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Fakenham Film Society and town's cinema are things to be proud of says columnist Wensum

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I’m so proud of our Fakenham Film Society and its association with the town’s cinema. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of films sitting on chairs in village halls near here but there’s nothing quite like the big screen and other big factors which cinemas embody.

The society also leans on the cinema’s advice when selecting films, ensuring they are available and in the proper medium. Of course we don’t always get it right, a fact which is usually conveyed to committee members at the end of the evening.

But after a long period when this form of entertainment was ‘off limits’ I reckon the showings in the past three months have been excellent.

Fakenham cinema.
Fakenham cinema.

Amelie, in French with subtitles, was a delightful romp which was, to my way of thinking, a charming portrayal of a person and a city – Paris.

Last Orders was something I had pushed for, having read Graham Swift’s fine Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. Set in south London, it trails a group of drinking buddies who regularly meet up in a favourite pub. Sound familiar? Anyway, when one of them dies, his last wishes had been for his ashes to be scattered onto the sea at Margate.

This becomes a serious challenge with the drive out to the coast opening up bits of history amongst the group which have lain dormant for years. Such a brilliant cast, including Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, Bob Hoskins and Tom Courtenay.

Most recently we have revived Cabaret starring the amazing Liza Minelli. Even if I did see this all those years ago it was more than worth a repeat. Such a vibrant portrayal of pre-war night life in Berlin – the choreography and music on stage was outstanding – along with a menacing edge provided by the rise of Nazism.

Maybe it was the Ukraine factor hovering over our news bulletins every day but whether it was soldiers wearing Nazi symbols or Hitler youth singing in praise of the Fatherland, I felt a shiver whenever these were given prominence. Overall, though, this was surely the role of a lifetime for Liza Minelli as Sally Bowles. Terrific.

As a footnote to last week’s column I mentioned the upcoming films for May and June – In The Heat of the Night and A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. These will be followed by Fargo in July, directed by the Coen brothers and starring Frances McDormand who won a best actress Academy Award for her performance as a police officer investigating a series of murders.

This re-release marks the 25th anniversary of the original.

And then there’s Brassed Off in August, a hugely popular film in the 1990s which follows the trail of Gloria, sent by her company to assess the condition of a coal mine in her former hometown in Yorkshire. Sparks fly as her arrival injects a new lease of life into the local band which braces itself to enter a national competition.

Films are normally shown on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm. Check us out on the website if you’re interested in being a part of this successful group or just turn up on the night.


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