. This series of Silver Screenings is mainly targeted at senior citizens although everyone is welcome. However the over 60s are treated to an in depth discussion of the film afterwards as a part of the Strand Seniors Film Society. It is great to see events like this run for this age group and the presence of this age group in the cinema really added to the whole atmosphere too. There was a charm to the way many of them would shout things out loud and at times it felt like a bit of a commentary but this was brilliant, and also the way in which the audience erupted into applause at the end of the picture.
The movie itself intrigued me as I had never seen a black and white movie before, maybe apart from An Inspector Calls in school but I remember very little of that. It took me a little while to settle into the film just as it was so different from anything I had seen before. I was surprised at the speed many of the actors delivered their lines, often there was a lot of information given out in a very short space of time but I got used to this and really began to appreciate this fast pace. Of course I watched this film through the lens of modern cinema and all the expectations that brings. However the most striking difference I noticed was how listening was much more of an important aspect in this film that in films today. Often major plot points were simply spoken by a character rather than shown on screen, this was something to get used to but it allowed me to engage my imagination maybe more so than I would with a film released in 2014. Overall The Maltese Falcon was a great film, recently making into Empires list of the 301 Greatest Films of All Time, I can now see why. I enjoyed the mystery and intrigue throughout and several of the characters were very amusing to watch. If anything this film has sparked my interest for the more classic era of film and I can’t wait to see what the Strand has to offer next week with it’s screening of All That Heaven Allows.