Saturday, 15 February 2014
An Emotional Roller Coaster
To the Swiss Premiere of 50 Kisses last night, a community co-operation film initiated by Chris Jones of the London Screenwriters' Foundation.
I'd volunteered to host the Swiss showing, and although I couldn't find a cinema to show the film at relatively short notice, I did manage to find an ideal space to show it, courtesy of Peter Stevens, developer/marketer of the EeBee iPad feedback app.
We figured we could comfortably seat about 30 people and with only a few no shows we were 90% full.
Nobody really knew what to expect, but everyone was interested in the idea, and keen to see how it all fitted together.
Peter's space has a comfortable gallery attached, so to get people in the Valentine's mood we provided bubbles and snacks, before kicking off the screening at 20:45.
The first chapter "You used to bring me flowers" established that this was no ordinary movie, but as the segments unrolled it became clear that each would be generating a different emotion to the last.
Shock, sadness, laughter, quite a lot of laughter actually, joy, fear, happiness, sympathy and empathy. And more probably.
It was impossible to pick a favourite film within the film, some liked the zombies, some didn't but everything worked at multiple levels - we've all been rejected by the beautiful one, only to find love elsewhere for example. At least my arm didn't fall off when it happened to me.
For me it was interesting to spot names in the credits who I'd met at the LSF's Advanced Producers course last year (Phil Peel and Sebastian Solberg take a bow) as well as Chris Jones himself of course. We left the credits rolling while Sabine (Peter's wife) produced her marvellous brownies to round off the evening.
We handed round three iPads running Peter's feedback app, with the final feedback mainly scoring the film well at either 7 or 8 out of 10. This may well have been a bit higher if I hadn't had the sound badly adjusted for the first few minutes! Fortunately Swiss audiences are quite used to unexpected intermissions at crucial moments. At least I waited for a suitable break point.
Everyone in the audience was pleased they'd made the effort to support independent film, although many felt they would have liked to have seen some of the clips featured in the credits that didn't make it into the film. Fortunately a number of clips are available on the 50 Kisses website so all should be happy, and have hours of fun watching the extras - which I'm sure will also feature on the DVD.
50 Kisses - a great film, and a fantastic initiative. Thanks Chris, more please!