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We look at another supposed love letter to cinema, Empire of Light, which stars the beautiful Dreamland Cinema in Margate as the titular Empire, the best-developed character in an otherwise lacklustre film. Its themes of racism, patriarchy, mental illness and cinema as escapism form more of a patchwork quilt than a tapestry, and the film is thin throughout. Still, it did the job of activating our memories of cinemagoing and working in cinemas, which we discuss, and despite his knowing it shouldn’t have, the story worked emotionally on Mike. It’s really not good though.
With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.