On Wednesday August 3rd we had a special preview screening of Yes for Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), as many people thought the themes of the film (border crossings of all kinds, from the political to the poetic) were appropriate. The Odeon Covent Garden cinema was packed with doctors, nurses, and private supporters of their work, and a lively discussion followed the screening.
Just after the film began I visited the projection booth, as I often do, to meet the hidden presence whose hands control the work at this last and most crucial moment. As I say in the short clip you can see here, it is in fact the projectionist who has final cut, despite any illusions we may have to the contrary.
A projection booth is a dark and dangerous place for any director to visit, and the sound of the film chundering noisily through the projector is a source of anxiety and a reminder of the vulnerability of the medium.
You may just about be able to hear the conversation with Manuel, the projectionist, against the background of the clatter and see, through the gloom, the film turning on its giant plates.
Today (Friday, 5th August) Yes opens on five screens in London and I will be doing a Q&A at the 6.30pm screening at the Curzon Mayfair. The reviews have been coming out in the last couple of days - so far so good - but now comes the moment of truth. I have to let this creature go and hand it over to its rightful owners, the audience.
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