News Muse – The Screen Machine: Tilda Swinton’s travelling film festival

You Crystal Palace lot sure got fired up after reading Couch Potato’s blog on the importance of local cinemas. I do hope you win your bureaucratic battle and get the Rialto back. There is something very precious indeed about indy cinema theatres.

That’s why it made me so happy to read about Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins’ genius Scottish mobile cinema – the Screen Machine. The 80-seater is being transported on a lorry from Kinlochlevan on the west coast to Nairn on the east, stopping in villages each night to bring cinema to the people. There’s Iranian, Icelandic and Hollywood road movies as well as old b&w classics on the menu. They’ve been en route since 1 August and shows have been sold out everywhere. The trip finishes this Sunday.

Tilda Swinton

My parents live in a town that’s lost its police station as well as the A&E. They are now expected to drive an hour in an emergency and so is the police if you call them since they’re in the next (much bigger) town. It got me thinking. Perhaps the mobile way is the way it’s going to be in the countryside since urbanisation is still the trend. Caravan post offices, hospitals off the back of a lorry and police stations on permanent patrol. Would that work?

You do hear of wonderfully determined people in villages who run their own pubs or start up a local food shop. So why not open a cinema? I ask.

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