The Film Club meets weekly on a Monday night at the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre in Dumfries.
The evening begins at 6.30pm with an introduction to the film and after the film there is a chance to socialise over tea and coffee and take part in (or just listen to) an informal discussion. There is no formal membership and anyone is welcome to attend.
If you sign up for the whole season, you will receive some complimentary tickets - but you can dip in and out of as a season as you wish, or you can just come along and watch the film with no obligation to stay for the discussion.
The RBC Film Club started life as an Introduction to Film Studies Course, which started on Tuesday 2nd May 2006 at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries. Instigated by the then Film Officer Daniel Thomas and led by Darren Connor, Head of Film at the Cumbria Institute of the Arts, the course aims were to make accessible and ordinary the ideas and procedures of film studies. It was intended to organise the course around several non-specialist experiences of cinema: story, character and spectacle in order to develop an introductory level understanding and appreciation of key elements of film. The course incorporated screenings at the RBC. It all sounded very academic, but when we boiled it down most of the initial course membership just wanted to get a better understanding of film and talk about it. The original course was for a ten-week period and it occupied a room in the Arts Centre with a very small television set to demonstrate the intricacies of the motion picture industry. The three films we saw during this period were the political thriller Syriana (2005), A Night at The Opera (1935) the Marx classic with its ain’t no Sanity Clause, one of the funniest gags in cinema history and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) an American drama set on the US/Mexican border.
The drawbacks of these arrangements were soon evident and Dan Thomas suggested we move to the RBC Film Theatre for a regular Monday night slot, a night when the RBC had traditionally been closed. These new arrangements started on the 16th October 2006 with a screening of the 1944 film noir Double Indemnity. Also included in this second session was an invitation from Darren to join him at the City Cinema in Carlisle to attend the premier of Ghosts (2006) a drama film directed by Nick Broomfield based on the 2004 Morecambe Bay cockling disaster.
It was not until Alice Stilgoe replaced Dan Thomas as Film Officer that the club was incorporated into the main RBC Film Theatre programme and took the format that we all enjoy today. Without the late Darren Connor’s unique personality and charisma the club would have never become as popular as it is. The most memorable nights have been the ones where Darren interviewed a guest, for example Rab Buchanan (That Sinking Feeling 1980, Gregory’s Girl 1981), Ian McCulloch (Zombie Flesh Eaters 1979), Morag McKinnon (Donkeys 2008), Peter Mullan (Neds 2010) and not forgetting ‘John Shuttleworth’ (Southern Softies 2009). Since Darrens death we have been fortunate to have had Q&A's with the following Nick Higgins (We Are Northern Lights 2012), Johnny Daukes (Acts of Godfrey 2012), producer David Smith (Shell 2012), Jane Murray Flutter daughter of Rumer Godden (Black Narcissus 1947) and a Skype interview with Tony Dalton (Roy Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan 2012).