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Evening Post 6 July 1976

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

Cinema Alive and Well


When the almost hypnotic impact of the television screen pervaded the country's living-rooms, the effect upon cinema altendances was drastic. Some people went so far as to predict that to all intents and purposes the film theatres were on the way out.


The astonishing early success of the Wellington Film Festival gives the lie to those gloomy predictions. The cinema might not have recovered many of the battalions lost to TV, but it has its knowledgeable followng to encourage the showing locally of more of the finer screen productions.


Festival-goers tend to be specialists, and the films screened at festivals, drawn from many countries, possess as a rule qualities of distinction which have earned acclaim and set them apart from the normal run. Mr Lindsay Shelton, the festival organiser, says that the apparent slump of films on the commerctal sector is not borne out by the number of people altending festival screenings. "Our answer to this is 'Give the viewing public what they want,'" he says.


One can reasonably assume that if the attendances at the festival are so healthy that heavy queues of patrons have had to be turned away, public interest in this form of entertainment is growing, and the upsurge must - if the right sort of films are shown - soon be reflected in the commercial sector.


Wellington is often described as a place where things don't get done, and in far too many cases the jibe has had a good deal of truth in it. One feature of the life of the Capital, is, however, very mucb at variance with that reputation.


In most of the Arts there is a constant stream of dedicated effort, reservoirs of talent and eagerness which somehow manage to keep things going despite desperate frustrations, official indifference and often disheartening lack of public support.


The film festival, then, is more than an expression of the Wellington Film Society's keenness and aspirations. It is also a barometer of the Capital's cultural buoyancy - and on present showing a particularly heartening one.


- Evening Post, 6 July 1976.



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