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By midlandsmovies, Sep 26 2017 06:42AM



Blair Witch in the Woods - A Haughmond Hill Halloween screening


Mother! It. CHiPs. 2017 has already had its fair share of terrifying movie moments.


But there’s one cinema event which has us at Midlands Movies feeling like we’re just asking for trouble: Atmospheric Films presents The Blair Witch Project.In the woods. That’s in. the. woods.


Not content with simply showing films in the open air, Films in a Flash take their screenings to unforgettable locations where they add their own unique flourishes. Bespoke film props - as well as a few surprises for atmosphere and authenticity - takes audience immersion to a whole new level. Think the Secret Cinema without having to re-mortgage your house to pay for the privilege.


Previous events have included Jurassic Park whilst a T-Rex* prowled in your periphery, and a Jaws screening when you’re a stone’s throw from the eeriest of lakes.


With The Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez already sending his endorsement, the night promises to be full of scares, screams and snotty close ups. Add to that horror film short Victim and the reportedly haunted Haughmond Abbey within howling distance and you’re sure of a cinematic experience you’ll never forget.


Taking place at Haughmond Hill in Shrewsbury on October 28th, tickets are selling at a scary pace but some are still available here.


Midlands Movies will see you there; we’ll be standing facing the corner.


The Blair Witch Project - Atmospheric FilmsHaughmond Hill in Upton Magna

Saturday 28th October 2017

6:30pm til 10:30pm (last entry 7:15pm)

Minimum Age: 15


Robb Sheppard

Twitter: @RedBezzle


*May have been a man in a suit.




By midlandsmovies, Sep 15 2017 02:03PM



Midlands Spotlight - Witchfinder General screening

 

The National Civil War Centre is screening Witchfinder General in the fantastic chilling atmosphere of its authentic Tudor Hall on Halloween night. With a great night promised the night has been arranged by the Palace Theatre and National Civil War Centre on 31st October in truly unique surroundings.


A horror evening awaits at the National Civil War Centre on Halloween night as the Tudor Hall plays host to one of cinema’s most horrifying cult classics, Witchfinder General.


Set during the anarchy and chaos of the Civil War, the 1968 film follows witch hunter Matthew Hopkins (horror icon Vincent Price at his malevolent best) as he conducts a vicious reign of terror in puritan East Anglia. But his persecution of an innocent village priest sets in motion a trail of revenge that escalates to a brutal, bloody denouement.


The sinister old world ambience of the Tudor Hall is the ideal setting for this 17th century fright night. Having stood through the turbulence of the Civil War when Newark was a melting pot of mayhem and violence the building is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of Lady Ossington and ‘the boy in the dorm’ and, during restoration work, a suspected witch bottle was unearthed from its foundations.


This unique and ominous atmosphere paired with the film’s unnerving horror is sure to be the perfect cocktail for a blood-curdling Halloween night. 


The screening begins at 8pm with the bar open from 7pm and will be introduced by Civil War historian and film aficionado Adam Nightingale. Tickets, costing only £5, are limited for this exclusive event so make sure to book early.


You can book online by clicking here or phone for tickets on 01636 655755.


Please note - This film is rated 15 so ID may be required and entry will be refused to any underage guests


By midlandsmovies, Aug 8 2017 09:41AM



Flatpack presents - Dudley Castle After Dark: An American Werewolf in Dudley


John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London brought packs of film fans out to a special screening of the highly influential horror-comedy.


Unlike last year's Bride of Frankenstein screening, the surrounding animals in Dudley Zoological Gardens were ominously quiet throughout. Perhaps with the werewolf in town, they were worried about their place on the food chain. Perhaps not. Although in recompense, there was a baby somewhere screaming with a mixture of terror and tiredness.


The evening opened with Howl, an eerie animated short detailing a true enfant terrible in the shape of a werewolf toddler. This was fittingly followed by the full length video for Michael Jackson's Thriller vanity project. Directed by John Landis after The King of Pop saw An American Werewolf in London, its balance of laughs, scares and nostalgia set the tone perfectly for the main feature.



After a personalised video greeting by the director himself ("On the way home, stay on the road"), we were straight onto the Moors. We join two American tourists as they walk into The Slaughtered Lamb, a pub which the residents of The Wicker Man’s Summerisle would probably regard as “a bit rough.” A swift exit sees them stranded in the back end of beyond, with something creepy closing in...


The film itself sees Rick Baker's 36 year old practical effects still looking surprisingly impressive on the big screen, no doubt holding up better than the many CGI efforts that have followed it. Besides the ground-breaking transformation of David (David Naughton), there's true horror to be found in the lycanthropic mauling and subsequent undead appearances of Jack (Griffin Dunne).


There are also genuine laughs to be had, as Jack’s incarnations become increasingly comical and gruesome throughout. The camaraderie between the male leads is infectious and the humour still stands up in front of a modern audience. Having said that the downbeat ending is still a shock to the system, but how could it all end happily?


After the moon rose and the darkness fell, projected pentagrams and candle flames crept along the castle walls, creating a sinister setting for the leaving audience. Such details, alongside Landis’ intro, thoughtful shorts and an inspired film selection, has seen Flatpack’s ‘Dudley Castle after Dark’ become an unmissable event in the Midlands' movie calendar.


Robb Sheppard


twitter.com/RedBezzle

By midlandsmovies, Aug 6 2017 06:50PM



Bantock House Outdoor Cinema: La La Land


Open air cinemas are all the rage right now. Aside from those with the “pick a carpark and pack it out” approach, they provide the opportunity to ditch the multiplexes and experience something unique. La La Land at Wolverhampton’s Bantock House perfectly epitomised such an experience.


July the 29th saw over 200 film fans fill the Rose Garden, making for an intimate setting which even the rain couldn’t, ahem, dampen the spirits of. Those eager to see the musical were first serenaded all the way back to Hollywood’s golden era by the retro harmony stylings of The Miss Fortunes, it goes without saying that already, this was infinitely more immersive than 30 minutes of Audi and Apple adverts.


Black Country Touring and Films in a Flash made sure the logistics and technical aspects ran without a hitch (be sure to check out their page for what they’ve got lined up next). Regardless of the inclement weather and early evening lighting difficulties that the British Summertime offers, the film looked and sounded every bit like an Oscar winner.


The good news is that this is just the beginning for Bantock House’s Outdoor Cinema. Event organisers Jeremy Brown and Andrew Atkinson had this to say about how it went and what the West Midlands can expect next:


Midlands Movies: “So, how did you feel the inaugural event went?”

Andrew Atkinson: “I personally feel it was a great success, if you take out the weather factor. But we held an exit poll as people left, and it proved that everyone enjoyed themselves.”

Jeremy Brown: “We had a very, very good turnout…if you put the right product in front of people, they will come out, despite it being an experiment (the first time) and despite of the weather. I think we had a good mix in the audience: it was nice to some families, some diversity. The other thing was, the venue does work very well for these types of events: it’s got a friendly sort of intimacy and it does feels a bit special, especially for a film like La La Land. To be able to stage it in a landscaped garden space in a country house adds value to the whole event experience.”


MM: “There’s some exclusivity there isn’t there. Like you’re part of a club. Who else was involved in the staging?”

“Black Country Touring were very helpful and identified Films in a Flash as potential providers who were relatively local and felt a good match. They did a great job with the ancillary lighting and the PA system for the band. They seemed keen to add value and work in partnership rather than treat it as a commercial event.”


MM: “Speaking of the band, Miss Fortunes was really a nice warm-up act.”

JB: “We felt if people were going to come out, bring a picnic and make an evening of it, it would be fun to have something extra which would feel sympathetic to the film. A bit of harmony singing and period music felt right and added to the celebratory feel.”


MM: “Where do you think the enthusiasm for open air cinema as an alternative to the multiplexes comes from?”

Andrew Atkinson: “Well, you were there. It started to rain as soon as the titles came up and stopped as soon as the end came up and it hasn’t rained since! (Laughs). But had it been a good evening I think people would have been dancing in the aisles.”

JB: “The multiplex issue is a tricky one and we’re fortunate to have the Lighthouse in Wolverhampton. It’s interesting to see the clientele that regularly attend and they’re the kind of people we’re trying to attract. Multiplexes haven’t done themselves any favours. The prices have increased…the levels of hygiene, cleanliness, noise. Just the cinema going experience can be a bit chequered. To have an alternative to that is a really positive one. Thinking about the kind of films that would work in the future, we’d be exploring that slightly more upmarket experience. There are some very commercial organisations that are doing Top Gun, Dirty Dancing and Grease singalongs. I think a lot of that is about how many people you can cram into a space and how many beers you can sell. We’d rather have a more exclusive feel but still have people come along and enjoy them.”


MM: “With going more upmarket then, what ideas have you got for future screenings?”

AA: “To be quite honest, the dust hasn’t settled from the first one and we’re still in the post-mortem stages. All we can say with confidence is yes, there will be another one, perhaps in the late summer. Perhaps two dates pencilled in for 2018, if not more.”

JB: “In terms of the films and grown up cinema, perhaps more feel good than Dunkirk, perhaps (with La La Land) it would have been appropriate after the awards ceremony if we put Moonlight on by accident (laughs). That would be the right sort of film again. I think a film like Baby Driver could attract a real interest, again, it’s got a fantastic score and a real sense of fun…maybe a film like Pride, which has got a feel good resonance and would work in that context. We’re keeping an eye out for some of those really high quality, thought provoking films…rather than the shoot ‘em up, popcorn material. One of the nice things about working with the community…is that we can run a straw poll: put a list together, pick the ones you’d like to see and get buy in as well”.

AA: “It’s always been my mantra that if we’re going to do anything, then we’re going to do it well. We’re providing a quality product…and we’ll bring the arts to the area and to a wider Wolverhampton audience.”



MM: “You mentioned introducing people to silent cinema too.”

JB: “We’re trying that with Funny Things, a pilot comedy festival in Wolverhampton in October. We’re toying with the idea of a live piano accompaniment to a Harold Lloyd movie which we could stage in the tractor shed which holds 70 people and could be an intimate and fun experience. We certainly enjoyed Buster Keaton’s The General when Flatpack put that on at the Brownhills Community Centre last summer.”


MM: “So finally, how can people get involved and support you?”

JB: “Finchfield and Castlecroft Community Association has its own website (Link - http://www.finchfieldandcastlecroft.com/ ) and we’re lucky to work with the council’s events team at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery so we’re keen to hear from people through those networks. Our funding comes from Creative Black Country; they’re very keen to work with any voluntary sector organisation who may wish to engage in quality art activity.”


MM: “Thanks for your time, both.”


You can keep up with the Bantock House Outdoor Cinema events through the sites above and of course, through Midlands Movies.


Robb Sheppard

https://twitter.com/RedBezzle



By midlandsmovies, Jun 15 2017 10:16AM



Summer Nights outdoor film screenings head to the Midlands


Seven years in and the Summer Nights Film Festival is back at thirteen locations across Derbyshire and the UK. Presented by QUAD on an inflatable twelve metre screen, Summer Nights Festival screenings offer the chance to enjoy the great outdoors for a unique cinematic experience.


New venues for 2017 include Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire and additional nights have been added to some Midlands venues, including Wollaton Hall in Nottingham and Baddesley Clinton, in Warwickshire. Derbyshire venues are Kedleston Hall, Calke Abbey and Hardwick Hall.


The full list of Midlands dates, venues and films for the summer are below:


Kedleston Hall, in Derbyshire is showing Bridget Jones’ Baby (15) on Friday 21st July and The Legend Of Tarzan (12A) on Saturday 22nd July.


Baddesley Clinton, in Warwickshire is showing Dirty Dancing (12A) on Thursday 27th July, Fantastic Beasts (12A) on Friday 28th July and Pretty Woman (15) on Saturday 29th July.


Calke Abbey, in Derbyshire is showing Mamma Mia (PG) on Thursday 3rd August, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12A with subtitles) on Friday 4th August and Footloose (12A) on Saturday 5th August.


Clumber Park, in Nottinghamshire is showing Dirty Dancing (12A) on Friday 4th August and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (12A) on Saturday 5th August.


Hardwick Hall, in Derbyshire is showing La La Land (12A) on Friday 18th August and Top Gun (12A) on Saturday 19th August.


Wollaton Hall, in Nottingham is showing Moulin Rouge (12A) on Thursday 24th August, Pretty Woman (15) on Friday 25th August, Jurassic Park (PG) on Saturday 26th August, The Dark Knight Rises (12A subtitled) on Sunday 27th August and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12A) on Monday 28th August.


Belton House, in Lincolnshire is showing Pretty Woman (15) on Friday 8th and Top Gun (12A) on Saturday 9th September.


Standard tickets cost £13 for adults or £9 for under 12s, tickets for children aged under five years are free.


For more information on films, venues or to book tickets, please call QUAD Box Office on 01332 290606 or go to www.summernightsfilm.co.uk


Summer Nights Film Festival has also teamed up with award winning artisan food specialist Hackwood Farm, based in Radbourne, Derby, who are offering pre-ordered traditional wicker picnic hampers for two people packed with tasty traditional picnic fare and including a blanket, glasses, plates and cutlery. You can pre-order their hamper when purchasing their Summer Nights tickets. There will also be drinks and desserts available on the night at selected venues from Bobby’s Bar and Flow Catering. Please see the Summer Nights website for full details.


By midlandsmovies, Aug 8 2016 05:54PM

Dudley Castle After Dark: The Bride of Frankenstein




The wind carried with it blood-curdling screams, an overwhelming feeling of terror hung heavily and nefarious figures lurked within the shadows; and that was just the walk through Dudley Town Centre.


The introduction to this article, much like the event itself, shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Ever the cynic, I anticipated a barrage of beard-stroking and discussions regarding aspect ratio upon entering Dudley Castle, the site of Flatpack Film Festival’s latest open air screening. Although I’m partial to beard-stroking, I was pleased to see people hiking up the hill to the castle itself, each step building anticipation and without a care about Academy ratio. Instead, I overheard fathers making their children laugh, talking about terrible Frankenstein remakes of the 80’s and for a moment, I thought I had something in my eye.


In any case, open air screenings such as this often have very little in common with their surroundings (Frozen, mid-August in Merry Hill car park, anyone?) but it’s an opportunity that Flatpack took full advantage of here. My opinion of Dudley Castle and Zoo had been shaped by an online comment regarding “deranged monkeys and a bald lion”, but this visit proved to me that, yes, Facebook can, on occasion, get it wrong. Having passed the Common Ravens and the less fear-inducing, more aww-inducing Meerkats, visitors were greeted by the film’s score, echoing in the entrance hall. As show time crept closer and night fell, the peacock calls and projections added to the ominous atmosphere, with ‘KARLOFF’ emblazoned across the ruins and Doctor Pretorius’ image keeping watch over the crowd.


As with any good show, the crowd is as important as the entertainment and initial fears about elitist film fans and the associated snobbery were instantly dispelled. Dudley director James Whale’s film was playing to his home crowd here and the laughter was firmly with fondness. Una O’Connor’s Minnie got the biggest laughs with her ‘cock-er-ney’ delivery and amped-up outrage whilst Karloff necking wine and chomping on a cigar came close to drawing a “cheers” from the crowd. The Bride… has aged remarkably well in its eighty-something years, most notably in the reveal of Doctor Pretorius’ mini-human experiments, a special effect that is truly worthy of the name and shames countless recent CGI efforts from, oh, I don’t know, let’s just say Zack Snyder.


It was when Henry Frankenstein and Doctor Pretorius relocated to the tower laboratory that it was not only The Bride herself that came alive. The panoramic ruins of the castle provided a perfect backdrop to the film’s climax which, thanks to Michael Pigott, Mark Rhodes and David Checkley, felt more immersive than any IMAX. Their innovative approach to individual projections saw bolts of lightning illuminate the screen, only to then repeat around the ruins that surrounded the crowd, signalling the arrival of The Bride.


The atmosphere upon leaving the castle was how the aftermath of every film should feel: brimming with excitement, alive with camaraderie and wondering when you can experience it all again. Perhaps these are out-dated and naïve notions but to put it into context, on the way out, no one even noticed there was a lure module active on the Pokestop.


Flatpack Film Takeover at Sandwell Arts Festival takes place at West Bromich Town Hall on 13th August with further details here: http://flatpackfestival.org.uk/event/flatpack-film-takeover


Robb Sheppard




Main photo is copyright of Katja Ogrin



By midlandsmovies, Jun 12 2016 02:30PM

Midlands Movies Spotlight - Cult Screens


Midlands Movies Mike finds out about a new open air cinema experience hitting the region this Summer. They will screen a host of retro classics and modern blockbusters for film fans from June to September in the West Midlands and please read below for more about these exciting events.


Cult Screens is a new pop-up cinema organisation and claim to be have one of the country’s most luxurious and comfortable open air cinema experiences in the UK with a range of unusual locations and unique film experiences for audiences.


They plan to screen movies from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s through to the best new releases and cinema of recent years in fully seated locations in the UK. For the Midlands, Cult Screens have secured the use of the ruins of the Cathedral in Coventry which not only provides a special one-off setting but the HD projection and giant screen will ensure the best technical set up for crowds.


Cult Screens' events have everything film fans will need including fully seated locations with a wide choice of comfy options including deckchairs, directors chairs, cushions or even bean bags to cuddle up on!


However, Cult Screens is not just about the film, there are also food and drink options available each night from pitcher cocktails and craft beers to fresh popcorn and street food stalls at each venue.


For the Coventry event head to Priory St in the city centre (CV1 5FB) but be aware it’s strongly recommend tickets are purchased in advance as most of their events sell out early. Any remaining tickets will be available on the door if still available on the night itself.


A range of ticket prices and concessions apply at all venues (from £9.50 to £16.50 depending on options) and audiences should note that each screening is fully licensed so no outside food or drink is permitted.


The list of films at Coventry Cathedral Ruins are below along with a link to the official Cult Screens page for Coventry to purchase tickets and check further FAQs:


Labyrinth 21 July 2016

Jaws 22 July 2016

The Goonies 18 August 2016

The Revenant 19 August 2016

Grease 20 August 2016

Back to the Future 15 September 2016

The Force Awakens 16 September 2016

ROMEO + JULIET 17 September 2016


Contact by email: info@cultscreens.co.uk

What’s On & Tickets: http://cultscreens.co.uk/whats-on-coventry/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cultscreens


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