Poster image for John Lewis: Good Trouble showing now on Virtual Cinemapolis. 

With the world on lockdown, what are we all watching? This week, I spoke to Brett Bossard, Executive Director of Cinemapolis, about what he’s been watching while the theatre is in its “virtual cinema” phase.

BVC: How has Cinemapolis been coping with this “virtual cinema” model?

BB: I think there was a lot of interest when we first started. It was a very novel idea at that point. How I think it’s more like our movies typically are. Some do better than others. We’re just trying to get the titles out that are available to us, and the best for our community. It’s always hard in the summertime to get people to stay inside in Ithaca, but given the conditions of the world, it’s a little easier this year. [laughs]

BVC: What’s been the most popular film in lockdown?

BB: A few, actually. One of the first ones we did was “The Booksellers”, which was a great documentary about rare book dealers, and we partnered with Buffalo Street Books on that one, which was very, very popular. And there was a film called “Lucky Grandma” that we showed in May that was also very successful. For whatever reason, that one struck a chord with a lot of people. And the John Lewis film, “John Lewis: Good Trouble”, which was a remarkable documentary.

BVC: So what have you been watching?

BB: Well, certainly I’ve been watching a lot of the films we’ve been offering. Most recently, there’s been sort of a set of films, oddly, about our political involvement with Iran. “Desert One” is this great doc now playing. It’s really pretty fascinating, about a part of history that I was very, very young when that all happened, but I do remember the hostage crisis pretty vividly…some of the earliest memories I have of watching television. “Desert One” traces the story of this failed effort to rescue the hostages, which I guess – it was obviously in the news, but it certainly isn’t something that was talked about a lot.

BVC It’s too bad they didn’t have space to include clips from “Saturday Night Live”, which was also reacting to the hostage crisis. And people forget that ABC’s “Nightline” started as a nightly recap of hostage news.

BB: Outside of that, I’ve been catching up on stuff that I hadn’t seen. [laughs] I’ve been bingeing a lot of television shows and stuff that I missed, like “Hannibal”. When that first aired, I didn’t see that at all. [Series developer] Bryan Fuller is really a remarkable creative force in television, and that was a great show. It’s about Hannibal Lecter. It’s sort of a re-telling of the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham, who’s the profiler who caught him in the stories that led to “The Silence of the Lambs” and the other books that Thomas Harris wrote.

BVC: “Manhunter” and “Red Dragon”, right?

BB: Precisely. It’s sort of a prequel series to “Red Dragon”, but by the time you get to the third season, it starts to overlap with some of the period in which “Red Dragon” takes place. It’s a great show. Mads Mikkelsen plays Hannibal Lecter in it, and Hugh Darcy plays Graham. Gillian Anderson is in it as well, she has a recurring role, Lawrence Fishburne is in it as well. Yeah, it’s a great show. It went for three seasons, and it’s on Netflix.

Recommended: “Project Power”, “The Speed Cubers” and “Final Score” on Netflix. 

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