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Filmby Shane “Give Me The Chair” Hnetka

The Internet Movie Database has added an F rating to its movie tags. The new rating covers films written by women, directed by women and/or featuring complex female characters. Movies that meet all three criteria get a triple-F rating. So far, more than 22,000 titles have been tagged. With over four million films on imdb.com, there’s a ways to go. A good development nonetheless.

Filmpool Turns 40

On March 16, 1977 a crew of locals working on Who Has Seen the Wind formed a filmmaking collective. And here we are. Forty years later (and despite the provincial government’s best efforts), Saskatchewan still has a small, dedicated community of filmmakers comprising the Saskatchewan Filmpool.

There will be lots happening this year to celebrate this momentous occasion. First up: the Filmpool hosts an open house Thursday March 16 in Regina from 4 to 9 p.m. There will be cake and refreshments, plus a silent auction. Plus cake. Did I already say cake?

In September, Bushwakker launches a limited-edition commemorative beer. Beer!

Forty years is an impressive milestone. Congratulations!

DVD Turns 20

It’s hard to believe it, but DVDs turn 20 this month. The format took out VHS tapes and laser discs. Even today with Blu-rays and now, 4K Ultra HD, DVDs are going strong and you can still find them everywhere. Sometimes they’re easier to find than Blu-rays.

VHS dominated for over 20 years before DVD wiped them out, but now the tables have turned and  streaming seems poised to take DVDs down. It will be interesting to see what the dominant format will be in 20 years.

Electric Chairs

Cineplex Odeon Southland Mall Cinemas also turned 20 this year, and it’s showing its age. With the luxury Landmark Cinema coming to town (well, the far-flung, Eastern edge of town), Cineplex has decided it’s time to up the Southland’s comfort factor and has installed electric recliners in select theatres. Cineplex’s website even has a page dedicated to the project, with the tag line “Unwind and Recline.”

My take? The chairs look nice. Almost too nice. As a crabby person, I feel like I should complain that recliners are for living rooms, not movie theatres… but I’ve been stuck in some damn uncomfortable theatre chairs over the years.

I’m ready for something a little nicer. And hey — it will get me back to the Southland! ❧

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic nerd.