Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Not at your local multiplex


Image courtesy of late night movie

Ever since hearing Peter Greenaway talk at the ICA, I've been keeping an eye out for people who are doing innovative things with cinema. Sometimes all you want is a comfy seat at the multiplex, but the cinema going experience often feels constricting, overpriced and unimaginative. Below I've collected together examples of more interesting stuff:

1) First up, my friend Vicky is producing a live version the Oscar winning film Peter and the Wolf, at the Royal Festival Hall this Friday. Narrator, puppets, orchestra and film screening all integrated together. There is a proper description here.

2) Secret Screenings are the latest thing from the people behind Secret Cinema. In the past they have done things such as show Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park under the railway arches at London Bridge.

Secret Screenings is described as follows:

With the view of creating a national dialogue around film, Secret Screenings will show a single title simultaneously across the country- giving audiences the opportunity to become part of a unique shared experience. Films will be a mix of forgotten classics, cult favorites and exclusive previews. The identity will remain under strict secrecy until the moment the credits roll.

The first one happened on Saturday in London, Brighton and Edinburgh.

3) Bompas and Parr, who created the Gin Mist thing, also put on Scratch n' Cinema. They did a valentines screening of The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover. The audience were given scratch and sniff cards of aromas including rotting meat - which was nice.

4) Dom turned me on to Roof Top Films. Live music and film under the stars in NYC.

5) Bananaz, Ceri Levy's film about the Gorillaz, recently became the world's first global online premiere via Babelgum.

6) Interactive cinema is a concept that gives the audience an active role in the showing of films, enabling people to interact with the story in someway. A bit like video gaming really. A useful resource for this is the Interactive Cinema Symposium.

7) Here you'll find a very useful TimeOut guide to outdoor screenings.

8) Finally, the wonderfully named, Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams is Tilda Swinton's eccentric film festival in Nairn in the north of Scotland. It is the antithesis of a Cannes type film festival - night time screenings for audiences dressed in pyjamas, free entry for those bringing a nice cake.