So that was Scalarama 2016 at The House Of Freudstein… and what have we learned? That “a fruity surprise screening” isn’t the most cryptic of clues… oh, and that it was probably unwise of me to announce, in advance, certain postings that were subsequently bumped by the emergence of other contenders for blogroom. Don’t worry, the promised reviews of Salo and Caligula will be posted soon… or possibly do worry.
I was discussing the nature and value of nostalgia recently with somebody who said that he wouldn’t want to go back to the days of scuzzy VHS dubs but I think he was missing the point. Nostalgia isn’t about trying to go back, its bitter-sweetness derives largely from an acceptance that there is no going back. I don’t want to exchange my beautiful Blu-ray editions for scuzzy VHS any more than I want to spend hours on trains and sitting up all night in a dingy cinema to catch something (up to and including A Clockwork Orange) of which I can now pull an HD copy off my shelf and watch in the comfort of my own lounge (where cats are banned, all the rats are in cages and the carpets get hoovered once a year whether they need it or not!)
With such a brave new world of home entertainment just around the corner, it’s doubtful that The Scala could have gone on much longer even if it had won its case (as if!) or not been reckless enought to provoke it in the first place. Our beloved cinema club might have staggered on for another year or two longer but was, in hindsight, always going to give way to a hot-and-happening night club (I’m reliably informed that they, in their turn, are all closing now… and regular readers can readily imagine how inconsolable I am about that!)
Nevertheless, in the last words of Louis XVI (as interpreted by Mel Brooks) on the scaffold… “It was great while it lasted!”