04 May, 2010

Have a scotch

It’s a fact (or at least I can say that about my home country): going to the movies has become an important (please read “expensive”) thing to do. In Brazil, a movie ticket has the average price of 16 reais, which is equivalent to almost 10 dollars or 7 euros. I believe this is what a billet de cinéma normally costs, for example, in Paris, but… Sorry. A French worker that gets paid by the minimum wage receives almost three times more than a Brazilian worker in the same situation. So, yes, it’s a good amount of money, considering our daily life expenses.

In reality, that’s another story, but a very good one to illustrate the motivation of this post: the importance festivals have gained in comparison to the normal film circuit in big South American cities, like, for instance, Sao Paulo.

It’s in Sao Paulo, a place where European film festivals happen all the time, that the successful Whisky Festival is now taking place, with a 8-films program, as well as concerts and food&drinks tasting – all inspired by Scotland. Beyond the obvious advantages of that, which are the opportunity to experiment a foreign culture and to be offered some variety in the standard film circuit, there's a little something that makes this and other film festivals a great alternative to a normal visit to the movies: the movie ticket’s price.

For only 4 reais (less than 2 dollars), you can watch different titles that are somehow related to Scotland, like “PS: I love you” (Richard LaGravanese), “Death at a funeral” (Frank Oz) or even “Cassandra’s dream” (Woody Allen) – all stories that take place in Scotland – having not Coke and popcorn, but a whisky (included in the price!) and listening to Scottish music before the film starts. Well, the Scottish inspiration didn’t go too far in the film program as it did with the sponsors once no director is actually Scottish, but, well, we can forgive that for now.

The thing is Sao Paulo is actually “luckier” than other small South American cities to have such festivals becoming one’s best option to go to the movies. Who should pay 16 reais to see a film? In times like ours, certainly not someone that can buy a DVD for less to watch at a not so small screen at home – not to mention what internet can do for you.

So, please, let me have my scotch.

Whisky Festival (until the 27th of May):

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