Going to the movies has turn into a luxury for many. Tickets are expensive, theatres offering films in their original version are very few, and unfortunately the bizz is focused on mainstream blockbusters. There’s the local independent cinema which is quite affordable, but the catalogue is too serious, so to speak.
People who grew up in the late 70s and 80s look for something beyond that. We want to recover those films we’ve watched hundreds of times on TV and enjoy them in big screen. Thus, Grindhouse initiatives of action, horror or sci-fi movies, are always very welcome.
Now La Otra Films in Barcelona, goes beyond that. The concept of this iniciative has to do with the lack of film festivals dealing with love. There’re horror, sci-fi, independent, foreign, gender, Asian…film festivals, but if you think about it, nobody cares about love. To be honest I hadn’t thought of it before either as typical love-cakey-drama/comedy films are not my thing. But there are exceptions of course, and love is depicted in all kind of film genres in a very different way. Remember Han and Leia in Star Wars saga, or the top 5 love disasters list told by Rob Gordon in High Fidelity, the junkie relationship between Harry and Marion in Requiem for a Dream, for instance.
On a monthly basis La Otra offers a Thursday evening of love, music and beer. I christening was last Thursday with John Waters’ Cry Baby.
For those who might not know this fact, I love his films. Pecker, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Hairspray, Serial Mom, Cecil B Demented… This fascination for the disgusting and the filth in his early films stole my heart. I still remember that late Tuesday night when a TV channel broadcast Pink Flamingos and the day after at the high school everybody was talking about the final scene of Divine eating dogshit. It was repulsive, but at the same time, so shocking, trashy and awesome, we all started searching for more of his stuff.
I’ve always loved his regular cast of actors: the queen of filth and shock Divine, Mink Stole, fascinating Patricia Hearst (millionaire William Randolph Hearst’s granddaughter and heiress, who was also kidnapped and convicted for armed robbery), David Lochary and his ‘stache, Mary Vivian Pierce with that 1920’s unique beauty, Ricki Lake who is not overweight anymore, Edith Massey and her eggman…
Cry Baby is a funny tribute to all 1950’s films featuring squares and rebels. it’s a trasher version of Grease, as it tells the story of an instant crush between the beautiful and straight posh girl, Allison, and the rebel and leader of a gang, Cry Baby Walker, raised by his grandma after his father was fried in the electric chair. Love at first sight for real. Another Romeo & Juliet modern review, with of course, a happy ending, an impressive soundtrack, and very funny moments. Such a story, with a young Amy Locane, Traci Lords at her maximum splendor (leaving her porn time behind, guys), Johnny Depp’s taking off from 21 Jump St series (who could have foreseen the success of his career?), Iggy Pop, Willem Dafoe, had to be a winner.
You can read a “proper” review of the film I wrote long time ago for Popcorn and Movies. Believe it or not, it’s the most visited post in this comatose blog.
So imagine Thursday evening after a couple of beers, when we arrived at the cinema it was packed with people. Everybody was in a great mood. They were serving free beer, there was a photocall with a Triumph motorbike and Cry Baby leather jacket so you could pose, and then there was a short opening performance. The band Miedo (Fear) was pure rubbish, but bearable anyway.
It’s great to watch these kind of films with lots of people. The word to define the event is FUN. Everybody laughing, whistling, booing, clapping…and the peak of the night, with Mr Jailer musical number, with confetti blowing all over the place. What a blast!
I wonder why such events are not held more often. I think there’d be enough people motivated enough as to attend. It seems that movies to watch at theatres have to be new releases, or old classics, but, what happens with OUR generation classics?
Thanks to La Otra for such wonderful evening. I’m sure there will be a next time.