26 November 2019 14:31
Rapman has responded after his gang drama Blue Story was pulled from cinemas amid violence. The film has been banned from Vue and Showcase cinemas after a mass brawl broke out at Birmingham Star City, involving youths armed with machetes. Blue Story's writer-director Rapman wrote on Twitter that the violence was "truly unfortunate" and compared the controversy surrounding his film to that of Todd Phillips's Joker. Blue Story is a film about love, not violence. As much a battle of wills as a great action movie, this perennial television favourite won seven Oscars including best film, best director for Lean and best actor for Guinness.
Barry Lyndon Boasting sumptuous production values, this exquisitely mounted, leisurely paced adaption of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel about the rise and fall of an 18th-century Irish rogue hero received middling reviews when first released but still won four Oscars, including not surprisingly, the costume, cinematography, and art direction categories; for Barry Lyndon is undoubtedly one of the most stunningly beautiful pictures ever made. Kes A beautifully filmed adaption of the Barry Hines novel A Kestral For a Knave with a remarkable performance from David Bradley as Billy Casper, a 15-year-old boy from a deprived background whose life is transformed when he finds a young falcon and trains it, in the process forming a close emotional bond with the bird. A Matter of Life and Death Yet another unique film from Powell and Pressburger, this is a technically brilliant fantasy starring David Niven as a young pilot in the Second World War who cheats death just as he falls in love with radio operator Kim Hunter, and must stand trial in a heavenly court (or is the court in his own mind?) for his life on earth to continue. Cinema chain Showcase has pulled new movie Blue Story from its 21 venues after a brawl involving machetes took place in a cinema in Birmingham. It follows the controversial earlier decision by Vue Cinemas to pull the movie from its 91 cinemas over the weekend after the incident broke out at one of its venues.
Even if these thugs used Blue Story as an excuse to reign terror on that particular venue, does it mean the film deserves to be pulled from every single Vue Cinema up and down the country? Plain and simple, Blue Story is being used as a scapegoat for gang violence and it's wholly unfair. After all, there have been many cases in recent history where violence has broken out during screenings of blockbuster movies, boasting more of an a-list cast than Blue Story, but they weren't banned at the drop of a hat. When the new Joker movie was released in September, a fight broke out at a cinema in Burbank where a man received a cut to the head and others got involved in the incident. Rapman has come a long way from releasing his Shiro's Story series on YouTube – he was recently signed by Jay Z to Roc Nation and having a movie in the cinemas must be a dream come true.
The only way to win is to continue supporting Blue Story and show cinemas that we can enjoy films about gangs in peace. MORE: Showcase Cinemas becomes second chain to ban Blue Story after mass brawl MORE: Where to watch Blue Story in cinemas as Vue and Showcase ban the film from screens MORE: Rapman breaks silence on Birmingham brawl as Blue Story is banned from all Vue Cinemas Everyone by now has heard Vue and Showcase cinemas have dropped gang film Blue Story after a mass brawl. Around 100 young people were involved in a fight at the Star City Vue cinema in Birmingham on Saturday, before the screening of Blue Story and while families lined up to watch Frozen 2. Unfortunately, it appears cinema bosses have glossed over the message of the film – which centres around questioning the purpose of 'postcode wars' and highlights how easily an innocent kid can be dragged into a world of violence and gang-related activity. Despite the level of violence within the closing acts of Blue Story, it is true that love is a reoccurring theme. But as tragedy later strikes in the film, Rapman clearly leads to the moral conclusion that gang life is not the thing that younger people tend to idealise. Rapman's film shows that gang-loyalty is not guaranteed, that people who fall into this lifestyle often come out with regrets. Blue Story is still being shown in other cinema chains, including Cineworld and Odeon.