Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Last Night's Turnout Dismal

Last night, the turnout was completely dismal. We had a total of four moviegoers who stuck the whole thing out. There was a couple who came in, but apparently couldn't stand the basketball game on the big screen that played prior to the movie starting at 7:30. They left before the movie got underway. Another lady claimed, "This is not the Werner Herzog I know," threw her hands in the air, and made her best beeline straight for the exit.

That left the four of us.

And it's a shame. Because the film was great. Stroszek. A Herzog classic. As Roger Ebert wrote:
"Stroszek" (1977) is one of the oddest films ever made. It is impossible for the audience to anticipate a single shot or development. We watch with a kind of fascination, because Herzog cuts loose from narrative and follows his characters through the relentless logic of their adventure. Then there is the haunting impact of the performance by Bruno S., who is at every moment playing himself.

A classic of cinema. A film I've long wanted to see. And last night we gave people the opportunity to see it on the big screen. An opportunity you're not likely to find in many places in the Midwest. I just think it's sad that people have an opportunity to see great films (great art), and they don't.

I'm sure people have their reasons, and I understand. People have children. It's cold outside. The economy sucks. We were competing with Barack Obama's speech to Congress. I understand.

That's why I'm going to do an increased job of spreading the word this month. I'm going to work on getting the message out about Movie Geeks. I mean, we've been around for two years now, but I guess people still don't know. Or worse, I fear, don't care.


Will said...

You show a lot of movies I'd like to see but I'm usually at the monthly Sierra Club meeting that night. We had a low turnout too. I think it was a tough night to get people out between Obama and mardi gras.

Do you have an email list? That's how most of the liberty brew & view crowd keeps track of what I show. It helps build a steady return audience. I've got over 120 people on my list after two years of having sign up sheets.

I get the biggest crowds when I partner with other organizations. That's easier for me since I do issue oriented movies, but is there a film club at UIS you could team up with? Or, if you did a movie like Breaking Away you could make sure the Bike Club knows about it.

Those are my suggestions, for what it's worth. You're always welcome to leave a flier or send me a reminder to announce your movie at liberty brew & view the week before. I have people ask about the movie geeks club sometimes.

John said...

Thanks Will. Yeah, we have a sign-up sheet that we've maintained for our two year run. We have about the same number on our list as you have.

One problem with our e-mail list is that we acquired tons of e-mails from folks who came to the popular Spinal Tap and Blazing Saddles events.

But we steered out of those waters as we didn't want to continue showing popular or mainstream cult classics. Unfortunately, I think a lot of those folks only want to come out when they can see a movie they already admire. Not a lot of exploring going on, I reckon.

We could certainly try partnering with local clubs when appropriate, but that can get tricky, too.

Thanks for the suggestions, Will. I appreciate the thoughts. And, I'll try to get a flier to you this month for our upcoming movie.

Sherri said...

One thing would be to let us know what you are playing. The only paper I read is Illinois Times. It tells when/where but not what.
I'd rather not make a phone call each week to find out what you are showing.

John said...

No problem, Sherri.

Are you on the e-mail list? If so, we send e-mails one to two times per month, updating folks about upcoming films and nominees for next month's films.

Additionally, this blog is a great place to get the information you're seeking. We always post the next film here as well as any other pertinent information regarding future (or past) screenings.

If you're not on the e-mail list but would like to be, send me an e-mail at justtwoguys [AT] hotmail [DOT] com.

The Illinois Times Calendar posting includes the blog address to this site so folks don't have to make a phone call each month.

I'll look into getting the film title published each month in the Illinois Times, although we have had issues with the paper in the past.