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Edinburgh's film festival changed culture. Its closure is a serious loss for the

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Me Remember the shock when Alfred Hitchcock died? For moviegoers in Edinburgh, Scotland and further afield, Thursday was a similar blow to his body. The Film House, the city’s great cultural cinema, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival in August have both suspended trading.

Martin Scorsese, Maggie Cheung, The Coen Brothers, Andrei Tarkovsky, Lynn Ramsay, Leslie Caron, Steve Martin, Bill Forsythe, Derek Jarman, Thelma Schoonmaker, Michael Powell, and many others , I went to the film house like a moth to the flames, wanting what I wanted. The first time I went to him was in 1984, a place that comes out as a movie buff. It’s exhilaration, and it’s a refuge and a port of departure.

Poor on the outside, rich on the inside, and led by pioneers such as Linda Miles, Murray Grigor and many others, the Edinburgh Film Festival was feminist, unfettered, dissenter and passionately international. It had its own pulpit and its sermons were modernist and astonishing. It changed cinema culture, and its apparent demise makes me want to say: stop the clock, dim the projector, or ring the bell. Or watch the ending of the great Douglas Sirk movie The Imitation of Life with Mahalia Jackson lamenting.

Why did the film house and the Edinburgh Film Festival stop trading? It escalated because electricity bills have increased significantly, because of Covid, and because they paid their staff decent wages. Filmhouse’s audience skewed toward the elderly, and those people were slow to return to the picture. Since the venue is not purpose-built, there are operating costs.

The Edinburgh Film Festival and Film House are also victims of their own success. Like many other cultural cinemas in the UK and around the world, it has slowly grown its audience for subtitled films. Multiplexes like Vue and Cineworld are showing movies like this now, which is great. Mission complete. However, his R&D guy who built the story is starting to lose it.

And then there are other factors. In recent days many in and around Edinburgh have denounced the closure, while others thought the film house and EIFF would always be there, but rarely bought tickets. loved these organizations from afar. And like many arts venues, Edinburgh’s cultural cinema does not overcome class barriers.

Other cities and communities can learn from this. Our city Edinburgh is twisted and wounded. Scotland has a government, it has a Minister for Culture and the arts organization Screen Scotland is concerned with this issue. they don’t notice. They understand how movies and festivals can raise the tide. If you are reading this in other parts of the UK, does the same apply?

There is room for optimism here. British community cinema is booming. I hope that the Edinburgh International Film Festival will be reborn. Creative his director Christie her Matheson idea could help ensure that. And Edinburgh’s film house may also be Lazarus. Like many western cities, we have a large elderly population. Imagine her 12 new movie buses transporting people with disabilities to new film houses to see Mahalia Jackson sing in The Imitation of Life or Sebastian Lelio’s new film. please look.

Also, many cities like Edinburgh have a large student population. Cultural cinemas here and elsewhere are much more receptive to students. Good work has been done in this area, but more is needed.

Filmhouse and the Edinburgh International Film Festival made me a filmmaker. I need these places, our cities need them, our country needs them, our culture needs them. I know many great filmmakers from They all say the same thing. As long as you live near a theater that shows great movies, you can make good movies. Agnès Varda, Martin Scorsese, Barry Jenkins, Lynn Ramsay, Akira Kurosawa, Jane Campion should be 30 minutes away.