2009 was a momentous year by any standard. The first ever Black President of the United States was sworn in, ushering in a new era of hope for many people. However, the idea of a that shining new future was still dulled by the long shadow of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, as the world struggled with economic recession and job losses.
And in the dark summer of 2009, while we all feared H1N1 swine flu, and mourned the death of the King of Pop, a little brightness was shone into the world from the projector lamp in our backyard. Back in 2009, armed only with a bedsheet, some door trim, a borrowed projector and a guitar amp, Folly Avenue Film Club brought moving images to life under the stars, and a grand tradition - nay, a movement - was born. 10 years later, we come together to celebrate a decade of popcorn, dewy grass, mosquito bites, loud frogs and some of the best movie watching experiences one can imagine.
Over the last 9 years, our little cinematic gathering has evolved at a rate which would even make Darwin proud. Advanced projection systems, hi fi quality sound, top quality catering are all things to which we still aspire unfortunately, but we have come a very long way, and become organised in a way only my wife could have been responsible for. And we have enjoyed every last little moment of what we have put together.
There are two things that have made the last nine years such a pleasure to have experienced. The first, and most important is people. We have had different sets of ‘regulars’ at different times, reflecting the passage of time and the inevitable changes in people’s lives. Jobs take people away, babies make it difficult for new parents to get out at night, but for the new friendships we have forged and the socials bonds that we have strengthened through love of movies, we are so grateful.
The second - and also most important - element are the movies themselves. As you should know, every summer our movies are loosely herded into a theme. Over the years we have progressed from selecting a theme which allowed us to spotlight a deserving group of movies, to basically picking the best movies from the previous couple of years, and inelegantly bolting a label on them. This rather crude method has been hugely successful, and in recent years we have had the best possible seasons.
Before we announce the theme for our celebratory tenth season of Folly Avenue Film Club, we thought we would take a little stroll down memory lane. Over the next couple of weeks, we will revisit some of our previous seasons, hopefully stirring up some memories, and whetting the appetite for our new line-up.
In 2009, with our modest technical set-up, we put together a program of our favorite musicals, including Moulin Rouge, Chicago and of course - the best musical movie of all time - Singin’ In The Rain. We learned an early lesson in 2009 that outdoor activities necesitate close attention to the weather. A number of nights were washed out by rain and we STILL haven’t shown Mamma Mia !
By 2015, we were in our stride. Our movie selection policy had matured, and our mastery of the presentation side had expanded to include pre-show trailers and even promotional videos. Here is something I put together to promote and celebrate the theme of ‘Based on a True Story’.
Stay tuned for more journeys down memory lane and some other movie related posts as we build towards Summer 2018, and the announcement of this year’s theme.