Sunday, 13 February 2011

You Have Been Watching...

So. Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Not that you need reminding – let’s face it, there’s no escape. I admit, as usual I have been sucked into the consumer-culture hype and have a card and present squirreled away for Him Indoors come the morning. Nothing flashy, mind, but nothing that he really needs either. Just another bit of tut to say “I love you”.
Like most couples, we have conformed and made plans for the day of lurve. Rather than opting for a romantic candlelight dinner (although we indulged in M&S’s special Valentine’s “Dine In” deal this evening) we have decided to go out for a bit of pub grub and to go and see Paul at the cinema. Nothing cements a relationship like a burger and chips followed by a sci-fi spoof, and after eight years I think we have gone beyond schmaltz and are quite content with spending a bit of quality time together.
I am really looking forward to seeing Paul. I am a big fan of the Pegg/Frost partnership, and quite honestly just love going to the cinema whatever the film. The sheer indulgence of sitting in a dark room with a bucket of popcorn with no distractions, just me and the movie, do it for me every time. This year has seen some real treats too – The Kings Speech and Black Swan were both cinematic delights for very different reasons and I thoroughly recommend them to anyone. There is one problem when it comes to going to the cinema, especially in London: The price. It is almost as expensive as going to the theatre these days. Then there are the added extras. One pack of popcorn and a drink? Don’t expect much change from a tenner. And if you want a comfy “premier” seat, well, I suggest you make efficiency savings elsewhere and smuggle in a couple of jam sandwiches and a flask of coffee for refreshment.
However, in London, there are a few cinematic experiences that you have to try out. First of all, there is the BFI. The other week I went to see Breakfast at Tiffany’s on the big screen, and last year indulged in seeing Jonny Depp during his very own season in Dead Man - what more could a girl ask for? Then there are the little independents which ooze movie cool. I am a big fan of the Brixton Ritzy and, even though I now live in north London, if I ever find myself south of the river will suggest it as a meeting point without hesitation. You see, not only does it show a selection of the best of Hollywood, Brit and Indie films, but it also has a fabulous cafe and bar with live music to boot. So, you can eat, drink, groove and critique the latest releases all in one place.
One thing I have yet to indulge in though is premier night at Leicester Square. Okay, so I have been in the vicinity when a film is due to be premiered, but have yet to feel the urge to stand in the rain surrounded by a gaggle of screaming teenagers/movie buffs just to catch a glimpse of my favourite stars. No, not even Jonny.
The best thing about the cinema though, especially in London, is the sheer escapism. When the lights go down and the reel starts rolling, you have no choice but to immerse yourself in the wonders that follow. And, quite often, that is just what the doctor ordered in this crazy place; pure unadulterated distraction from the world outside and its baggage.
Just make sure you remember to switch off your mobile.


  1. You forgot to mention the London film festival and Everything Must Go.

    Definitely up for meeting at the Ritzy some time.

  2. Given how much we paid to see the King's Speech this weekend, I dread to think what your Valentine's treat will cost in London... Have a lovely evening x

  3. Paperback, yes, I totally forgot the Film Festival! Especially liked the talk with the director afterwards. And maybe we should make the Ritzy the venue for our next coffee and cake date?
    Jo - best you don't even go there! :)