To launch their recent acquisition of The Sony SRX-R515 (in replacement of their analogue film based on 35mm projectors) Norden Farm hosted a screening of the Quartet, a debut film by director Dustin Hoffman that affectionately looks at the passage of time and old age, with a constant consideration of how we shall be remembered.
Scripted by Ronald Harwood, and based on his stage play, Quartet the film offers a myriad of perceptions of how people grow old: whether it be gracefully, indignantly or other. With injections of humour throughout and quips about forgetfulness, this is a feel good, warm hearted film that lets the script do the leg work, so as not to aggravate the many hip replacements.
The appropriately ambling pace of the film is owed to Hoffman’s direction, which captures some beautiful and pondering shots of the exquisite setting. The Georgian country house (Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire) is cast as the fictional Beecham House- a stately retirement home for opera singers, that the characters themselves can’t help but admire. Yet the sprawling grounds do not allow the film to seem claustrophobic and stagnant and we are delighted with an array of scenery, which the characters explore at there own laborious pace. The incest of the Opera community, which is rife with personal relationships, give poignancy to this one-place-setting, as does the one-set-mind of some of the residents; like ex-producer called Cedric (Michael Gambon) who arranges the in-mates to focus on the forthcoming gala concert. It will be the job for Reginald (Tom Courtenay), Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Cissy (Pauline Collins) to convince the newest entrant and old friend-diva-heart breaker Maggie Smith who plays Jean, to perform, whilst attending to their emotional turmoil.
The formidable cast are given the leeway to do what they do best and the writing is allowed to flourish. It stays loyal to its theatrical routes and the powerful silences and restrained movement of the film asserts it’s stage like qualities, which Hoffman does well to manifest. It is a beautiful film and showcases the digital quality that Norden Farm now boasts.
With this new Projector, Norden Farm are committed to offering diverse new entertainment experiences – such as opera and theatre. Norden Farm’s screening of La Boheme from the Royal Opera House was a complete sell out and they hope to do more of the same in the future.
Matt Biss, Technical Manager claimed ‘the audience left asking us for similar events in future… The installation of the new Sony projector means we’ll be able to offer these experiences for our customers, providing a picture sound quality that ensures the performance is as impressive and immersive akin to the live stage production.’
The synergy of live performances and digital precision will allow Norden Farm-ers to get the best Art locally, with all the home comforts.
Norden Farm films and Arts events: http://nordenfarm.org/?&tmpl=events