Cinemas have reopened and, for many film fans, that means their sanctuary has finally been restored.
Although the past year hasn’t been found wanting when it comes to great films (the current Best Picture winner, Nomadland, is only the start), they’ve all been experienced in relative isolation – we’ve been missing out on the roar of the crowd, the feeling of palpable connection between strangers in the dark.
As The Independent’s Chief Film Critic, it also fundamentally changed the nature of my job. The inside of the multiplex is my usual office space and so, like many others, I’ve had to shift and adapt in order to move forward under strange and disconcerting circumstances. It wasn’t just a case of reassessing my home cinema system, but of analysing and writing in a kind of quarantined state – without even a trickle of laughter or a sense of tension in the air to hint at a film’s general consensus.
The government’s near-total lack of support for the arts and entertainment industries, coupled with the cruel way several major cinema chains have treated their employees, also left me fearful for the future. But it’s with a full heart and a hope for better things that I sit down to my first cinema venture in over six months. And I’m thrilled to share that experience with you, by introducing The Life Cinematic – The Independent’s new film-centric newsletter.
Every Thursday, from May 27, I’ll be sending you a catalogue of thoughts, observations, and experiences straight from the slightly strange, rarely repetitive life of a professional film critic.
I’ll share my thoughts on the biggest news stories and industry announcements. You’ll even find a new, weekly film club, with selections both old and new, beloved and forgotten.
To sign up to The Life Cinematic and browse our full range of other newsletters click here.