Set within the grandeur of Somerset House, London, neoclassical courtyard, Film4 Summer Screen presents 16 internationally acclaimed cult, classic, contemporary and premiere films over the course of two weeks this August. 2,000 people are welcomed each night to experience the spectacular selection shown on the capital’s largest outdoor screen, with state-of-the-art projection and surround sound.
The festival invites today’s leading DJs to play sets inspired by the upcoming features, immersing participants in the atmosphere of the imminent motion pictures and creating an overall landscape of sound and visuals. Familiar faces from the film world introduce the entertainment, and food is offered within the first grade listed building. Behind the Screen talks and a poster exhibition are also part of the event.
The political thriller All the President’s Men, (1976), is included in this year’s line-up. Following the investigative coup of two savvy journalists, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the gripping picture explores the tortuous path of American politics, culminating in the iconic resignation of President Nixon. The third instalment of director Alan J. Pakula’s “paranoia trilogy”, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
Roger Kumble’s deviously seductive adaptation of the French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, (1782), also screens in the outdoor cinema. Featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Reese Witherspoon, Cruel Intentions, 1999, traces the wildly perverse plots of a brother and sister intent on corrupting an innocent new girl. Insight into the privileged New Yorkers is beautifully cast, augmenting the absurd narrative into a dark comedy rich with conceptional layers.
Triple Oscar-winning Moonlight, (2016), graces Somerset House’s big screen this summer. An emotive bildungsroman chronicling three stages of the protagonist’s life, the story deals with issues of identity, family, love and masculinity. The first feature with an all-black cast to win the Best Picture award, Moonlight promises to be one of the highlights of the festival.
Studio Ghibli’s well-loved My Neighbour Totoro also illuminates the courtyard. The Japanese animation company is renowned for its charming and beautifully illustrated creations. Family friendly and bursting with enchantment, Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki’s fairytale invites the audience into a chaotic and imaginative wonderland.
Film4 Summer Screen, Somerset House, London, 10-23 August.
For more information and ticket availability see: Somerset House
1. Film4 Summer Screen, courtesy of Somerset House.