THE REP reveals that the passion for a cinematic experience is still alive. The question is, will a greater audience recognize their cultural value before it’s too late?
The film follows the lives of three uber film geeks during the first year of operations of a single-screen repertory cinema. Dubbed ‘The Underground Cinema’ by its gang of misfits, Alex, Charlie and Nigel will stop at nothing to see their theatre succeed. In the face of strong competition from big box theatres, local cinematheques and home video, it’s a constant struggle to stay afloat. Throw in 12-hour workdays, having no semblance of a personal life and all the normal stresses of working day in/day out with the same people… things couldn’t be much more of an uphill battle.
THE REP also takes a broader look at the world of repertory cinema in North America. Currently being devalued by studios, corporate theatres and patrons themselves, movies have become less of an experience and more of an activity. Watching a film is something you just do to pass the time, rather than the event and spectacle they once were. Repertory cinema is an ever-shrinking but ever-passionate world of film lovers trying to keep the experience of cinema alive.
The film features interviews with theatres such as Film Forum in NYC, The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, The New Beverly Cinema in L.A., The Hollywood Theatre in Portland, The Bijou Art Cinemas in Eugene and Blue Sunshine in Montreal. It also features celebrity commentary from Kevin Smith, John Waters, Atom Egoyan, George A. Romero and many more.
THE REP began its life as a 5 part web-series centring around The Underground Cinema. Those episodes can be viewed under Web-Series.