You have been invited to come down to Watershed and reimmerse yourself in or become newly acquainted with some of the pioneering films from the history of cinema. Don’t be afraid to re-discover, or indeed discover these digital restorations, film print rarities and contemporary classics as they are brought back to life on the big screen.
Inspired by Italy’s famous Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, Cinema Rediscovered celebrates the shared experience of going to the cinema –an experience that connects audiences of all ages and interests. It was Mark Cosgrove, Cinema curator of Watershed, who attended the Italian Festival of archived films and was inspired to create a similar festival here in the UK. He explains below that:
‘[…] it is my contention that, in this era of digital distractions, the future of cinema is in its past. Cinema Rediscovered will once again see classic films back where they belong – in a cinema on the big screen, entertaining audiences. Discover them anew for yourself.’
The diverse selection of films programmed for the festival ensures that there will be something for everyone. If you’re an admirer of British realism, then come along to Room at the Top (1958, Park Circus), a film that singlehandedly launched a breakthrough in British cinema and paved the way for kitchen sink dramas.
Marking 40 years since the punk explosion, Cinema Rediscovered hosts the UK re-issue of Alex Cox’s powerful 80s biopic Sid and Nancy (STUDIOCANAL/ICO), ahead of it August release. The film sees a young Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight/Harry Potter) give one of his most compelling performances as the punk legend Sid Vicious, caught in a downward, destructive spiral of excess with his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb).
There will be a late night screening of the existential thriller Performance (1970 Warner Bros) starring Mick Jagger. Picked as a favourite by the multi-talented Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, Submarine), it will be screened in a special 35mm presentation following a specially curated pre-screening vinyl set by Bristol’s HellFire Video Club DJs.
Screenings from further afield include one of the first fictional features written and directed the late Kathleen Collins’ Losing Ground (1982, ICO), revealing itself to be a masterpiece of both African American and women’s cinema. Made at the peak of the Blaxploitation genre, the festival have been lucky enough to get their hands on the experimental horror Ganja & Hess (1973), the film that went on to inspire Spike Lee’s film Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014).
Whether you’re a seasoned cinema go-er or new to cinema, there’s loads going on during the festival that you can get involved in. Check out Watershed’s website for the full programme of events happening at Cinema Rediscovered this weekend. And remember- if you’re aged 24 or under, you can get a cinema ticket for £4.50 and day, and time. So what are you waiting for?
If you love film, then have a look on Rife Guide for different film events and opportunities.