A trip to the Duke of York’s cinema always feels like a treat – with its cosy atmosphere, comfy seats and delicious homemade cakes, it stands a head and shoulders above Brighton’s other frankly soulless movie theatres. There’s even a lovely bar upstairs - possibly the nicest place to drink around Preston Circus –
AND you can take your beer into the film with you. They have literally thought of everything to make movie-going an all-round pleasurable experience. The staff are always really chilled and friendly, and I will invariably spot a member or two of what I think of as my ‘Brighton Cultural Family’ - those familiar local faces (e.g. the bloke from Rounder Records, a percussionist from Carnival Collective) who I always seem to see whenever I go to see anything vaguely cultured. Yes, I am living the cliché, what of it?
Last night we were at this fine old Picturehouse seeing No Country For Old Men, the new Coen Brothers’ Film, about which I had heard mixed reports. Described by Philip French in the Guardian as “a thriller steeped in gore”, it certainly has an abundance of violence and bloodshed, along with the familiar dark humour and idiosyncratic characters that one has come to expect from the Coens. Tense and harrowing, it is a classic hide-and-seek pursuit in which the accidental finder of a significant stash of drug money - essentially a stubborn hick, is relentlessly hunted down by the self-appointed rightful owner of the cash - a quietly brutal killer with indignant determination. The incessant pace is occasionally alleviated by a secondary narrative strand in which a wonderfully craggy Tommy Lee Jones – the old school sheriff investigating the trail of fatalities – rather eloquently expresses his growing bewilderment at the state of modern morality and the changing role of the law. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen, the Wild West landscapes and intricate attention to detail are beautifully captured, making for a visually and well as psychologically memorable experience.