Annually in November our Rhiwbina community cinema ‘Monico Movies’ has screened a Welsh-made feature, but due to lockdown we can’t do this at the moment! The Monico is now sadly missed, a case of “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone”. Harley has kindly offered a treasured memory of a family trip to The Monico.
Monico Cinema Memories
by Harley Jones
I recall with affection taking my Mum and Dad along to the Monico, to a matinee sometime in 1996. The Monico was more than half empty as it wasn’t showing a blockbuster, just a comedy in which I had a special interest, as I had known the filmmaker from my days as tutor in the Newport Film School.
The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
Written and directed by Taffs Well born Christopher Monger.
Based on Chris’s own novel, the film is set in 1917, with World War I in the background, and revolves around two English cartographers, the pompous George Garrad and his junior, Reginald Anson. Hugh Grant stars as a young mapmaker who offends an entire village by declaring their prized landmark not high enough to be called a “mountain” – and he soon finds the eccentric locals, led by an outspoken innkeeper (Colm Meaney), will stop at nothing to defend their honour.
The original story was based around the Garth mountain, though location filming was in Llanrhaedr Y Mochnant and Llansilin in Powys.
There are some lovely cameo performances, including a memorable one from the late great Kenneth Griffith as an eccentric clergyman the Reverand Mr Jones. Nice roles also from the young Tara Fitzgerald and Hugh Grant. A film well worth tracking down!