Smash Cut Cinema
Smash Cut Cinema is a great way to relive old classics and discover new favourites.
I’ve been meaning to attend a Smash Cut Cinema screening for awhile. While I’m generally not into discovering old movies for myself, Smash Cut usually shows films that have amazingly executed scenes, brilliant acting and an engaging and well-written script. So, rather than trawl through the millions of movies online to find something that might appeal (an incredibly time consuming process that usually means giving up and writing something instead) I can simply check out Smash Cuts recommendations and attend a screening.
I had some trepidation though. “It Happened One Night” was going to be screened and it didn’t contain the three elements I usually look for in a movie. Namely spaceships, aliens, and set in the future. Preferably with some time travel. So a romantic comedy classic filmed and set in the 1930s… um.
Still, as I’m also a script writer I need to watch everything to get some ideas on better ways to do particular scenes, so I went along with an inquisitive mind.
Review of It Happened One Night Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert
Even so, I was surprised! No wonder this movie won five of the most important academy awards! I also had no idea that this was the go-to-guide for romantic comedies. There were so many scenes in it that I’d seen recycled in television shows repeatedly over the past thirty years, and so many that worked in the context amazingly, but wouldn’t work so well in our fast paced movies today. I actually found myself chuckling at some of the humour, enjoying it from the point of view of the time.
The other thing that impressed me was the use of all the modern gadgetry of the time. Telegrams being sent, phone calls made, someone even flew to a wedding in a gyroscope. There was also a unique understanding of the differences between men and women in the script and by the end of it you could see that the female lead had grown as a person and the male lead had had his life transformed. Unusual these days in multiple sequels, where it is necessary to make that character change over a longer period.
There was actually so many subtle messages in this movie too I could tell there was a love of the director and writer to not only get everything right, but make sure those messages came through clearly. I’m sure thousands of essays have been written on the multiple messages addressed already so I won’t go into detail here. In summary, black people being represented joyfully, the differences between lower, middle and upper classes, the reflections of standard stereotypes being rejected, strong female characters in important positions, male and female sensitivities and differences in humour, expectations of reactions to different situations that are played out differently… The list goes on. There was even an amazingly directed ‘long walk to the shower’ scene showing multiple Amish characters doing things as the camera panned along. I had no idea that that kind of scene was already being filmed in the 1930s, believing it to be a more modern innovation thanks to the technology we now have. Amazing movie. If you’d like to get a copy or find out more about it, click here: It Happened One Night
But I should speak more about the place! Smash Cut Cinema is held in a small room at the top of Newtown Hotel. Every Tuesday at 174 King Street Newtown. About 10 minutes walk from Newtown train station with plenty of buses in the area. The room contains enough old and comfortable movie seats for over 20 people and you can bring your bar drinks with you. The doors open at 6:30pm so that you can choose your seat, and the movie starts at 7pm. It’s completely free so if you don’t feel like buying a drink on the ground level and taking it up the stairs to the cinema, you don’t have to! On some nights they also have special screenings after the movie of private productions. If I get my sketch done in time I might put a request in!
You can find out more here: Smash Cut Cinema Newtown