Today I was browsing the listings at http://www.londonnet.co.uk/films and I learned something new. I had never before encountered the concept of the ‘Parent And Baby Screening’ I am not surprised I hadn’t heard of it as I am very cine-ignorant but amazed at how widespread it is. And the sophistication of the little nippers.
I can understand them clamouring to be taken to Spiderman 2 or Hero. Simple crowd pleasing blockbusters with strong visual appeal and vibrant sound. I can make a see a similar case for Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, though surely they are too young to appreciate the homage to film noir and Ray Harryhausen?
I can’t imagine they’d enjoy the word-play and underpowered farce of the romantic comedy Wimbledon but there is no accounting for taste. And maybe for every dribbling idiot that goes to see that there might be a couple in the audience for A Streetcar named Desire or Supersize Me or maybe even Stage Beauty .
It was my foolish arrogance that had me incredulous that there might be baby screenings of the foreign language flims Since Otar Left (Depuis Qu’Otar Est Parti) or even The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios De Motocicleta). But my psychology training reminded me that infants are like sponges, permanently dripping (and able to soak up any language they hear.)
But of all the choices open to our underaged movie fans, the most appropriately titled would seem to be The Best Of Youth (La Meglio Gioventu): Part I Mind you they’d have to be more patient than me to sit through this six-hour Italian epic and insultingly there is no Parent & Baby screening of Part II, generally considered to be the better bit.