INTERVIEW: Alex Billington from First Showing

Everyone has their ‘go to’ web page if they want to read about movie news – for us it First Showing and we were lucky enough to catch up with Alex from the site to talk all things movies and how the website came about!

How did First Showing come about and those that might not know what is it? is a movie blog, of course. We only cover theatrically released films & documentaries (and also VOD releases nowadays) plus film festivals and short films. Meaning we don’t cover home entertainment (DVD/Blu-ray) or TV shows or mini-series or web series or anything else. It actually started as a very geeky movie blog when I went to camp out in front of a theater for the movie Superman Returns in 2006. I created a blog called “FIRSTShowing” because someone else snuck in to take the first spot in line while I was collecting my things to bring down to the theater, and I wanted to get back at them. Ha. We then started hosted in-theater events on opening nights at the same movie theater in Colorado Springs, Colorado (where I grew up). It eventually evolved into a full-time movie blog with news & updates of all kinds (that ran strong for about 10 years), now we’ve scaled back to being a smaller-scale movie blog with a focus on upcoming releases – mostly trailers, reviews, a release schedule, and a few updates here and there (but no more news). I keep the site going now after 14 years because I still love that it’s a reputable, well-known platform to continue talking about cinema and keep promoting good movies.

You manage to get some fantastic coverage at the film festivals – any movies we should be looking out for that might be under our radar?

Yes! Lots of them!! Too many of them! It’s always hard to convince people to watch festival films, especially international ones. But I’ll still try to convince everyone anyway. Some of my favorites from recent festivals: And Then We Danced (directed by Levan Akin),The 40 Year Old Version (directed by Radha Blank), Nine Days (directed by Edson Oda), Minari (directed by Lee Isaac Chung), Baby Teeth (directed by Shannon Murphy), and the documentary Little Girl (aka Petite Fille, directed by Sébastien Lifshitz).

Click the image to check out the FirstShowing.Net website!

The award ceremonies have all happened – were there any notable movies or performances you felt were missing?

Well, first things first, I still think Toni Collette should’ve been nominated for her performance in Hereditary. Of course The Academy is afraid of recognizing anything that might be horror or sci-fi, but her performance in Hereditary is one that will be remembered forever. From this year’s Academy Awards nominations, the two big ones that should’ve been nominated but weren’t: Adam Sandler from Uncut Gems (it’s one of his best performances ever), and Awkwafina from The Farewell (she’s on a whole other level here). I would’ve also accepted a nomination for Zhao Shuzhen from The Farewell, either way that film got seriously overlooked. However, I’m glad it did win some awards at the Indie Spirits.


Looking ahead to this year what movies are First Showing most excited about?

With the virus shutting down cinemas and delaying releases, who knows what we’ll see this year! But there’s still plenty I’m really excited about watching: Tenet (directed by Christopher Nolan), No Time to Die (directed by Cary Fukunaga – I’m a big time Bond fan), Dune (directed by Denis Villeneuve), Last Night in Soho (directed by Edgar Wright), Pixar’s Soul (directed by Pete Docter), and Top Gun: Maverick (directed by Joe Kosinski). Plus of course Bill & Ted Face the Music because I love the original two movies and I hope this sequel is worth the wait after so many years.

What have you watched, read, or listened to recently that you have really enjoyed?

I just watched the documentary Crip Camp on Netflix, and it’s absolutely wonderful. An inspiring and engaging story about a revolution told by the very people who lead that revolution. Highly recommended. I’ve also been watching the final season of “BoJack Horseman” (also on Netflix) and it’s outstanding. A bit depressing, but so intelligent and brutally honest. And I also discovered this electronica band called Grandbrothers last year because their music is in the film The Specials (directed by Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano), an excellent French drama that was on my Top 10 from last year. I’ve been listening to their albums (both “Open” and “Dilation”) quite a bit recently.

Finally, what is your tip of the day?

Stay passionate. It’s too easy to lose your passion nowadays, it’s a much greater challenge to hold onto that passion and love the things you love without worry. Passion is a beautiful thing, and we have to nurture and encourage it as much as we can. Never stop dreaming, and always stay passionate.

We loved speaking to Alex and have found our notebooks now full again with some amazing recommendations (we particularly loved Grandbrother’s music)! To find out more and support his website please head to FirstShowing.Net and you can also follow via Twitter @FSnewsfeed and of course Alex himself @firstshowing ! We are going to stay in touch with him to work out some future talks about all things movies too – so watch this space!

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