Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Corner at The Renoir

At the start of June, I attended a special screening of the HBO series, The Corner, at the Renoir Cinema, part of the Curzon chain. The event was a much anticipated follow up to last year's Wire Weekender (a full screening of the fifth and final season of that wonderful TV show), which was also presented by Canongate.

The Corner TV series is based on David Simon and Edward Burns amazing book, The Corner: A Year In An Inner-city Neighbourhood and was written and produced by them. These two, as you may know, went onto achieve greatness with their next creation, the aforementioned HBO series, The Wire.

Initially, I was disappointed that only one episode of The Corner was to be shown at The Renoir event; a major scaling down of the format as compared to the Wire Weekender. However, once the episode finished over an hour later, I didn't hold onto my grudges; all I wanted to do was see more. It was a great first episode (of three) and I will be purchasing the DVD box set in due course to enjoy the rest.

The TV series lacks the depth of the book, but Simon and Burns manage to elicit an impact almost equal to the source material; watching the lives of these West Baltimore dwellers, junkies and dealers is harrowing and emotional.

The episode was followed by Q&A with David Simon, who had also brought along two real life characters from the world of The Corner and The Wire (but I won't reveal which ones). The discussions were interesting and entertaining, as Mr Simon always is, and I look forward to seeing him again in Harrogate. What's more exciting, for me, is that I still have Generation Kill to watch and Treme is on the horizon. Talk of a movie in its embryonic stage also sent the packed out Renoir Cinema into excited anticipation.

The event was a success: a thought provoking episode of quality television, followed by intelligent discussions with a talented writer. Not only that, I left the Renoir wanting more of what David Simon and Edward Burns have to offer.

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