Film4 Summer Screen 2010 // The 405 Review
Date of screening: 30/07/10 Films shown: Kill Bill Vol. 1; Enter the Dragon It's the second year running of the 405's regular attendance of at least one of the nights at Somerset House. The motivation of this is to take in the atmosphere of one of the greatest cinematic experiences that London has to offer. Tonight was named 'Fight Night', as the organizer listed the gory actions and martial arts associations that the audience could expect for the night, such as "limb chopping... (continued)
Date of screening: 30/07/10 Films shown: Kill Bill Vol. 1; Enter the Dragon It's the second year running of the 405's regular attendance of at least one of the nights at Somerset House. The motivation of this is to take in the atmosphere of one of the greatest cinematic experiences that London has to offer. Tonight was named 'Fight Night', as the organizer listed the gory actions and martial arts associations that the audience could expect for the night, such as "limb chopping", "eye gouging", and the word that provoked the most applause, "nunchakus". More than anything it's the soundtrack that stands out in this experience; both musical and physical, and considering the type of action we were being subjected to for the evening, the physical made a destructive assault on us. The clashing katana swords in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and the exaggerated booms from fists connecting with jaws in Enter the Dragon filled the courtyard and shook the surrounding building's foundations, inspiring plenty of oohs and ahs, but not nearly as much as laughter from the sheer joy of it all. Of course, the real treat about both of these films audio-wise was the fact that they both have incredible scores and pop songs to accompany them. There's no listening experience quite as magnificent as having Nancy Sinatra's 'Ban Bang â My Baby Shot Me Down', Isaac Hayes' 'Run Fay Run', Al Hirt's 'Green Hornet', Tomoyasu Hotei's 'Battle Without Honour or Humanity' or the 126.96.36.199's 'Woo Hoo', being blasted at you while the fast paced events of Kill Bill unfold. Songs I neglect to mention in that list, include the excerpt from Quincy Jones' soundtrack to Ironside, the alarm sequence that goes off whenever the Bride encounters a character on her death list, which sends a jolt of shock and alertness through the listener, as well as a hysterical comedic effect. There is also Santa Esmeralda's 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood', the pop cover that gives the battle between the Bride and Oren Ishii a flamenco pace, which sent rhythmic claps and brass storming across the courtyard. The music that Enter the Dragon served up was a masterpiece from the king of 60s and 70s action thriller soundtracks, Lalo Schifrin. It's a bit difficult to give a description of Schifrin's music any better than Bill Bailey does, so I'll leave it up to him: In enter the dragon, we're given the cop show style with slight Asian modifications, always hinting at the element of danger. Once again the impact that this soundtrack had on the setting of the film screening, and the way it amplified throughout the space, made the viewing experience twice as epic as in an enclosed space. Plus, there was the glorious addition of Bruce Lee's screams as he made a strike at a villain. The behaviour of the audience shows a significant difference between outdoor viewing and indoors. The setting is a lot more laid back, as everyone sits on the ground and is eventually lying down by the end of the night in a sort of mass sleepover. People are also a lot more tolerant of exchanging banter while the films play; during the final battle in Enter the Dragon, as Han desperately grabs a spear to attack Lee with, I heard a voice behind me say, "That's not gonna help!", which was surprisingly received with anything but the disapproving "Sssh!" For some reason, people just aren't as annoying in this environment as they would be in the Odeon. Being given a chance to once again see a magnificent line up of films is one thing, but to view them at this kind of venue adds a whole level of enjoyment for the passionate cinema-goer. The open air screening seems unfortunately scarce in this country, maybe because of the pessimistic weather, and the Film4 Summer Screen is one of the most important events of the year in this respect. There is no greater chance to congregate with fellow film fans for a unique night.
Film4Somerset HouseKill Bill Vol.1Enter The DragonLalo Schifrin