A fortnight ago, we showed Supergirl in a brand new collaboration with What the Frock, at the Cuban. It was, as ever, both amazing and awful, in the truest of traditions at the Bristol Bad Film Club.
Amy Howerska gave an hilarious introduction to the film, putting our own offerings at previous screenings to shame. Where at other screenings we were talking about a film most hadn’t heard about, let alone, seen, somewhat unusual among our screenings, Supergirl was one which most people had seen before. Indeed most had seen it as children and some complained that “it’s not a bad film!”
The thing is, as Amy explained, they were right and wrong. We love bad films. That’s the point of the BBFC. But recognising that the films are bad AND enjoyable is part of the fun. Supergirl is a film we all enjoyed as children when, by nature, we are less discerning. My children will watch Charlie Chaplin films, but they also wanted to see Rio 2. And they honestly would tell you they enjoyed them both the same. Children are just more open to that kind of thing. So when we look back at childhood films, we look on them fondly, even though they are, let’s be honest, quite poo.
Supergirl is one of those films. I remember it from my youth fondly, I remember enjoying it several times. But that doesn’t make it good…In a way Supergirl may well be most people’s first experiences of the bad film phenomenon. Where most of the films we’ve shown before have been rather … niche … Supergirl is well-known. Is it the film which said to us, subconsciously, “films can be bad AND good”? Perhaps. Watching it now isn’t disappointing, discovering a film from your youth is awful – instead it’s a revelation that you can still enjoy in a totally different way than you expected. Fondness is at the heart of our bad film viewing. And I am still very fond of Supergirl.
Certainly the audience at the screening enjoyed it. Peter O’Toole looks fantastic phoning in his performance in his Krypton-chic knitwear, but Kara / Linda / Supergirl’s disguise is literally incredible. “Coincidence.” That is how to explain most of the “plot”. It meanders, it stutters, it loops around nonsenically, pausing for Supergirl to have a fly around and smell things. But it doesn’t lose the sense of fun that is inherent in all bad films – the filmmakers have no idea what they’re doing.
Thanks to Emily Coles for taking photos of the night.
This month we are showing the NORTH Korean monster movie PULGASARI. It was produced by KIM JONG-IL, and you can read all about it here. WHY HAVEN’T YOU CLICKED THE LINK YET?!
See you next time,