Two Sheffield film-lovers are making use of one of the city’s hidden gems to pay homage to cult movies.
Ryan Finnigan and Matt Risby have set up the Five and Dime Picture Show, which will feature fortnightly screenings at the University of Sheffield film unit.
The film unit, which is housed in the university students’ union on Western Bank, has been showing films since 1949. Although it is open to the general public, even many film fans are unaware of its existence.
Ryan said: “We thought it would be good for them to open up to wider Sheffield. They’re used to getting a student audience.”
Matt and Ryan are both film makers and bloggers and Matt was a manager at the Lantern Theatre in Nether Edge, where film screenings prove popular. His background is in film-making and Ryan is part of a city-based film and arts collective called SIC. Most members met as film students at Hallam University.
They are putting on films that didn’t win mainstream success but found an audience later on.
Matt said: “They are films that greatly benefit from being watched in a communal arena. It adds so much to the experience. They’re not particularly obscure films but really do benefit from being seen as part of a crowd.”
He added: “One I’m looking forward to most is Belleville Rendezvous as it’s got a live score by electronica duo Animat, who are doing it for their 10th anniversary.
“They have scored Straight Story, Dark Star and Last Man on Earth. We‘re very pleased to have got Belleville Rendezvous as Animat are only doing six dates with it.”
That’s first up tomorrow evening.
The showings will also feature competitions with “lame” prizes and other events such as a retro games night and art exhibitions.
Matt said: “This is our tester season. We’ve picked a fairly broad spectrum of films now for the first semester.
“We really want it to be a success. We’ve got lots of interesting choices lined up for next year, which we’re talking about.”
Ryan interjected with “ Bickering about!” which is obviously half the fun for them.
Matt added: “We have put a lot of thought into this semester. We don’t know who’s going to come.
“We’ve picked one really obscure title. Would people come out for it? It’s quite a gamble.
“The film unit don’t want to give up a night for something no-one is going to watch.”
They have got lots of other ideas including holding secret screenings – Ryan used to do these at home – a showing of public information films and B movies doubles. They may also show films in other venues.
Ryan said: “We want to make Five and Dime something the audience enjoy so much they go whatever the film is. “
Highlights of the first season include an audience participation screening of so-bad-it’s-good classic The Room (October 18) and Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, which will be accompanied by a week-long retro gaming exhibition by Sheffield artist MUTE. The film is being shown on November 29.
The other dates are Anchorman on November 1, Repo Man on November 15 and Road House on December 13.
All films start at 7.30pm. Tickets are £3.50, available from the University of Sheffield Student’s Union box office.
Call 0114 2228777 or go to http://www.filmunit.org.uk/index.php
Five and Dime’are on Facebook as https://www.facebook.com/thefiveanddime and also on Twitter.
Ryan writes SIC Blog and Matt, writing as Joe Gastineau, does The Shot/Reverse Shot podcast and Wooden Kimono blog.#