Three members of the Uncanny Book-Club saw fifty percent of the screenings of “The World’s End” in Zürich. This amounts to a grand total of one screening. At midnight. On a Saturday. Curiously enough, it was one of these events where the cinema-experience was at its best.
The Swiss cinema-company Kitag doesn’t even list “The World’s End” on their website anymore, the new movie by Simon Pegg of Spaced fame. Even though the movie is hilariously funny and arguably the most sophisticated work of the duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who have penned Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead also.
The story is simple: Five friends who haven’t met in a number of years meet up again at the behest of the former leader of the group – Gary King – to do a pub crawl. You see, in their hometown of Newton Haven, there are twelve pubs along a Golden Mile. So the goal is this: One night, twelve pubs, and twelve pints of beer. The only problem is that the town’s apparently been overrun by robots.
As absurd and funny this sounds, and as much humour as the movie has – after all, Pegg/Frost are known for their comedies and this movie is a comedy at its heart -, it doesn’t shy away from more serious subjects such as suicide and the fact that maybe the world just doesn’t end up the way we imagined and that growing up at some point might not be the worst of ideas.
Basically, the movie’s funny, sad and also creepy. The robots look very human unless they go full-out-robot-mode during which time they open their mouths and lights start to shine from their eyes and the mouth. They also emit an inhuman scream. Pair that up with the uniform movement of virtually everyone in town, and you get a very creepy experience.
It wasn’t just the movie that was impressive at being both funny and sad and creepy, but the experience at the cinema was quite something, too. First of all, Kitag – the company that runs a guesstimated 90 percent of Swiss theatres – did everything right they usually do wrong. Common complaints include that they seem to insist on showing the movies in German. This one was in English. And where English movies usually have horribly done German and French subtitles that lack all wit and sometimes contain typos, The World’s End had none of that. It was an English movie, in English with nothing marring its original version.
Furthermore, the theatre was full of people. It wasn’t like there were three people in it, enjoying the hell out of a movie nobody wants to see. Sure, there were some empty seats, but that can easily be chalked up to the fact that it was a midnight-screening. So the decision to show this movie only twice seems somewhat strange. Because in the end, it all boils down to the following: A good movie, good number of people in the audience, good presentation. And they cancel the movie after two screenings. Something just seems a bit weird here, doesn’t it?
Bonus video: Simon Pegg explains how to act drunk. Enjoy!