Finding Your Feet (2017)
My friend, Liz, and I were working in the box office last evening and a very busy time we had of it. Almost a continuous stream of people came through the doors expectant of a good evening's entertainment, and judging by audience response, I am sure there were few who were disappointed.
Eugene, supported by the rest of the management, is constantly working to improve the experience of film viewing in our Community Cinema. When I think there can be little more he can come up with he introduces another aspect. This time our very own Pearl and Deane appeared advertising local events. It was inspirational and nostalgic at the same time. Congratulations Eugene.
"Liberte" was the principle short before the interval. Unmistakably French in its artistry and production, I thought it a delight. An incarcerated young man is offered the means of escape. He is shown locked in a boxlike cell - his head perhaps? Eventually he finds himself released into the green and leafy outdoors where he sees more cells for him to pass on the baton of Liberte.
'Finding you Feet' is an uplifting film despite the various bad and difficult experiences all the main protagonists have to contend with. Everyone is "mended" by dance and the happy-go-lucky enjoyment of life in older age if you can only give yourself to it. The story is predictable every step of the way and works because of it. It is funny, sad, lively, exuberant and improbable. The acting is superb, but what else would you expect from such a marvellous cast?
It was quite late when we sat down to the discussion so that may have had a bearing on there only being eight of us. Most of us enjoyed the main film but two of our number gave it just 5 out of 10, saying the plot was unrealistic and contrived. It was agreed that 'Liberte' drew heavily on the mime of Marcel Marceau and all but one enjoyed it.
This film taught me that being MC and projecting at the same time is a bit of a challenge. But one I enjoyed as 89 of us sat down to watch some advertising followed by a trailer for The General, then a short interview with our accompanist in twi weeks, Costas Fotopoulos, then a dance compilation where the audience were invited to tell us how many of the clips were from films we have screened (the answer was 8). Three lucky winners won a choice of DVD/Blu-ray or dance lessons at the Pauline Quirke Academy.
Then after a reprise of some ladies of the 1960s dancing we watched liberté, a short film that was selected as it symbolises the breaking free of current constraints to reach a better tomorrow. A theme echoed in the main film. That was followed by a nostalgic look at some advertisements for Lyons Mail ice cream first screened in the middle of the last century; it was a happy but unexpected effect that that caused a run on ice cream at Rosemary's parlour until we sold out. Another lesson learnt.
For what it's worth, my view of Finding Your Feet was that even though it was clearly contrived and improbable, the label of 'feel good film' fitted well, and it is none the worse for that. I like to feel good and I enjoyed the entertainment even with knowledge that it was not a journalistic report of a real event.
Note must be made of the Rocky Road cake and dance steps created by our (absent!) Director of the Environment and recorded in our Facebook album.