September 5, 2014 for Cuckoo Review
I’ll say one thing for Screenage Kicks; they know how to pick their venues! Previous events have perfectly matched the film being show; with a screening of The Big Lebowski at Lane7 and Reservoir Dogs at Stephenson Boiler Shop. The recent screening of Blade Runner in the Exhibition Hall of the Discovery Museum was no exception; it was a brilliant venue for the sold out show. The audience was 350 strong and many had dressed for the occasion, most wearing the iconic black eye make up of one of the characters.
Dancers, gymnasts and circus performers moved through the crowds along with actors dressed as characters from the film (including a bloke who was the spitting image of Harrison Ford). During the movie they would periodically move through the isles, accentuating what was happening on the screen and adding an immersive quality to the experience. Stalls at the back of the room sold street food and posters and on each chair there was a packet of popcorn and a oragmi unicorn, which was a nice touch.
Warm Digits had a set before and after the film, playing a remix of a Vangelis track with a guitar and drums. I’m no music reviewer, but it suited the mood of the film perfectly while simultaneously being quite different. The film itself was (thankfully) one of the Director’s Cuts (either the 1992 version or the 2007 Final Cut) and remains a defining work of science fiction. A blend of dated 1980s futurism and gothic film noir with complex themes and a high-brow philosophy. While the imagery used can be a little overpowering at times (in my opinion, film-makers should always avoid using white doves for anything) Blade Runner is about what it means to be human and a stark study of life and mortality. It is essential viewing.
The only criticisms I have of the event as a whole are fairly minor. One is that the sound levels of the film were a bit off which made hearing the dialogue in certain scenes difficult especially in the early scenes. Further, while the actors in the hall did a great job, the instances where they were acting out scenes as they were happening were more distracting than immersive. These are both minor nitpicks though and in no way affected the enjoyment of the evening.
In conclusion, the Screenage Kicks event was one of the most brilliantly surreal evenings of my life. The venue was awesome, the music was great and the film was spectacular. Pop up cinema is a brilliant idea in general and should be supported, and Screenage Kicks do a great job of it.
For more information about Screenage Kicks, click here.