Optimism James Lattimer May 2021 What Will Become of Cinema? Postcards for the Future Issue 98 In the summer of 2021, I will buy a bike several kilos lighter than my present one. Every weekend, we will leave the city on the RegionalBahn, whose bicycle carriage will be almost empty. We will undertake lengthy tours, each one at least 70km, with an average speed of 16km/h as a minimum. We will revisit lakes from past years and discover new ones, there will be neither mosquitos nor crowds of people and the sun will always be in the right place. In the summer of 2021, I will attach a small metal platform outside the left-hand window in the living room, just like the one in the kitchen. As many plants from the apartment as possible will be put there, they will thrive in the fortuitous mixture of sunshine and rain. They will grow so strongly that the light in each room will be tinged with green. The smell of their flowers and leaves will fill the air. In the summer of 2021, we will cook every evening and continue to expand our repertoire. People will come over nearly every night and we will only move to the living room if there are four of us or more. We will drink a good but not excessive amount and embrace our guests as they leave. With each of them, there will be an easy regularity. In the summer of 2021, we will buy a new projector capable of balancing out the effect of the blue wall, together with thick curtains that block out light and the sound of the people chattering outside on the street. We will organise our viewing with an instinctive blend of planning and spontaneity. Gaps will be filled, although not to an unwarranted degree, and new curiosities satisfied. Each film will be watched to the end. In the summer of 2021, the trips I take will never feel like they are interrupting my time at home but rather complimenting it instead. I will visit my family and it will not feel rushed, it will be harmonious, although necessary things will also be discussed. I will take the train wherever possible and stop off in cities along the way to see the people there who I’ve been meaning to spend time with for so long. On some trips, I will coordinate with friends headed to the same places and share hotel rooms accordingly. We will sit next to each other in bed first thing in the morning and last thing at night, type on our computers, and talk from time to time. We won’t have so much work as to need room service. Like every year except for this one, I will wander a southern city with a friend and be grateful to have summer in autumn. In the summer of 2021, waiting in line to enter the auditorium will never feel like a chore. People will pass by and we will chat briefly, taking off our sunglasses to see each other’s faces. A seat at the side will remain free at every screening, and I will seldom struggle to stay awake, even if I’ve hardly slept at all; when it happens, I will enjoy the sensation of drifting off. The demanding films will not be enervating, and the entertaining ones will still be uncompromising, the important themes will never batter me over the head. Even when I am unimpressed, my feelings will still need unpicking. I will compare them what I hear from the others around me, whether seated together in the darkness or streaming out back into the light. No one will be in a rush and we will take our time with our conversations so as not to feel hassled or harried. There will be that same sense of easy regularity. In the summer of 2021, I will meet with my colleagues in cinemas, offices, cafés, parks, and sometimes their houses, which means there is always space for joking, spontaneity, and digression between the things that need discussing. We won’t need to spend much time talking logistics anyway, because those things will now take care of themselves. We will look forward to seeing the fruits of our labors in the flesh: on the page, in front of the audience, among friends. In the summer of 2021, a film will premiere and all those who made it will make the trip. Nervousness will never cross the line into anxiety and the feeling in the auditorium will be one of celebration and calm, not undue anticipation. Afterwards, there will be wine and conversation and everyone will be together. We will all think about swimming in a lake.