Forget dumb movies or disaster epics: this year's new big thing is the revival. In the past two months alone, we've had another chance to wade through the first two Godfather films; Lawrence of Arabia, In the Realm of the Senses, the Coen brothers' Blood Simple (below right), Renoir's La Regle du Jeu, Hammer's 1958 Dracula and My Beautiful Launderette, with Welles's Touch of Evil still to come in October. If this trend gathers any more momentum, we'll be seeing revivals of films which have yet to have their first run. But this isn't a gripe: it's a cause for celebration. With the country's repertory cinemas in a permanent state of decline and under-funding, there are far too few slices of cinema history available on far too few cinema screens. And with most rep cinemas limited to one- off screenings in double- or triple-bills, it's often a case of being in the right place at the right time in order to catch whatever it is that takes your fancy. So these full-on revivals provide an education for anyone with even a fleeting interest in cinema, gazumping the reductive TV screenings on which many of us got our first taste of these films.
We should hope, too, that with the My Beautiful Launderette/ Beautiful Thing pairing, the double-bill is clawing its way back. Sadly phased out in the last half of the Eighties, the double-bill was the perfect antidote for anyone who felt that one movie was never enough and had to be physically dragged from their seat by an angry parent/ sweetheart.
After that, the triple-bill was an irresistible indulgence, while the old all-nighters, held by the now-defunct Scala Cinema, were orgies of lager-and-carrot-cake-fuelled debauchery that made the Roman Empire look like a night down the local multiplex. Oh sure, we want world peace, equal rights and freedom for all. But more than that, the world needs double- bills, triple-bills and the reinstatement of the all-nighter. Only then can we hope for a harmonious world.