Tuesday 20 December 2016

Movie watching with dinosaurs, the ART of comedy, a festive film classic and a Hollywood star...

11th December 2016 - 17th December 2016

Activities :

A quite film theme week last week, but also a fantastic night at the theatre full of laughs, so without further ado...

Jurassic Park (Rooftop Film Club Screening)

Monday night combined some film with a bit of museum going, which is never a bad thing, (although when a past excursion to the British Museum to watch 'The Princess Bride' coincided with torrential rain it all became a little more problematic, still enjoyed the film though).

The suitably Christmassy lights at the Natural History Museum...

It was for a screening of 'Jurassic Park' by the pop-up film screening outfit The Rooftop Film Club, and located aptly in the main hall of the Natural History Museum with the audience encompassing soon to be on tour national treasure Dippy the Diplodocus!

We remember visits here from school days and Dippy's always been a lasting memory of those trips, however he's due to be replaced shortly by the museum's real Blue Whale skeleton, (Dippy's actually just a plaster cast of the skeleton, however it is the a cast of the most complete skeleton ever found so he's still very special), so this was a nice setting and the ideal film to enjoy here.

There were two screenings that night, one at 7PM and one at 10PM, both fully sold out, we opted for the latter showing as work and eating meant the earlier start would be a rush, however attending later also meant that we got to enjoy the museum a bit as would could enter from 8PM and explore the Dinosaur and Mammal exhibits with very sparse crowds which was a treat in itself.

A nice touch of classic cinema signage...

After Hours access to the exhibits...

Strangely happy expressions on most of the staffed mammals...

The animated T Rex is a definite highlight...

The Statler and Waldorf of the Natural History Museum...

The exhibits are still impressive, despite being quite familiar from visits over the years and it's well worth a visit as watching footage online or on TV still doesn't allow you to fully appreciate the aesthetic qualities, although the taxidermy aspect can be a little disconcerting given it's no longer a common sight.

So after the usual schoolchild-like ooohhhing, aaahhhing and fiddling with moving parts of exhibits it was finally time to settle down to a modern classic!

A large screen was installed half way up the large staircase behind Dippy and chairs were arranged around him so we really were literally watching 'Jurassic Park' with a dinosaur basically, which is about as fitting a setting as you can get I guess!

The film itself surely needs no introduction, Spielberg's modern classic hits all the right notes, jumps and laughs expertly handled but one of cinema's masters. The CGI and animatronic effects still hold up today, in fact they're still better than most recent efforts, and along with the performances music and narrative it all adds up to an intelligent, summer blockbuster.

Our view from our seats back to the entrance and Dippy's head...

The silver screen...

A fond farewell at the end of the evening...

Although it was pretty late by the time the film started and ended it still managed to entertain us and there was free popcorn which is always a winner! http://rooftopfilmclub.com/london and http://www.nhm.ac.uk/

Now we had a couple of nights off before some theatre on Thursday...


So on Thursday we headed over to the Southbank for the latest play to open at the Old Vic, a revival of Art by Tasmina Reza.

Translated from it's original French language, this had quite a run in the West End during the late nineties/early noughties, with many different ensemble casts, boasting quite a few impressive names such as Albert Finner, Tom Courtenay, Jack Dee, George Wendt and Frank Skinner.

This time around we have the accomplished line up of Rufus Sewell, (recently seen in 'Closer' at the Donmar Warehouse and 'Victoria' on TV), Tim Key, (Alan Partridge's hapless co-presenter and stand-up), and Paul Ritter, (the dad in 'Friday Night Dinner' and also to be seen in the latest Dan Brown film adaptation 'Inferno'), all three from different backgrounds within the industry but here they gelled fantastically and made for a truly entertaining night at the theatre.

We'd taken advantage of the Old Vic PWC preview ticket scheme for this one, which basically amounts to £10 tickets available for about half of the total seats, at all levels for the first five preview performances, some might be put off by the fact it's one of the initial performances and would prefer to see the play after it's fully hit it's stride, however we've done the £10 ticket deal for a few shows now and highly recommend it! It's live theatre after all, and sometimes the little ad-libs fumbling of words can actually add an air of reality to the show, however most times as on this occasion the cast were on top form.

That'll never wash out...

We'd managed to score third row stalls tickets, so the view was great and there were no problems with hearing anyone, we also had a clear view of the actors faces which is always a bonus as you get to feel the full performance.

It's basically a play about the idiosyncrasies of male friendships and attitudes concerning contemporary art, and revolves around one of the friends, Serge, (Sewell), having purchased an expensive basically blank white painting which his friend Marc, (Ritter), hates and their friend Yvan, (Key), who's caught in the middle trying to always please everybody, (usually at the cost of his own happiness).

The play is performed as a series of scenes which utilise the same main set, slightly enhanced to portray each of the character's own homes, and combines ensemble scenes with fourth wall breaking monologues addressed directly to the audience which verbalise the character's internal thoughts and feelings, a neat way to highlight commonly held view that men are reluctant to share such things in such relationships, (maybe a little bit of an old fashioned stereotype since the rise of the 'millennial male', but it's a play which although of it's time doesn't feel redundant in it's themes).

It deftly steps between witty 'banter', almost bordering on farcical situations and a bit of genuine drama, and was reminiscent of the tone of another French play, staged in the West End earlier this year at the Wyndhams Theatre, 'The Truth' , (which was another truly outstanding comedic drama examining themes of relationships and betrayal with razor sharp dialogue and pitch perfect performances from the ensemble cast).

Overall it's well worth catching, and at an economical 90 minutes with no interval it zips by and doesn't feel too heavy of an evening, superb!

It's A Wonderful Life

Currently on re-release for the festive season at the BFI Southbank, what more could you ask for in these cynical times than a welcome viewing of Frank Capra's relentlessly optimistic classic 'It's A Wonderful Life'.

So Saturday afternoon saw us settle into our favourite seats in screen NFT1 for our first viewing on the big screen. This was a pristine digital presentation, as I suspect any film prints are starting to really show their age, however it wasn't digitally toyed with so wasn't thankfully wasn't artificially polished.

For those that haven't seen it, (if not, why not!!), the plot simply put revolves around James Stewart's character George Bailey, operator of his late father's buildings and loan company in a small town Bedford Falls who despite lofty ambitions to travel the world and be someone who makes a difference in the world is forever held back by circumstances in life. Eventually when a dramatic misfortune befalls him and pushes him to the brink of suicide he makes a wish that he'd never been born, at which point a guardian angel named Clarence is dispatched to show him that despite feeling that he's a failure because his big dreams were unfulfilled, his very existence and actions within his small community in actual fact fulfil his hopes in greater way than he could ever imagine.

The candle adds a bit of a festive vibe...

The movie was actually a bit of a flop on it's initial release, maybe audiences found the even the merest suggestion of suicide a turn off, or maybe it was just a little ahead of it's time, the scenes of Clarence conversing with the chief angels, represented by sets of flashing stars seems quite a modern concept, however it' has subsequently found it's place as a mainstay during the Christmas season. 

Lets make no bones about it, the film is constructed explicitly to elicit the maximum amount of sentimentality from it's audience, both in it's storytelling and most notably through the performance of Stewart, always dependable to play the all-American everyman to a T, but you never feel manipulated, in fact it provides a comforting atmosphere, and had us both booing by the end.

If you get a chance to catch this classic on the silver screen do it, you won't be disappointed!

Danny Glover in Conversation

After a spot of dinner, it was straight back into the screen for one of many events programmed as part of the BFI's 'Black Star' season of films celebrating the range and versatility of black actors, an in conversation event with Danny Glover.

Being big fans of the 'Lethal Weapon' franchise and his performance in 'The Color Purple' in particular meant we were looking forward to seeing the man in person and hearing his reminiscences on his career.

Obviously not yet too old for this s*#!...

Arriving on stage to rapturous applause Glover came across as someone clearly and rightly proud of his varied output over a long successful career and also immensely proud of the opportunities it's afforded him in forming his own production company to produce projects which satisfy his humanitarian pursuits and bring other more personal projects to fruition.

He also touched on his belief in the power of people to be better citizens and therefore better people, Glover for President!

The audience Q & A touched on the status of a couple of other projects he's been linked with as producer, including an intriguing little known story about Albert Einstein and his involvement in some Civil Rights activities in America, and of course he was quizzed on the possibility of a Lethal Weapon 5, to which he replied it looks unlikely but if the right script did come along, then he would be on board.

Glover deep in conversation...

Glover proved to be a very eloquent and passionate character, certainly very appreciative of the opportunities afforded to him and his continued popularity.

That's it for this week, we'll be back soon!

Friday 16 December 2016

Bowie, Buxton, Dickens and Minogue, a VERY varied line up...

4th December 2016 - 10th December 2016

Activities :

To say this last week's activities were the definition of variety would probably be an understatement, but then they do say it's the spice of life after all!


So Wednesday the 7th saw us taking in Lazarus at one of the two custom built pop-up venues at the Kings Cross Theatre, our second visit of a planned triple.

The 'temporary' but not so temporary Kings Cross Theatre venues...

The other venue currently houses the immensely fantastic Donmar Warehouse productions of the Harriet Walter led and Phyllida Lloyd directed, all female Shakespeare Trilogy, comprising revivals of Julius Caesar from 2012, Henry IV from 2014 and the latest final production of The Tempest. If you can get along to catch these you really should, they're smart, punchy, modern and hugely accessible productions adapted to a prison setting. The entire cast are great and Harriet Walter brings the whole project an air of gravitas, definite must sees. However these were all pre-Culture Couple blog events so we'd best get back to the week at hand. http://www.donmarwarehouse.com/

We both love Bowie, (our first date was a trip to the 'David Bowie Is...' exhibition at the V & A), so when Lazarus was announced initially for it's original New York run our interest was piqued, unfortunately our holiday to the Big Apple didn't coincide with that run so we missed it, however it's rumoured transfer to London thankfully became reality and instantly topped our list of must do activities.

So much so that we booked three visits... :-)

We first went at the tail end of November to one of the 'preview' performances, and we're blown away.

It's basically a sort of sequel to story of 'The Man Who Fell To Earth', however more so the original novel version than the film adaptation which starred Bowie, and this time is a 'musical' in the loosest terms, scored with Bowie songs, unlike 'TMWFTE' which featured no Bowie music, a strange thing in itself but we digress... It could almost be better described as a choreographed artistic performance, (or performance art?), focusing on Bowie's character Thomas Newton and his isolation and depression which has led to him becoming a recluse and alcoholic following the events of the film/novel and a series of characters his life intersects with both real? and imagined?/dreamt?/ psychologically invented?. It all sounds a lot heavier than it is.

Michael C Hall of Dexter fame plays Newton, and 15 year old Sophia Anne Caruso plays The Girl, both having transferred directly from the New York production, (we saw the fantastic Caruso at the preview performance, however at this performance we saw her excellent stand-in Hannah Rose-Thompson as Caruso has had to take a fortnight's break due to UK child performer rules). Michael Esper also transfers as Valentine and Amy Lennox takes over as Elly.

The show runs for about two hours with no interval and Hall is on stage for the entire time, however his performance is astounding, he is even on stage inhabiting the set and the character for around fifteen minutes prior to the show starting, wandering and setting the atmosphere before laying down in the middle of the stage. The chosen songs span Bowie's entire career, including three new songs written for the show, and the various performer's renditions are all fantastic, (the cast recording album by the original New York cast, is a must buy, the cast being largely the same here means it is a great way to relive the show long after it ends), however Hall's contributions are especially spectacular for his ability to recall Bowie's phrasing and tone, but still maintain the character of Newton in their delivery. Caruso's vocals are also extraordinary in their fragile delivery, Rose-Thompson is no slouch either and her performance is highly commendable especially as she is only inhabiting the role for a relatively short time.

The set design is also great, centre of the stage houses a video screen with the band set behind two large windows at the back of the stage and the foreground of the stage basically becoming Newton's studio apartment which he never leaves, but it also becomes several other locations seamlessly via very clever lighting and projection effects.

The venue itself is quite a bit larger than where it was staged in New York, and is a column free long rectangular auditorium with no columns, so no seat is restricted view in a sense, and the seats are quite high up and upright, with a pretty decent rake to the floor so sight lines from further back are not terrible, obviously the nearer you are the dearer it gets, but that seems to be part for the course nowadays. On our first visit we were sat about two thirds of the way back, however we managed to snag front row centre tickets for this performance, (which were an absolute steal at £15 each, but it was blink and you'll miss it booking experience when they went on sale), which was something else altogether, seeing the actor's faces lent the whole experience an added gravity and once again we were totally absorbed in the atmosphere and narrative, it was really quite remarkable to see these performances so close up.

The show is so perfectly Bowie and fits seamlessly into his body of work, in both tone and content, and much like his career has proven to be both eclectic and divisive, but never mundane.


It closes on the 22nd of January 2017, and is highly recommended if you can get a ticket to one of the remaining shows! https://www.lazarusmusical.com/

BUG 53

Thursday night saw the next instalment of the Adam Buxton hosted music video showcase BUG 53 at the BFI Southbank.

These are quite unique events which basically take the form of comedian Adam Buxton showing a bunch of new music videos distinguished by their visual flare projected on a cinema screen, which is quite a cool experience as the chance to see these mini-films on such a scale is almost unheard of as nowadays we're so used to watching on phones and tablets, and maybe a laptop, what with the demise of actual music based MTV and The Chart Show.

The videos are also interspersed with viral videos, hilarious video send ups and the pick of the most bizarre and clueless comments by YouTube commentators, all delivered with Buxton's off the wall humour, a particular stand out this time round was Buxton performing a little ditty whose lyrics comprised only the names of balding male entertainers including Moby, Michael Stipe, Bruce Willis and John Malkovich and a comedic addition to some footage from the recent Planet Earth II documentary. Sometimes there is also a guest, usually in the form of a music video director who shows some of their work and chats about their processes and methods.

The countdown to the start of the show comprises a video of Buxton cycling to the BFI...

This month's show included videos by more mainstream acts such as OK Go, The Avalanches, Katie Melua and less well known performers such as Coco Banana, The Furrow Collective and BadBadNotGood, and is a great way to discover some artists that may have passed you by otherwise.

As usual with a BFI showing of anything you can pick up notes on the way in which give a bit of background to the show and the content and a list of what's on which can be helpful afterwards to identify any stuff you liked.

The shows are scheduled roughly every other month and are scheduled over a couple of dates, usually the earlier date includes the interview section, and the later date has an early and late show known as the Director's Cut which includes additional footage, but no interviewee.

At around two hours it a different but welcome night out which we always look forward to, as much for the comedic touches as the videos. This latest edition also included a tribute to the late Greg Lake with footage from an Adam Buxton Christmas special from a couple of years ago with Gaz Coombes and Buxton performing his classic 'I Believe In Father Christmas'.

We'd also highly recommend a BFI membership which is a steal at £40 a year and gives discount off all screenings and priority booking, well worth it for the year round classics and superbly curated film seasons on offer coupled with a comfortable screen without the usual ignorant chatty audience members spoiling things like the multiplexes seem to be rife with nowadays.

'A Christmas Carol' Walking Tour

After a Friday night in we headed out to the City of London proper to a meeting point at Monument Station for the start of a festive excursion in the form of a walking tour of the surviving Victorian streets and alleyways of London which inspired and quite possibly featured in Charles Dicken's class 'A Christmas Carol'.

This was a classic example of how we come across many of our activities in that it popped up as a recommendation on Facebook and sounded interesting and something a bit different so we took the plunge and booked, not really knowing what to expect, but we were glad we did!

The tour was carried out by Hazel from London Guided Walks, which are to be found via a bookings site called Funzing, and we were only the second group to experience this tour which is a brand new addition to their repertoire.

Hazel herself obviously has a passion for the city and all it's history and had clearly done her homework in researching the area and Dicken's literary exploits and real life experiences to create the tour itself.

The tour took in more well known places such as Leadenhall Market and The Royal Exchange, as well as the more hidden alleyways, courtyards and churches now tucked away within the mighty structures which have now engulf the area.

The cobbled roads of Leadenhall Market...

Leadenhall Market Christmas tree...

Interspersed with the historical details of the time and the areas, were also sections of Dicken's prose which painted a picture of the Victorian era in which he lived and inspired his writing, as well as clues which helped to possible locate actual places which although not referred to explicitly by name within the text were the inspiration if not the actual places Dicken's was hoping to portray in his reader's minds.

Another literary reference hidden within London's streets...

One of the few original churches left, overlooked by a much more recent addition to the skyline...

A legendary historical pub which is still trading today...

We both really enjoyed this afternoon out, it lasts about 90 minutes and was at a reasonable walking pace so not too exhausting and Hazel was always engaging and enthusiastic throughout, the group size was only about twenty too so it was also small enough that everyone could hear the talk and not get lost in a crowd.

We'd definitely be interested in another tour of this type, as it made a change seeing parts of the city which you'd never know to visit and experience.

We also got a free Humbug... :-)
http://www.londonguidedwalks.co.uk/ and http://uk.funzing.com/funz/6896

A Kylie Christmas

Our day of festive activities continued with a slightly different take with a trip to the Royal Albert Hall for an event now in it's second year, A Kylie Christmas.

Coinciding with her re-released Christmas album, Kylie Minogue performed two nights of festive favourites and a few of her biggest hits.

One of us is a massive Kylie fan and this was a belated birthday present treat, however we were both looking forward to some Christmas entertainment and it's fair to say this didn't disappoint.

Minogue clearly knows how to put on a proper show, and backed by a full orchestra, choir and band, surrounded by a group of well choreographed dancers and a variety of costume changes she had the whole place celebrating for the whole show.

We had Choir seats which meant we were on the rear of the stage right behind the orchestra, however Kylie made sure she gave all sections of the audience her full attention.

The orchestra and Kylie in her Snow Queen dress...

A sea of phone lights harking back to the days of holding the lighter aloft...

Every seat had a Santa hat on it waiting for us too.

No show of this type would be complete without a couple of guest appearances, in the form of John Grant and Katherine Jenkins, but Minogue was definitely the star of the show, playing for just under two and a half hours mixing older and newer Christmas tunes in with some reworked hits such the 'Locomotion' retooled as a jazzy number, even performing 'Especially For You' with the crowd as her duet partner, (needless to say one of us knew the words, the other not so much), however it was an enjoyable night seeing a proper pop star showing why she's still got it.

The finale...

With Santa hats and Christmas tunes stuck in our heads it's definitely left us feeling more Christmassy!!

That's it for this week, however next week has a unique film screening, a West End revival and career look back with a Hollywood star.

Sunday 4 December 2016

A double bill of events inspired by the movies, some live music, a play and Gremlins...

27th November 2016 - 3rd December 2016

Activities :

How best to spend our 3 1/2 year anniversary of meeting/1 year anniversary of our engagement? How about a live interview and Q & A with a previous James Bond and then a premiere screening of a Hitchcock classic accompanied by a live orchestra? Sounds good to us...

An Afternoon with Sir Roger Moore

So first up was An Afternoon with Sir Roger Moore at the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank, a nice venue where we've attended talks and performances in the past so we were familiar with the layout and what to expect, and being aware of Roger's reputation for story telling coupled with his trademark Bond-ian wit we were primed for what was a great 90 minutes.

The interviewer Gareth Owens has a good rapport with Moore and was obviously knowledgeable about his career having helped him write an autobiography so was a good choice, he kept the conversation focused and flowing, which especially helped during the audience Q & A section.

Moore's stories of how he ended up starring in The Saint and The Persuaders, plus his experiences with his co-stars ranging from Tony Curtis to Donald Sutherland were all delivered with fondness and humour. When pressed on his experience of working with Grace Jones on A View To A Kill, he would only offer 'My mother always told me, if you can't say something nice about somebody then don't say anything...'.

Reminiscing about past co-stars...

Once again, as is the experience at many talks we've been to the audience Q & A throws up at least one person who shouldn't be allowed near a microphone, in this instance a guy who felt the need to tell everyone he'd just driven from Monte Carlo in his Volvo P1800 and then proceeded to ask if Roger Moore would sign his replica of the car, however to Owens credit he immediately shut him down and moved the conversation on.

The legend in full flow...

He ended with a little bit about worthy UNICEF work and closed by delivering a heartfelt monologue relaying some of the last advice given by his friend Audrey Hepburn to her children regarding her passion for the work UNICEF carries out.

To rapturous, and well deserved applause he left the stage. Overall this was a fantastic opportunity to witness a true great, clearly in his element, doing what he's always done best, entertain his audience. Superb.


North By Northwest Live

After a spot of dinner we then headed over to the London Coliseum in Covent Garden, home of the English National Opera, (the ENO), and the largest theatre in the West End for the premiere of a screening of Alfred Hitchcock's action packed, comedic spy caper North By Northwest with the Bernard Herrmann's iconic score being performed live by the ENO orchestra.

Jaime is thinking about taking up thumb modelling...

Having just had a mini refurbishment the Coliseum is a lovely old theatre with impressive architecture and artistic features and is the perfect venue for listening to live orchestral performances as it sounds great and the ENO orchestra are phenomenal.

Herrmann's estate have only recently allowed projects of this ilk to go ahead, (Psycho is being performed at the Royal Festival Hall in June too, we have our tickets...), so as a Hitchcock obsessive this was essential. The movie however is also one of Hitchcock's most accessible, with faultless performances from Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, keeping the action moving breathlessly along.

Saint provided a video introduction especially for this production, recounting a few anecdotes about working on the film which was a nice bonus and then the show began...

A pre-show shot of the stage and orchestra pit...

And what a show, the cues were spot on, the sound was crystal clear and as ever it's a treat seeing a Hitchcock picture projected, (Jaime's third time for this particular one), just fantastic. This film never disappoints.

Even a slight fracas between a couple of audience members, caused by somebody talking couldn't detract from the night.

Having seen a couple of other films presented this way for the first time this year, Independence Day and Aliens at the Royal Albert Hall and 2001 : A Space Odyssey at the Royal Festival Hall we can wholeheartedly recommend experiencing a screening of a film in this way, truly something special. https://www.eno.org/whats-on/north-by-northwest-live/ 

Overall a great day, a couple of related but very different experiences, but a joy nonetheless. Roll on the 4 year anniversary!!

The Lemon Twigs

After a night off on Monday it was the much looked forward to gig by The Lemon Twigs at the intimate, original, but ultimately curious MOTH club in Hackney, which is a bit of pain to get to but was well worth it for this show. The venue was part of a working men's type club and the back function room had been converted with some gold glitter ceilings and tinsel curtains on stage, however the original trophies and club awards were still adorning the walls which was a nice touch! We liked the warning about kids on the dance floor and the photo booth provided a nice diversion during the support act Goat Girl. Their music wasn't without it's charms but the vocals and overall demeanour wasn't our cup of tea.

Glitter ceilings and kid control...

Old school photo booth...

The Lemon Twigs however were amazing. Their album 'Do Hollywood' is definitely our album of the year, and their single 'These Words' single of the year. With a sound which recalls 10cc, ELO, The Beatles, Bowie, The Cars to name but a few and perfect harmonies, they pulled off their songs amazingly, notably on the album they play everything.

Getting ready to start the show...

Oh yeah, they can also play the keyboards...

Roles reversed for the second half...

The band is mainly the D'Addario brothers who share drumming and vocal/guitar duties playing half the show on each instrument and are backed by a keyboard player and bass player, however they sound more like a 6 piece band as the songs are so complex and orchestrated, and the opportunity to see them in such a small venue was awesome. They're next over to play Koko in March, and our tickets are already booked. http://thelemontwigs.com/

Nice Fish

Friday night's entertainment was the surreal comedy Nice Fish at the Harold Pinter Theatre just off of Leicester Square and saw the return to the West End of Mark Rylance, fresh from his Oscar win for Bridge Of Spies.

It's based on poetry by Louis Jenkins, and was written by Rylance and Jenkins as a series of scenes based on and built around various passages, set around an ice fishing hole and mainly performed by two fisherman friends, however a couple of other characters, (maybe imagined, maybe real), also show up to add extra dimensions.

The stage design was brilliant depicting an icy landscape and was enhanced with puppetry and models to create depth and atmosphere which were brilliant.

The performances were great all round, and although sometimes the narrative, (of which there wasn't really one to be honest, although that's intended), was unclear it was still entertaining and quite whimsical for it's short 90 minute run time without an interval, which also meant it didn't outstay its welcome and kept the audience's attention.

Honestly Rylance could read a phone book and it would be interesting to we so were entertained, however don't go expecting a riotous mainstream comedy which the posters and review quotes may suggest, it's definitely a show which is best to let wash over you and feel the atmosphere as well as the performances. It's just extended it's run for a few more weeks until the 11th of February, we had £15 tickets in the centre of the Royal Circle which were good value as the theatre itself is quite small so the action was all visible and not too distant. http://www.nicefishtheplay.co.uk/

Gremlins with Zach Galligan Live

Finally our week was rounded off by a visit to the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square for the now annual 70mm presentation of Gremlins with live appearance by it's star Zach Galligan who is on hand to sign stuff, take photos and give a quick Q & A before the film.

70mm. we know, geeky...

Zach and Gizmo, just look how happy we are!!...

Just a reminder that it's a Christmas movie...

Zach was great, very gracious when meeting the fans and his engaging and entertaining when giving the Q & A, his lack of roles since Gremlins 2 is criminal and he spoke a little about Gremlins 3 being in the pipeline, but his involvement is unknown as of yet.

Then on to the film, replete with scratches and pops just like when we used to frequent the cinema as kids its was great, the film still holds up and provides a slightly darker Christmas tale, full of laughs and mild horror, however the kids in the audience lapped it up, (that includes us). The animatronics and puppetry is also still full of charm and actually pretty advanced for the time, CGI would be a travesty!

The Prince Charles Cinema itself is also a great independent picture house which shows plenty of smaller releases and reruns classics of all descriptions, from documentaries to 80s action classics, well worth supporting, the prices are pretty good too for central London and it has a bar.

Our first Christmas film of the year, but what a film to start with!! https://princecharlescinema.com/

Roll on next week with some Bowie and a festive Christmas show!