Art & Culture

I'm a born optimist. I always look on the bright side of life, and regard nostalgia as a form of mental deterioration. But looking ahead to the films coming this way over the next few months, I have to say it's hard to find many glimmers of light.

Let's start with the Big Hollywood Movies – Batman 3 aka The Dark Knight Rises; a Spiderman reboot; The Avengers and (possibly) Bourne 4 with Jeremy Renner. Clearly TDKR will be huge, though possibly not as big as its predecessor (no Heath Ledger). The Avengers is simply a matter of assembling superheroes who have been in previous films – Thor, Iron Man etc. Spiderman – well, we've all been there before – and we have to wonder what legs Bourne has without Matt Damon. So that's 4 big films to last through till September. Men In Black 3 may or may not be a contender, depending a) how good it is and b) whether people think Will Smith is still cool. It remains to be seen whether Ridley Scott's return to the world of Alien with Prometheus will seem fresh and exciting or yesterday's news.

Among the films for a younger audience, Ice Age: Continental Drift will be successful simply because that franchise is fifteen times more popular than you can imagine; there's a new Pixar film called Brave (see picture).

But what about the smaller arthouse cinemas, who are currently doing stonking business with Marigold Hotel, and have had a great few months with Senna, Kevin, Tinker Tailor, Artist and many more? From where I'm standing, it looks as though the supply is beginning to dry up. It may be the imminence of The Olympics, plus the Jubilee, plus Euro 2012, but I can see several months of bums off seats, as the discerning public desert the cinema for the great outdoors. Distributors may be saving up the goodies for the colder months, and dumping the unappealing by products when no one is looking. I hope I'm wrong – and the summer may not even be hot (hasn't been for a while), but we shall see.


Phil Raby

Front Row Films

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