Film4 @ Somerset House: Alien + Poltergeist
The organisations behind Film4 and Somerset House did a wonderful job last night on one of their summer screenings of the horror classics, Alien and Poltergeist. Just walking out onto the courtyard and seeing the people set up their spots for the night, while a DJ played sci-fi that incorporated samples from the films to follow, along with fitting songs such as David Bowieâs âLoving The Alienâ. A bonus of the early evening was bumping into Joe Cornish of radioâs fun... (continued)
The organisations behind Film4 and Somerset House did a wonderful job last night on one of their summer screenings of the horror classics, Alien and Poltergeist. Just walking out onto the courtyard and seeing the people set up their spots for the night, while a DJ played sci-fi that incorporated samples from the films to follow, along with fitting songs such as David Bowieâs âLoving The Alienâ. A bonus of the early evening was bumping into Joe Cornish of radioâs funniest duo, Adam & Joe, who once acknowledged the 405 for posting their gig manifesto as a feature. Mr. Cornish not only remarked on one of our creatorâs names (Oliver Primus) as sounding like something out of Planet Of The Apes, but also said what a great website we are and that we should keep up the good work. So there you have it people, the 405 has the Adam & Joe seal of approval, making us undisputedly, undeniably awesome. As the crowd settled down the much loved veteran actor and major part of Alien, John Hurt, came to the front of the courtyard to immense applause. The man who brought us roles from the Elephant Man to a senile old bounty hunter from The Proposition gave a great introduction to the following film, explaining the measures that were taken to get the most out of the cast during his most memorable scene. Apparently, the other actors werenât aware of the explosive caps placed around them and that they were going to get âsplashedâ. Just as the excitement had fully taken over, the main titles appeared on the screen, inspiring grand displays of cheers. The first most notable brilliance of this outdoor experience was the sound; as the space ship appeared for the first time, its engines rumbled and thundered around the courtyard, completely consuming us with the illusion that we were venturing into outer space. This illusion was broken a couple of times throughout the night when the squawking of passing gulls accompanied Ripleyâs âWe blow it the fuck outâ speech, as well as helicopters. But as the genius of Ridley Scottâs directing goes, thereâs no way to watch his films other than on the big screen, and experiencing this timeless horror in the surroundings of Somerset House could be ruined by no outdoor interruptions. The second film was also a more than remarkable joy, as I had never seen Poltergeist before and watching it under these circumstances made it unbelievable. At first this classic seemed a bit daft and I couldnât quite tell if that was on purpose, but soon it became clear that there was a perfect blur of the lines between comedy and horror, something which is next to impossible to achieve. On top of this it covered one of my favourite issues in film, the satire of American suburbia and the condemnation of greed. If that doesnât do it for you then itâs worth watching for at least the special effects, which are incredible for its time, as well as a hilarious appearance from the Southern, chubby, squeaky voiced, little psychic who is invited to âcleanâ the house. The night out was one of a kind. In retrospect, if thereâs one thing I advise, itâs to bring provisions, as they donât allow readmission. This ruined my plans for a beer run during the interval. Furthermore, if youâre a compulsive fidgeter like myself you might want to bring a bit more than just a picnic rug to sit on.
Film4Somerset HouseAlienPoltergeistJohn HurtDavid BowieRidley ScottAdam & JoeJoe Cornish