Hedgehog bottleneck

Just back from watching the delightful and gently heart-rendering (and explicitly Ozu-influenced) The Hedgehog currently playing at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, Glasgow Film Theatre, Bristol Watershed and the Curzon in London if not elsewhere (not that you would know where if you looked for it via the usually reliable Findanyfilm.com where for some reason it isn’t listed as being in cinemas) and distributed by our very own and doughty distributor Cinefile. Curious to know its release history we find that it opened in France some two years ago where it was seen by around 800 thousand people.  Since then it has made its way around Europe picking up the same number again across ten countries, with Italy (it was a French/Italian co-production so presumably got more push there than it might otherwise have done) generating the largest audience (414 thousand) followed by Germany (217 thousand).

It’s exactly the kind of film which, were it possible to get a wider release in multiplexes as well as its natural home in our subsidised film theatres would probably garner two or three times the audience and perhaps turn a few more people on to the joy of films not in English.  We should be very grateful that the tireless Cinefile team of Allison Gardner, Ilona Morison, Richard Mowe and John Beattie continue to seek out, acquire and promote world cinema despite the precarious economics of film distribution which remain so despite the assistance of digital distribution in lowering print costs and making simultaneous releases such as this one a bit easier. Anyway, soon be the opening episode of The Story of Film (see last post) so ‘sayonara’…

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