Cinéma Anthropomorphique – the monthly movie meet for furries of Oslo, Norway
by Patch O'Furr
There’s lots of furry movie outings, and sometimes they even rent a theater for a special occasion, but I’m not aware of many permanent furry movie clubs. Oslo’s Cinéma Anthropomorphique isn’t just well established, it seems to be the premiere fur meet for the capital of Norway. I’m going purely on stereotype about the frozen northlands of Scandinavia, but I imagine that in between good cold weather fursuiting and, I dunno, pulling sleds with husky friends under the Northern Lights, indoor movie time has to be a great pastime there. I’m also assuming that the fur community there must be close-knit, making this an inviting gateway to fur stuff. Here’s what I learned about it from TF Baxxter – founder and administrator of the Norwegian furry community Norwegian Paws and department head for NordicFuzzcon. Extra questions are further down. (- Patch)
TF Baxxter continues:
Cinéma Anthropomorphique started in December, 2012. We were only four people. Now we average at around 20 – 25 (maybe closer to 20; our record was 27 attendees). The event is held in someone’s home in the Oslo-area (which means it can get really cramped); we have main hosts, but like to vary it when we can.
Meets are announced on the Norwegian furry forum, Norwegian Paws, and through a couple of Telegram channels (mainly Tigerstaden, the furry Telegram chat for Oslo-furs). We try to get people to tell us beforehand whether they’ll be showing up, but people are pretty bad at it and will often just drop by.
We have a different theme every month. This month it’s Halloween, so we’ll be watching three horror films (Zombeavers, Tusk, and Frankenweenie). Before that, we watched all of the Watership Down TV-series in one go, without sleeping (it was about 14 hours in length, I think); we try to do an annual series marathon. We also have other annual themes, like the “VHS Special” where we watch VHS-tapes with animation and animal films you can’t find elsewhere. We also have the annual “Rufserulett” (Furry Roulette), where we will choose the films randomly during the event from larger budget box-sets of animal films (like this).
One soft rule we have is that we only watch material we have physically available. It’s to make it feel a bit more like a proper film club, and to discourage us from going the easy route and just using Netflix, YouTube, and torrents. But if something is unavailable physically but fits into a theme we want to have, we might ignore the rule. One example of this is the Norwegian dub of The Animals of Farthing Wood TV-series. Only the first season of the series was made available for the home market (on VHS). So we had do download the remaining two seasons for our all-nighter marathon (which was the first time we did the now annual series marathon theme).
We also have a guest book that all guests either write or draw in. We didn’t introduce the book until a year or two in though, unfortunately, so we missed out on a few evenings initially. But we have some fun drawings and good memories captured by that book.
We usually order food together, some bring snacks or cake to share, and people are free to drink if they want.
I’m the main driving force behind the event, but we have a small “council” of organizers and hosts who help to choose what we watch, which dates work, etc.
Since starting the film club, I have started increasingly collecting furry films – films and series with animal characters. I will often scour through flea markets and charity shops, looking for hidden gems, and might have to do some detective work online to track down certain titles at affordable prices. Sometimes I get other furs to help with importing titles; e.g. Animalympics is currently only available on DVD in Germany (with both the German and the original English dub), so I ordered it on amazon.de and had it sent to a German furry, who then passed it on to me at Eurofurence. A Spanish furry who visited Norway helped me out with transporting a few film titles I’d ordered from amazon.es. I have gotten a pretty good personal collection, and must have spent several thousand kroner. It’s always exciting when I stumble over a VHS of some furry animation I have no idea what is and which might be a candidate for our annual VHS Special-themed movie nights.
Right now, it’s the only monthly furmeet event that takes place in Oslo, and people seem to enjoy it! I know many people have met good friends through the meets, including myself. Noise level can be an issue with so many people, and we have gotten playful complaints that the films and series we watch are sometimes too obscure or poorly produced (like Dingo Pictures films), but people keep returning and seem to have fun. While the vast majority of attendees are Norwegian, we have had a few Swedish and American furs drop by, and we try to cater to them if we know beforehand (like showing films in English rather than Norwegian, or at least with English subtitles).
We have had a couple of “specials” at NordicFuzzCon, a furry convention in Sweden. The two first years of the convention we had room parties where we watched some loosely animal-themed MST3K episodes (I believe Puma Man and Werewolf), inviting both Norwegians and non-Norwegians. The third year we got to use the hotel’s large auditorium/movie room to have a public screening, showing a few brief highlights from CinAnt (as we regularly abbreviate it). The last two years we skipped it, partially due to stress, but I’m hoping we can try having another CinAnt room party at the forthcoming NFC convention.
We chose a French sounding title for the film club to play up the snootiness of film clubs. We might not be watching art haus films, but that’s no reason not to be a bit snooty! And the tiger is because the city of Oslo is known as “tigerstaden”, which translates to the Tiger City or the City of Tigers. So it seemed appropriate with a monocled tiger.
Did you put on the Zootopia screening at NordicFuzzcon?
We didn’t put on the Zootopia screening, no! Alas. So that’s unrelated. Except I’m also on the board of NordicFuzzCon. Trax was the person who organized it.
When it goes around between members houses each month, are there any with special screening setups? And does it ever do a formal theater outing?
The gatherings are usually held at Emphy and Leophan’s place, who help to organize it. But we try to vary it when we can, and whoever has a TV and a living room that’s big enough is welcome to host! And it has to be in Oslo, of course.
No special screening set-ups, no. But a large TV is good, and we need to know what the hosts are capable of playing. If they have region-free players, if they can play LaserDisc and/or VHS, etc. Emphy has a pretty good collection of electronics like that, which is also why it often ends up being at his (and Leophan’s) place.
Would love to go full movie theater with this, but renting a location would cost a lot. Most would also exclude us from bringing any of our own food and drink. Maybe if we had the right contacts (I know there are smaller film showings at locations organized by student groups and fully official film clubs), but alas.
We are very much at the limit of the amount of attendees we can handle, and we’re considering options. Maybe requiring people to pre-register and having a hard cap, and actually turning away people who just show up unannounced to join – which would be rather sad. Or we’ve joked with consistently watching more bad films to discourage people from attending, reducing the amount of people who want to come.
Is this one of the biggest meets in Norway? Are there others that meet monthly or more in other parts?
I’m fairly sure that this is the biggest monthly/regular meet in Norway, yes. But there’s a yearly new year’s party that’s definitely larger, with 40-50+ people attending. We have thought about “franchising” CinAnt, but that would be hard to organize! And we’ve gotten a few requests to somehow stream it, but again, not that easy (especially when we are watching different formats on different devices).
Here you can also see the meet’s official thread, with the complete run-down of themes (with a lot of Norwegian).
UPDATE: Some meet photos.
- Crowd: Various ‘crowd pictures’ from a few different nights.
- Teasers: Pictures to tease about movies we are watching at forthcoming movie nights (Usually at the
@CineAnth twitter account).
- Guestbook: Pictures from the guestbook! (A lot is in Norwegian.)
- Collection: Some of my movie collection.
Thanks to TF Baxxter. A super cool thing about furries is having an international conspiracy – wherever you go, there may be a nest of them to welcome you. Know of any cool or unique ones? Tips always welcome.
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