Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The idea of the Astor is so much better than the reality. Rare films from around the world, hidden gems by well known directors, alternative classics instead of Citizen Kane and Gone With The Wind. A year-round film festival with an affectionate cat! But the reality - movies as predictable as the Vegie Bar menu (how many times do we need to see Baraka, Scarface, Apocalypse Now, Grindhouse, Princess Monoke and Pulp Fiction?). Then there's the uncomfortable seats, the choc tops with their safe flavours, and an indifferent cat. But their posters are an easy way to liven up a bathroom or toilet. Nothing says Melbourne more than an Astor poster. You'd have to stick up Melway pages to get more Melbourne. This is why Astor posters are the white Melburnian equivalent of Australian flags. When a white Melburnian moves away, they bring an Astor poster with them to decorate their new place in Brooklyn or Berlin. It helps break the ice with their new housemate from New Jersey or Romania, while reminding them of home and all of the movies they could have seen, but didn't. Thus for white Melburnians, the Astor becomes a lot like Antarctica. They'll never go, they're just happy knowing it exists.