Massimo Lisi is well-known at Stranraer’s l’Aperitif restaurant for his passion and panache in cocktail making. Less well known is that he’s equally enthusiastic about the cinema. Ask him about a film and he will almost certainly be able to reel off its plot, the leading stars, tell you about the music and the composer, and whether it shone at the box-office.
Massimo said: “As a young boy, I would sit down with my father and we’d watch silent movies. These were the 1950’s, and quite a lot of these were being shown on the television then,” he recalls. “Early Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton – these were the backbone of so much of our parents’ entertainment – a great heritage, which my dad was keen to pass on to me.”
In turn, Massimo will be passing on his enthusiasm for the cinema at Machars Movies next Sunday afternoon (20th February - 4.30pm), during their ‘Weekend of Film’. Westerns, with great film directors like John Ford; the gangster movies of James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart will feature in his wide-ranging presentation, and it will also include a hitherto unknown recording of Alfred Hitchcock made in Singapore in 1960 to promote the release of his thriller ‘Psycho’.
Massimo’s presentation, a very personal ‘cinema paradiso’ is, like his cocktails, sure to be a heady mix, and it is part of a busy weekend at the Isle of Whithorn when Machars Movies will be screening Nigel Cole’s acclaimed feature with Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins and Miranda Richardson ‘Made in Dagenham’ (Saturday, 7.30pm); a tribute to Pete Postlethwaite with a screening of ‘Brassed Off’ (Sunday, 2.30pm), and at 7pm the first screening in Scotland of the feature documentary ‘The Pipe’, a powerful study of the small fishing village of Westport, Co. Mayo, as they battle with multinational oil and state against the development of a gas pipeline through their community.
Mike Marshall, who has been planning this event for Machars Movies, is looking forward to welcoming anyone with an interest in good film: “Besides our usual fortnightly Saturday evening screenings, which are now becoming highly social events in the St Ninian’s Hall Cinema, the weekend programme will enable us to try out matinees and special interest events. If these prove attractive, then we can look at devising more of these in the future.”