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Review: Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House - Enter The Void & Don't Think

Wednesday 5th September 2012 | Annalisa

Those warm summer evenings are back and there are a plethora of outdoor cinemas in London at the moment - the most notorious of them all is the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House.

This year they were showing a range of films like Indiana Jones, Lawless & Apocalypse Now. For this round I picked probably the most hardcore of the film series - Enter The Void, Gaspar Noé's first feature length film since he made headlines with Irreversible followed up by Don't Think a film of Chemical Brothers live audio visual concert which was filmed in Japan As we descended into Somerset House the weather was perfect and there is was a sense of awe as you walk into the that 18th century courtyard, seeing the sea of people completely covering the entire area of the place, blankets and picnic baskets and drink a plenty, the sounds of the DJ pumping out beats from 7 until the movie started when darkness descended at 9.

The atmosphere in there was pretty electric, events like this are cinema- its been taken out of the box and becomes a new way to experience film - I had seen Enter The Void quite a few times perviously and watching it at Somerset House was a new way of experiencing the movie.

The first thing that gets you other than the sheer number of people in the venue is that range of people at the event to one side of me were this middle aged married couple that had a full on picnic basket that looked like it had been completely sourced from Waitrose with strawberries and champagne and to my left were a group for friends with florescent paint on their faces and drinking Red Stripe. As darkness slowly came down I was hoping for more dancing to the DJ, but for the most part everyone was sat down talking (although later in the evening the I was not disappointed).

The announcement of the film about to start at 9pm was met by cheers from the whole audience, and Enter The Void was introduced by Film4's director, he spoke about how much of a head fuck Enter The Void is and how it is cinema reimagined and it being a new way of experiencing and presenting film to the audience.

He also gave a little warning that like Irreversible its not the easiest of films to watch. He mentioned how he had spoken to Gaspar Noé prior to the screening and that his only hope was that they played the film loud - and loud it was!!! 

From its initial super fast, uncomfortable dull strobe lit intro credits the crowd realised they were in for something different. The movie is long unflinching journey into the metaphysical set in Tokyo.

It's truly is an example of a director being an artist and painting on a canvas, it switches the brain to another level and the movie is experienced rather than watched. It is not an easy watch either and probably not for everyone.

Its the story of Oscar a drug dealer in Japan who is shot by the police in Tokyo (don't worry I'm not spoiling anything this is all in the first 1o minutes) and his soul then watches over his sister. The trailer will give you an idea of what the movie is like

 

The film is shocking and patience testing in place but has to be seen to be experienced - for me its a pure fringe cinematic experience and seeing it outdoors under the stars added to that experience. I could see it wasn't for everyone and many people weren't expecting what they saw. The mood was lightened afterwards by the showing of the Chemical Brother visual showcase Don't Think

 

It tied well into Enter The Void with them both being very visually orientated and both set in Japan. Don't Think blew me away. Filmed at The Fuji Rock Festival - 20 cameras were also given to people in the crowd to build this immense experience of a movie.

Seeing it on this huge screen under the stars with the that pumping sound system is the best way to see it, you really felt like you were there at the concert. I got my wish - this was the point where I got my wish and the whole venue was on its feet and dancing, felt like being in a festival, it was a truly immersive experience - the trailer gives you an idea of what we experienced

If you have never experienced The Film4 Summer Screen I suggest you do  - I cannot wait for next year!!!

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