Underground Cinema

Nicholas Quirke was expecting a drop in the temperature when he looked out at the rain on 23 June 2021. The heavy and persistent downpour would make it cooler but to his dismay though there was a drop it was still 32 degrees which, indicated that his cycle to the cinema would be wet inside and outside of his rain cape. He was going to be sitting in the dark during the day again but at least he would be dry and cool. He was seeing ‘Island Keepers’ in a cinema at Beijing Fun, a 15 minute bike ride. As he had not been to the cinema before he left earlier than necessary in case he had problems locating it. He found it easily but he was relieved to have arrived with plenty of time as the cinema itself appeared to located in the bowels of the earth. From ground level the escalator was three storys deep and was literally underground cinema. When he tried to use his phone for the health check it’s wouldn’t work and in the end he had to go back to the air and, screen shot his health kit green light and then descend to Hades once more. it took so long to sort out the film was almost ready to begin. He did have time though to look at the posters for the upcoming films all of which seemed to have the birth of the CCP as its story line to coincide with anniversary which was coming. It was another story inspired by real life that spanned 32 years of dedicated service. Stationed at a lighthouse and separated from his family and wife the protagonist expected to serve a short stint on an island with poker playing dogs and the ferocious weather of the Yellow Sea for company. There is no one who will replace him. Eventually his wife joins him and together they keep the island and the shores safe from invaders, smugglers and protect the fishermen. It’s a beautifully simple story about hero’s. Some wonderful photography of the rugged and harsh world of the sea and touching heartwarming performances made this a quiet and special treat. The rain had stopped when he exited and he was happy to cycle home through the now familiar Hutongs. As he was not teaching in the evening he had thought he would spend the afternoon in one of the tea houses he had not been in for some time but he decided not to go until he had had a zoom conversation with Angel, one of his friend Kim’s students who was living in Shanghai and their chat proved to be so compelling it went on too long and by the time he was through his desire to go out had left him. She had encouraged him to get Shanghai to see the a production, ‘Sleep No More’ by the immersive theatre company ‘Punchdrunk’ whose show in London, ‘The Drowned Man’ had been so spectacular he had seen it twice. With a trip already planned to China’s North East he was not sure he would be able to make it with the little time he had left but it was a thought that at he left on the back burner. He spent the remainder of his afternoon planning his lesson with Dylan which proved to be a pointless exercise as it was cancelled again. He had started to watch ‘Minimata’ with Peng and stopped half way to teach which made it more annoying that the lesson didn’t happen. He did some work on his blog instead and when the time was right he went to sleep.

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