Cinemas of all sizes: the volunteer view

pic house

The recent contentious draft findings from the Competition Commission into the purchase of the Picturehouse chain by Cineworld has got me thinking. I’m very bothered by the possible threat to the future of the long established Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge; it’s my favourite cinema, regularly showing the kind of films I would struggle to access in most other cities. The Competition Commission have provisionally concluded that competition in Cambridge can only be maintained if either the Cineworld complex or the Picturehouse is sold off.

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A bit of a yarn: knitting for the cinephile


I love knitting. There I’ve said it. I don’t care if it’s cool or not. I love wool (and fabric, and embroidery thread), I love creating something lovely/useful/individual out of a not-very-exciting-looking pile of wool. If that creation can be specifically for someone else, then I’m happy. My gran taught me to knit on yellow plastic needles when I was six years old and I’ve knitted for most of my life. I wish she had taught me to crochet though as I just can’t get interested now. I’ve made countless cardis and baby clothes, several Shetland shawls, lots of Arans, one Gansey (which was nearly too much even for my patience). It’s a slow, painstaking procedure that is immensely satisfying. It allows space to think, or to switch off from thinking, to be creative, to play with colour and texture. And you get something warm to wear at the end.

Why all this gushing about wool? Well it’s a movie connection: last week the community cinema I help organise showed Les Diaboliques (1955, directed by Henri-Georges Couzet) and not far into the film, there was the supercool Simone Signoret knitting! Oh yes she was, with her wool tucked under her arm like anyone’s mum might, or sitting curled up in the corner knitting away while she plotted murder, sparks flying off the needles as her fingers sped along the rows.  Was it just something for her to do (unlikely – she could smoke with equal style), or does her character Nicole’s knitting represent something more calculated and mysterious?

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