In Conversation: Amy Brown 2010

Interviewer- Lucy Westcott
Interviewee- Amy Brown
Date- Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Amy Brown is a 21-year-old Sociology and Anthropology student at Goldsmiths University in London.  Originally from Swindon, home to one Cineworld and one Empire cinemas, it was not until she moved to London that she discovered the joy that comes with attending a Picturehouse cinema and seeing old films for the first time on a large screen.  I decided to interview Amy because, although she has only been to the Duke’s once, it was to see a favourite of hers, cult teen comedy ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ in November 2009.  I asked her what the experience was like to finally see a film watched so many times on DVD and television screens on a cinema screen at midnight with a rum and coke in hand.  It sounds like heaven.

On how she came to the Duke of York’s to see ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’.

‘I travelled to Brighton to see my best friend who to goes to university there as she had called and said, ‘Do you want to see Ferris Bueller at the cinema?’  ‘Ferris Bueller’ is one of our favourite films and one of our joining factors as friends amongst many; we love Ferris and he is our celluloid idol.  The Duke of York’s was playing it because John Hughes, the film’s director, had recently died so they commemorated him by playing one of his best films ever.  I got a rum and coke from the lovely bar upstairs, which felt bizarre and like something cinemagoers would do years and years ago.  The Duke of York’s supports the way that film watching should be, just relaxing late at night.’

On the ‘traditional’ way of going to the cinema.

‘When you go to cinema, I think you give away a bit of your soul.  In London I am surrounded by cinemas, be it Picturehouses, Imax cinemas, big branded chain cinemas- we always go to the Picturehouses though.

‘I’m not a big internet user and one of my ultimate dreams is to have my own cinema.  I LOVE going to the cinema.  People don’t understand when I go to the cinema to see the same film 5 times, they say ‘why are you paying for it again and again?  Just get it on DVD or download it’.  No! I love being in a cinema and being completely cut off, I absorb myself in films because I love a huge screen and feeling like I’m the only person watching the film.  If I enjoy a film, I don’t mind paying for it.  If it’s a cinema like the Duke of York’s it needs to exist by people going there and paying for films.  Films, CDs, DVDs, I like anything I can hold, I like tangible things.’

On her disdain for 3-D cinema technology and why she enjoyed her experience of the Duke’s.

‘Obviously, I loved the experience of going to the cinema late at night.  With most films now, the last film is usually 9 o’clock, although I did go to see ‘The Watchmen’ at 3 a.m. at the BFI IMAX in London.  We don’t need 3-D in films- films are just that, films, and they are not real life.  Why do people need to pretend or see things coming out of the screen as if they’re real?  I watch a film for escapism and I like them flat.’

‘I love that there is only one screen at the Duke of York’s.  Years ago, when you had to go in and watch whatever was on in a cinema, you had no choice.  People went for the pure experience of cinema.  Mainstream cinemas never play old films because it’s the new films that bring in the money, that’s another good thing about the Duke’s.  You’d never be able to see them, I would love to see ‘The Graduate’ at the cinema actually, a film that is so perfect as beautiful aesthetically.’

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