Hello! We are the Trent Film Society and we just want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has joined us for our past few screenings.
Firstly, we’d like to thank those who participated in the screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show, for without your enthusiasm and participation, the event would not have been the success that it was. Your excitement for fun occasions such as this one makes our jobs as TFS directors rewarding, and we look forward to holding similarly large-scaled events. Secondly, we’d love to give a shout-out to those who came out to last week’s screening of Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room. The success of the screening was quite a nice surprise and we enjoy being able to delve into such fruitful discussions as the one this film initiated. While we loved showing you all of the horror films of October (and the first week of November), we thought that it would be quite nice to lighten things up a bit and transition to something less violent and scary.
We have a nice selection of films coming up in November, specifically drawing upon some classics of cinema which we thought would act as a nice form of escapism from the abundance of school work, such as Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (which we have been trying to get screened since last year and are super psyched about), Lo Wei’s Fists of Fury (starring the legendary Bruce Lee at the top of his game), and next week’s hilarious British tragicomedy, Withnail & I. We hope that you enjoy the lineup that we have for you this upcoming month and we are excited to engage in some classic
cinema with all of you fellow cinephiles. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on next week’s film.
Withnail & I stars Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann as Withnail and Marwood, two struggling alcoholic actors (both unemployed and unemployable) who, when tired of their surroundings in Camden and in desperate need of a change in
fortune, decide to retreat to Withnail’s uncle’s cottage in the English countryside. While hoping for a nice and relaxing holiday, both of our main characters find themselves encountering one misfortune after another, including the unexpected arrival of Withnail’s rather peculiar and eccentric Uncle Monty.
The film, which is director Bruce Robinson’s first major project, was released in 1987 and was largely based on his experiences of being a struggling actor in the 1960’s, with the character of Marwood being mostly based off of Robinson’s exploits. Originally conceived as a novel, Robinson’s passed his story around to many friends in the publishing industry, but he was urged by many to use the material for a film instead. After adapting the screenplay, Robinson was encouraged to lead the venture, making Withnail & I his directorial debut.
The film is widely regarded by many as one of the greatest to be released from
Britain and also one of the funniest comedy films ever made. While a lot of the praise goes to the incredibly quotable humor of the film, what makes this such an engaging watch is its resonant themes regarding the passage of time and friendship. Robinson smartly utilizes the year and setting of his story (the end of the 1960’s, which Withnail continuously refers to as the end of “the greatest decade of mankind”) to highlight the characters’ quest to abandon their past irresponsible ways. Robinson portrays this struggle well by making Withnail reluctant to abandon his hard partying and heavy drinking lifestyle, which has affected his career as an actor, while Marwood, the more idealistic of the two, actively tries to secure an acting job and better his career. While there are many fascinating aspects of the film, the dynamic between the two main characters and how it relates to the time and setting of the story is what adds a lot to its appeal. With this dynamic, Robinson is able to brilliantly mine darkly clever humor out of the characters, craft a very relatable story about growing up, and also weave some tragic elements through the laughs, making the story feel very well-rounded and human. We do not want to give too much of the film away, so trust us when we say you do not want to miss this hilarious cult classic.
Like all of our other screenings, this film viewing is completely free and is open to the public. For those who are considering bringing children to the screening, just keep in mind that there is very strong subject matter in the film and it may not be suitable for young viewers. The screening will be taking place at Artspace on Wednesday November 9th at 8:00 pm. We hope to see many faces there!