Top 5 Unusual Places to Watch a Film

Something really exciting has been happening in cinema over the past few years. Evidently in an attempt to compete with the number of people who download films from the internet and watch them for free at home, some very clever people have decided to make the experience of the big screen more than just popcorn and sticky seats. Since 2008 the brilliant people at Secret Cinema have screened cinematic masterpieces such as Blade Runner, Lawrence of Arabia and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, each time picking a location perfectly suited to the film, transporting the viewer directly into that world.

Also this summer, and all over London, there is The Nomad, a pop-up cinema that will be screening the likes of Memento in The Old Royal Naval College, Fargo in Kensington Gardens and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in the Gardens of the Houses of Parliament!

But wait! There’s more! The Folly For A Flyover project (the brainchild of Assemble, a group of art students who orchestrates last year’s wildly successful Cineroleum project) is currently well underway between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the A12, crossing the Lea Navigation Canal in Hackney. By day, the Folly serves as a charming café, as well as hosting and organising various creative workshops and boat trips around the surrounding waterways. By night it will be screening special cinematic events, including Tron with live music accompaniment, a genius double bill of Toy Story & Bicycle Thieves, and a rare chance to see 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen.

As well as being a marvellous endeavour in its own right, Folly for a Flyover also forms part of the Barbican’s summer of cinematic delights (look out for our review of animation exhibition Watch Me Move, coming very soon) and CREATE11, the latest incarnation of an annual arts festival which bestrides the narrow East End like a Colossus.

We salute the clever folks who are re-igniting our love of watching films on the big screen! Also, this got us thinking – are there some films that are just made to be watched outside of the cinema? Somewhere different, weird and wonderful? Here’s a Top 5 to get you going…

#5 – Fitzcarraldo…in the Peruvian jungle!

Where better to start than with the man who frequently champions the fact that cinema began in carnivals, and that it is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates. Werner Herzog‘s epic story of a man who pulls a ship over a mountain, all in the pursuit of opera, is quite simply a masterpiece of film-making, and evidence (if ever you needed any more) of the lengths Herzog will go to in order to get his vision on the screen. Madness, chaos and danger are present in every frame that Klaus Kinski appears in as he delivers a career-defining performance. If you really want to do the film justice, then go put yourself in as much danger as the crew did! Stick the flick on in the middle of the Amazon, invite some friendly natives along (and get them to bring some of their local punch), and immerse yourself in the full Fitzcarraldo experience. It’s most definitely what Herzog would want.

#4 – The Shining…in an abandoned hotel!

Stanley Kubrick‘s masterclass of horror would be shit-the-bed scary if you watched it in broad daylight, in a lovely park, drinking Pimm’s and surrounded by all your oldest and dearest childhood friends. The claustrophobic direction and haunting score somehow manages to make things like a small child riding a trike and Jack Nicholson throwing a tennis ball unbelievably sinister. Maybe it would be a step too far to hole yourself up for the entire winter and watch this on repeat (points if you do though…), but we still think you should check in to a big, imposing hotel, preferably during the roughest night you can imagine, and see how long you last. Might be an idea to bring an axe along, just in case.

#3 – Buried…in your own grave

Getting a bit grim now isn’t it? Buried was claustrophobic enough in a big ol’ theatre, so imagine what it’d be like if you were going through the exact same experience as Ryan Reynolds was whilst watching it! Up the ante by watching it on an iPhone, or something suitably small and handheld! Ooo! Meta! If you’re not comfortable knocking up a quick coffin and digging your own grave to do this then man up just get into bed and pull the blanket over your head, or climb into the boot of a car…preferably your own car, though maybe if it was someone else’s the kidnapping element would be all the more real?

#2 – Snakes On A Plane…on a plane

I know what you’re thinking, and I’m totally with you. Planes are never a good place to watch a movie (Unless it’s Bee Movie, which I watched twice on a flight to New Zealand…and once on the way back). However, just imagine watching Samuel L. Jackson kick ass and take names on a plane, whilst on a plane!…JUST IMAGINE IT!!! If you too can smuggle some snakes on board and let them slither about willy-nilly, all the better. And it goes without saying that EVERYONE on board has to shout “I’VE HAD IT UP TO HERE WITH THESE MOTHERFUCKIN’ SNAKES ON THIS MOTHERFUCKIN’ PLANE!!!” along with Sam.

#1 – The Big Lebowski…in a bowling alley!

There could only be one winner really, the Coen Brothers‘ ode to bowling, rugs and Creedence Clearwater Revival that is The Big Lebowski. We recommend you throw on a dressing gown, go grab yourself a lane and quote along with The Dude, Walter and Donny to your heart’s content. Or, if you can convince enough people that it’d be a good idea, show it on every scoreboard at once and bowl along with the guys! But, if all your chums are too busy to come and watch such a Lebowski-fest, then you can always head to the bar for a White Russian, and pour your heart out to Gary. Friends like these, huh Gary?

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