•Who We Are

In French they have an expression: ‘Ca vaut le detour!’

It’s means, roughly speaking, ‘It’s well worth your while going a little out of your way to visit this place!’

And of course, you’ll be familiar with the old expression, ‘When in Rome….’

We’ve all had the soul-destroying experience of anonymous cinemas…standing on escalators that sweep you into faceless multiplexes: an experience a lot like charging in and out of a supermarket. Or, that moment of supreme loneliness when you’ve selected and watched absolutely every ‘Extra features’ bit on a DVD you’re watching, all alone, or the film you’ve downloaded is finished, and you’ve got nothing more to do than to go to bed. Ugh!

We’d like to offer you (if it’s your kind of thing) something …a bit different.

DETOUR has been active in the underground cinema scene in Rome for the last 20 years: we’ve got more than 15,000 regular members. (Well, regular… we didn’t say conventional).
Our film society, cine-club, art-house cinema, cafe, call it what you will, is a result of the passion for cinema by a group of university students who managed to develop this project. And we’re still going strong.

Our film-club aims to be an alternative screening spot, a place where one can appreciate the art of independent, quirky filmmakers and share our passion for film. We also present new cinematic styles, in various film genres. Detour is – we hope – a wide open space for creativity and ideas, our motto is ‘A no-man’s land’ and yet… with room for everyone, we try to take a roomy, inclusive approach.

We are interested in friendship: yes, the close-up in relationships, the personal… Something about our approach, in spite of all pressures, has remained doggedly ‘home-made’. One of our lively debates in our early years was about the political implications of home-baking (using Mum’s flour, which was stolen, ie morally dubious), versus the commercial (and inevitably pro-corporation, ie questionably right-wing) choice of popcorn… on our premises! Yeah, okay, so this was in our early years…

Our cineclub is more like a cosy gathering place than the usual screening hall; we believe that an open dialogue with our audience is the essential characteristic of our venue: a place where there are no barriers between the artist and the audience. Apart from shyness maybe! But come on, this is Italy…!

Our aim is to bring the viewer a step further in the understanding of film language and promote the different faces of filmmaking and cinema.

Detour Cinema offers concerts and live soundtrack performances of old masterpieces of cinema, as well as art exhibitions, filmmaking and film-criticism courses, theatrical plays, readings, books and magazines presentations, philosophical debates…

… and a lot of fun!

•Our Venue

Since the summer of 2009 we have moved to bigger and better premises with a charming cinema hall, and at present you can find us in the same chic, colourful old neighborhood of the ‘Lower City’ or the ‘Suburra’ (in Italian) at 107, up the street from Metro station CAVOUR. We’re in the neighbourhood where old Julius Caesar lived, believe it or not.

At the entrance, you will be welcomed by us, (even if we might have our hands full at certain times, trying to get everyone in, and doing the paperwork…please bear with us…) and hopefully we’ll soon be on first-name terms!

This is a place where you can relax and have a drink or relish a natural snack, before the film starts.

And there’s no extra charge for general coolness, cobblestones, ivy, fervent discussions etc. etc. If we could get away with using the filthy word ‘hipster’…we’d use it. Really!

•Alternative Distribution

We try to give our members an opportunity to see films and audiovisual works that are not present in conventional cinema halls. Films which unfortunately do not find distribution, for mere market and political reasons. We show fictions and documentary films with social value made by young Italian and foreign filmmakers. We strive to increase the curiosity for old and new audio-visual works.

•Let’s work together!

Cinema clubs always existed since the early years of cinema, helping to spread the art of filmmaking, merging cultures from all parts of the world. Thanks to film-clubs, cinema, as a form of art, attained an important position as one of the key forms of artistic expression in this era.

Sadly, something got lost on the way with the growth of the medium: today several cinema clubs, as our old beloved and nostalgic suburb cinema halls, have closed down, or have been turned into massive bingo halls, parking lots or multiplex cinemas: gigantic film supermarkets,  Nonetheless, some cinema clubs (true art houses) survived this type of transformation, thanks to their capability of renovating and their ability to keep pace with the mutations and tendencies inside the art of filmmaking, heeding the thriving spirit of a whole generation.  We believe it is  deep emotion,which is the real potion that spell-binds us and makes us not only viewers, but active participants, with passion for culture, as well as socially involved individuals.

In Detour we have noticed with the years a growing tendency for young independent filmmakers to be neglected by the film market. Those who are “lucky”, or get a break, or knew how to move well, got their works screened just for a short period of time in what we usually consider conventional screening spots. These low budget movies are sometimes not able to compete with blockbusters. Besides, major cinema productions are backed up by the money machine of mass distribution. However many quality films get good feedbacks in festivals, they are never screened in our cities, and often end up not being seen.

We believe that independent films and documentaries can flourish mostly in a protective green-house-like-cinema-type place, which offers a laid-back, chilled environment, to understand the work, and a chance to discuss it freely; a place where there is a positive meeting  between the filmmaker and the audience.

We are all connected: we are all truly survivors and winners of a real ongoing culture. This is our call for collaboration to all those players who act today and are interested in involving others and wish to create a space for new ideas.

Plus, last but not least, we are  a ‘ low cost’ network, we’re not (primarily) after your hard-earned cash! We try to keep our prices down, to reasonable, sane levels. Together we are able to stimulate real impulses: authentic creation: information; criticism, and a call for a social change. We are the voice of freedom: now, perhaps, we are needed more than ever. So please feel free to contact us and let’s make our journey together: we are not alone.

We would like very much to expand our circle of experience and share our experiences with others. We encourage all kinds of collaboration, so please feel free to contact us for no matter which original idea you have in mind: screening a film, maybe a film you made, or organising a gig. If you are in Rome, come and pay us a visit.

Ca vaut le detour!