So, how was the Film4 Summer Screen Alien/Poltergeist double bill last night?

Saturday August 1st 2009


I wrote a little while ago about the 2009 Film4 Summer Screen season at Somerset House. Last night I bloody went to it.

Me and my companions did as we had been instructed and brought cushions and pillows and other comfortables, but we needn’t have bothered because we were TREATED LIKE BLOODY KINGS.

We were down as ‘guests’ so we got free rugs and drinks vouchers. And we didn’t have to queue up to get in like these idiots:

The crowd was just about middle class enough that we felt we could leave all our belongings lying around while we went off to buy Maltesers.

There’s £20 in that carrier bag.

That red rope that you can see on the edge of that photograph is what was marking out ‘the guest area’. It basically allowed us to stretch our legs and stare up at the clouds while the norms huddled together in the standard bit.

People kept walking past and saying things like ‘Do they really need a bloody rope?’ and ‘Oh, I couldn’t possibly set foot in the guest area!’

YEAH? WELL YOU TRY WRITING AN IRREVERENT MOVIE BLOG USING WORDPRESS AS A MAKESHIFT CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IF YOU THINK IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES!!!!1!!

It didn’t really matter because eventually all hell broke loose anyway:

Anyway, on to the more important bit: the drinks vouchers the movies.

ALIEN

I was worried that the outdoor screening conditions wouldn’t be good enough to handle Alien, which is to all extents and purposes, entirely perfect. It’s a very dark film (literally dark rather than the annoying sort of ‘dark’ that people use in relation to Harry Potter films and Tim Burton animations) and there’s a lot of background noise over most of the dialogue.

Luckily it looked tip fucking top and the sound, while inevitably slightly echoey, was still ten times better than at your average suburban Odeon.

You don’t need me to review Alien for you. 10/10 etc.

POLTERGEIST

Whoever put Poltergeist on with Alien is a genius and fully understands the complexities of the Perfect Double Bill. No-one wants to watch Alien and Aliens. That would be a nightmare.

Double bills need to be superficially similar (both horror films made within a three year period) but inherently contrasting, especially in tone. In this sense, Poltergeist is a fucking masterstroke.

Even better, it was an original print from 1982 so it looked all cool and grainy. Hooray for lo-fi charm!

In Conclusion
Unless you’ve already got your tickets, you’ve now officially missed your chance to attend any of this year’s screenings as they sold out quite a while ago. Don’t cry over spilt milk, just get your act together next year. You moron.