In some ways, I’m loath to talk about coronavirus, but there’s certainly no getting away from the subject. With the virus making an increasing impact on our daily lives and our health, it seems somehow frivolous to talk about UK film, and the acute battering the industry has taken. However, talk about it I shall.
In anticipation of dwindling audiences and, in consequence, poor box office results, many hyped-up blockbusters have been shelved, the most high-profile of which is surely Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final chapter as James Bond. At least fans of the franchise have been assured that a November release date has been secured for the film. Other highly anticipated films, such as the reimagining of Disney’s Mulan, and Marc Munden’s adaptation of The Secret Garden, have been shelved indefinitely.
Despite these negative stories, Universal Pictures, in a fit of inspiration, has decided to make new films which it is distributing available to stream on their cinema release date. It has been reported that other major Hollywood studios are sure to follow suit.
Universal releases already in the cinema, such as The Invisible Man, starring Elizabeth Moss, will apparently be available soon for digital rental. So, while we cannot currently engage in the immutable social experience of cinemagoing, at least we can avail ourselves of current releases in domestic company.
As tragic as our current state is, hopefully isolation will provide film bonding experiences rather than the comparatively solitary experience of one person viewing a compressed cinematic film on an iPhone, complete with earphones, which, until recent events, has been a commonplace sight on public transport.
I want to end this article on a positive note and talk about a recent film release which, having had a great reception in the U.S., had recently entered UK cinemas before the shutdown. That film is Todd Haynes’ conspiracy thriller, Dark Waters, starring Mark Ruffalo who plays a real-life lawyer who has battled against the chemical company, DuPont. This is one of the best films I’ve seen in recent times with arresting performances and I hope it’s one marked for immediate home release.
Photo by U.S. Department of State – available HERE.