Tuesday 14 August 2012

Bravo For Argyll - Brave Cinema Screenings

I think all blogs should be written as freely and openly and as professionally as For Argyll. You just visit it for a couple of minutes a week and find them saying it as it is. It is so much more refreshing reading independant local opinions without fear or favour. They have been at it again with the following article on Brave late last month.

Film distributor makes VisitScotland seem responsible for heavy-handed Brave move on local cinemas

Posted on July 18, 2012 by newsroom

Local and regional cinemas in Scotland have had a communication many assume is from or via VisitScotland, the national tourism agency.

This has led them to understand that they ‘must’ screen the film Brave as a matinee every day over two weeks, whether or not it attracts an audience.

We have had complaints on this from some cinemas beyond as well as in Argyll. In some cases the instruction is impacting on planned showings of local interest.

The cinemas have been told that VisitScotland has a substantial investment in the enterprise and that local support for it is important.

The Disney Pixar animation, Brave, has £7 million of VisitScotland’s (our) money invested in a marketing campaign aimed at using the film to attract overseas visitors to this country.

Why therefore ram it into Scottish local cinemas.

We contacted VisitScotland to enquire about the motivation behind what had been taken to be their initiative – and have received the following statement:

‘The directive will be with the distributor of the film to organize cinemas viewings in their entirety. VisitScotland’s involvement extended to the premiers.

‘We have had no involvement in the listing and screening of Brave for after the general release date.’

So what on earth is the purpose behind this heavy handed and apparently not entirely straightforward move?

Is the film distributor hoping to justify VistScotland’s multimillion pound commitment by convincing it that, even at home, local cinemas cannot wait to get their hands on it?

Is the imperative to persuade taxpayers at home that Brave must have gone viral because it’s also on their own doorsteps?

Or is it an attempt to arouse nationalist sympathies by getting this film out there at all costs?

If it is the latter, the attempt to sell Scotland to residents in Scotland through this film is as likely to misfire as to succeed.

We have seen the advance clips as television and YouTube, as have many.

The sight of a fat, bearded, cartoon kiltie bending over, flipping the back of his kilt over his head, baring his (mercifully) unseen but inevitably hairy buttocks and roaring ‘Feast your eyes’ – and a clutch of simpleton teuchters apparently short of the full merk – may appeal to third form humour but does not augur well for a home audience’s discriminating response to the film.

We’re keeping an open mind – a constant struggle, we admit, as the clips offer little encouragement – and will review the film when we get to it. This is obviously now going to be at a matinee near-ish to home.

This seems a pretty maladroit move from the film distributor and it is a local irritant to VisitScotland’s reputation. Scots don’t warm to ‘being told’. Let’s hope the marketing behind Brave does not prove to be a £7 million misdirection.

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