Thursday, June 11, 2015

Two for the price of none

I'm a bit of a bastard I guess.

Not only did I get to go to a free screening at Cinema Nova last night through my reviewing gig with ReelGood, but I stayed for an extra two hours of free entertainment on the house.

Yep, for the first time ever, I saw two movies in the theater without paying a single admission fee.

I did buy a $7.50 popcorn just to make myself feel a little better.

Well, I've been going easy on Cinema Nova lately. During my first six months in Melbourne I had the free time in my schedule to see a movie every discount Monday, if I wanted to. I regularly stayed for a second movie -- probably at least once a month. However, it's been 18 months since I pulled one of those, and in fact, the last time I saw two movies during the same trip to Nova -- in January of 2014, when I caught Inside Llewyn Davis followed by Her -- I actually paid for both.

In fact, this was my first cinematic double feature of any kind since I saw Into the Woods and Dumb and Dumber To at Hoyts this past January. So I've been going easy on the whole Melbourne theatrical establishment. I was overdue.

The movies I ended up seeing were kind of funny for a free double feature, as it turned out.

The first was the new documentary The Emperor's New Clothes, directed by Michael Winterbottom, which is Russell Brand's attempt to make a Michael Moore movie. He fails -- in part because that format for a movie is pretty played out, but in part because he just doesn't do it very well. However, I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the movie's merits.

Clothes is about the disparity in wealth between the rich and the poor, but that's not why it was a funny choice. I mean, I can hardly characterize myself as "the little guy" in comparison to an indie cinema that still allows people to pay only $6 for a movie as long as they see it before 5 p.m. on a Monday. It's funny because at one point in the movie, Brand hops a turnstile in the London underground, getting the same kind of free ride on the tube that I got when I attended my second movie.

Which was Samba, from the same star and directing team of The Intouchables (which I still need to see). In it Omar Sy plays the title character, a Senegalese national living in Paris, whose attempt to gain legitimate residency ends up getting him ticketed for a deportation to Dakar. He actually lands in an intermediate zone where he's no longer being detained, but also has been issued an OLFT (Obligation to Leave French Territory) letter. He is cautioned by his uncle to be even more careful than he had been before, and among the other things, the uncle advises that Samba "pay for all his metro rides."

Two references to turnstile hopping in one night?

It's like they were on to me.

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