The Palme D’or winning Dheepan is showing every day this week but Wednesday’s screening is the latest Leeds Movie Meetup Group gathering. We asked Frankie, the group’s organiser to tell us a little more.
Since forming in September 2008 the Leeds Movie Meetup Group has grown to a substantial size (1700+) members, although a typical number of attendees for an actual movie meetup would be 6 or 7 and our record attendance remains 22 for the DiCaprio movie Inception (2010). The Hyde Park Picture House is very much our ‘home’ venue. To date we have attended over 500 movies at the cinema, with Dheepan being our next meetup. I was joking that the follow up film should be called Krispneven, and at least 1 person thought that was funny! It’s not the same when we go elsewhere, although if we do, we much prefer independent cinemas such as The Cottage Road in Far Headingley to the Vue experience – where the screens are way too big and it’s way too expensive. But the main reason we love going to HPPH is the type of movie that gets shown there. Dheepan is exactly the kind of movie that the group looks for. Sure we also like recent blockbuster films such as The Revenant, High Rise or Hail, Caesar! but it’s the award winning foreign movies that are the first to get scheduled. Palme D’or winners (such as Dheepan) are sure to get the group talking in the Royal Park backroom afterwards. It might be totally hat-stand, but The Lobster which was our Favourite Film Meetup for 2015.
It’s tricky to find the Meetup website’s discussion board on a mobile phone, but with a desktop version, then it’s easy. We nearly always put an informal review of the film (and meetup) on there, certainly this happens if it’s an event that I’ve hosted, so it’s a little weird to do a preview of Dheepan. My reasoning in stating that is that I like to go see a movie where I know as little about it as possible. Ideally someone who has similar taste in movies to me will recommend it; and then I don’t want to see any trailers or read any reviews in the media. Dheepan has an interesting premise where a Tamil soldier poses as the husband and father of two other refugees in order to escape Sri Lanka and attempts to start a new life in France, and I think I’d rather not know any more about it!! However, I’m not a fan of some of the director’s other movies, especially A Prophet (2009), which as prison dramas go, was easily the toughest stretch I’ve had to endure, and was far too long.
I want to finish by mentioning Victoria. This movie is coming to the HPPH soon (from April 15th), and our Group is going to see it. We saw it at the Leeds International Film Festival back in November. It subsequently won a Llama (Leeds Annual Meetup Awards) for the year’s best film, as voted for by the members of the Group. Now that is an amazing film. It’s a little slow to get going but when it does it grips!!