Staged in the courtyard of Somerset House, London, Film4 Summer Screen invites film lovers to rediscover classic, cult and contemporary cinema. This year, shows have been selected based on the captivating theme: The Dream Life of Cinema, offering everything from animated fairy tales to ground-breaking socio-political bio-pics. Stories of ambition, freedom and desire are contextualised by Behind the Screen, a programme of talks and workshops delivered by industry experts including director Bart Layton and magazine Little White Lies.
To commemorate fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, a screening of the iconic “I have a dream” speech will be shown alongside Selma (2014), a contemporary retelling of the period in social history. Highlighting the sheer amount of sacrifice demonstrators displayed during 1965, Ava DuVernay’s interpretation depicts a reconstruction of the march for equal voting, depicting the struggle and anguish which took place over the 50 mile stretch. The rhetoric of dreaming is exemplified by this pairing, noting how an event which was once considered a fantasy was released through perseverance and undying hope, continuously inspiring activist groups and individuals today.
Alongside the usual screenings is For Sooth, commissioned by Somerset House to celebrate emerging talent and short films. By playing the piece ahead of each evening’s feature film, audiences are drawn into the narrative, inevitably recognising the importance of experimental cinema. The collaboration between performance artist Mel Brimfield and filmmaker Ewan Jones Morris transforms the central courtyard, in which the audience are sat, into an ancient ruined temple, housing heads of the Oracle which are revealed through psychedelic animated sequences, live action and scripted monologue.
Film4 Summer Screen, runs at Somerset House, London, from 9-22 August. Find out more here.
1. Carmen Ejogo plays Coretta Scott King in SELMA, from Paramount Pictures and Pathé.