Somerset House – Film Poster Exhibition

Somerset House - Film Poster Exhibition

As mentioned previously Film4’s Summer Screen at Somerset House starts tonight with the UK premiere of Two Days, One Night and finishes on the 20th of August. Running alongside the films themselves is the Behind the Screen strand and an exhibition of original film posters.

I popped down on a needlessly hot evening last week to preview the poster exhibition and sweat profusely at PR individuals.

For each film in the Somerset House line-up Print Club London have commissioned a designer to create an original poster. Each poster, as well as being on display at the free exhibition, has been screen-printed by hand and is for sale in limited numbers on site and at the Print Club London website for £45. I’m told that this is good value and considering the fact that the E.T. prints have sold out other people seem to agree,

Each designer has taken a different approach with their design, some utilising iconic scenes or stills from the film and others going completely off-piste to create something unique. Obviously preferences will be defined by the films you know and love but for what it’s worth my favourites were The Royal Tenenbaums by Concepción Studios, Spring Breakers by Hattie Stewart, and E.T. the Extra-terrestrial by Rose Blake. You can see each of these, along with some more examples, below.

Is the exhibition worth your time? Considering it is free then the answer is definitely a yes. Sadly the gallery is only open to non-ticket holders from 10am until 6pm so popping in after work is sadly out of the question. If you are walking nearby at the weekend or are going to see a film at Somerset House then I definitely recommend having a gander at the work on show. If posters at £45 seems a little steep some of the prints are available as postcards for £2 which is a more wallet-friendly amount.

The exhibition is free (did I mention that?) and runs at the West Wing Galleries at Somerset House until 25th August 2014.

Click on a thumbnail to launch gallery:

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House 2014

Summer Screen at Somerset House 2014

It’s that time of year again where I say “It’s that time of year again” (Exhibit A, Exhibit B) and encourage you all to take your film viewing outside this summer to sit/lie in the courtyard of Somerset House and watch one of the films that Film4 have selected.

It’s been a few years since I made the trip down to watch a film under the stars but thoroughly enjoyed myself when I did. You can read about my experience and the vital tips I learned along the way in my Somerset House Survival Guide. SPOILER ALERT: Food, layers, and a cushion are essentials.

Tickets go on sale this Friday 16th May from the Somerset House website and the full line-up for this tenth anniversary year of screenings can be found below.

Two Days, One Night
Thursday 7th August 2014

Rosemary’s Baby
Friday 8th August 2014

A Fistful of Dollars / Mad Max 2
Saturday 9th August 2014

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Sunday 10th August 2014

Sense and Sensibility
Monday 11th August 2014

Annie Hall
Tuesday 12th August 2014

20,000 Days on Earth
Wednesday 13th August 2014

The Great Beauty
Thursday 14th August 2014

Hairspray / Spring Breakers
Friday 15th August 2014

Ghostbusters / Big Trouble in Little China
Saturday 16th August 2014

The Royal Tenenbaums
Sunday 17th August 2014

The 400 Blows
Monday 18th August 2014

Tenth Anniversary Screening
Tuesday 19th August 2014

What We Do in the Shadows
Wednesday 20th August 2014

There are too many to choose from, I might just have to move in.

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House 2013

Film 4 Summer Screen

It’s that time of year again when the sun starts shining and it becomes safe to watch films outdoors. If you are slightly perplexed by the idea of watching films outdoors then let me hold you for a second and tell you that you are missing out. Provided you have the appropriate venue, weather, film, and company then watching a film outside can be a delight.

One of London’s best venues to indulge in cinema al fresco is Somerset House where Film4 hold their summer screen. The line-up has recently been announced so why not peruse the list below, read our survival guide, and then book your ticket online. The double bill of Badlands and Raising Arizona looks particularly tempting.

About Time
Thursday 8th August

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Friday 9th August

Mean Girls & Carrie & The Loved Ones
Saturday 10th August

The Untouchables
Sunday 11th August

Guys and Dolls
Monday 12th August

The Way Way Back
Tuesday 13th August

Kes
Wednesday 14th August

Throne of Blood
Thursday 15th August

Predator & Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Friday 16th August

Badlands / Raising Arizona
Saturday 17th August

Crazy Stupid Love
Sunday 18th August

The Red Shoes
Monday 19th August

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Monday 20th August

Prince Avalanche
Monday 21st August

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House 2012 Line-up

It’s that time of year again; the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House line-up has been revealed with the usual mix of classic films, cult hits and UK premieres. There’s no better way to see a film than outside at night as you lie on stone floor with your friends eating a middle-class picnic.

Tickets go on sale this Friday 18th May from the Somerset House website and before you go be sure to read our Somerset House survival guide, do not go unprepared.

On the Road
Thursday 16th August

The Birds
Friday 17th August

Enter the Void / Don’t Think
Saturday 18th August

The Watch
Sunday 19th August

Apocalypse Now
Monday 20th August

Bicycle Thieves
Tuesday 21st August

Paris, Texas
Wednesday 22nd August

Pretty in Pink
Thursday 23rd August

Boogie Nights / Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Friday 24th August

Sexy Beast / Drive
Saturday 25th August

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Sunday 26th August

Lawless
Monday 27th August

How anyone could resist seeing The Birds on the big screen is beyond me.

Die Hard and Attack the Block Double Bill or How to Survive Somerset House

On Saturday night we headed down to Somerset House for the first time to experience one of London’s most popular and unique film-viewing events: Film4’s Summer Screen with a double bill of Die Hard and Attack the Block on the cards.

We were reasonably early and so got a good spot in the beautifully roped off Guest area, allowing plenty of time for drinking cider, buying pick and mix, eating nuts and people-watching. Sitting on thin blankets was surprisingly comfortable, though the ankles suffered the most on the hard stone floor.

At half seven Alan Rickman was revealed and the relaxed crowd went wild. Gradually the cheering crowd got to their feet and applauded the great man. While I know his performance as Hans Gruber is incredibly popular, I’d like to think I wasn’t alone in giving Snape a personal standing ovation. After a few remarks on how young we all looked (what a charmer), how Die Hard was his first film and he had to do the fall without CGI, we were on to the first film.

Die Hard was as fantastic as ever and two of the fastest hours I’ve experienced. Sound and picture were perfect, something I was surprised at considering I was sitting in the courtyard of a neoclassical building. There were plenty of cheers and laughs throughout the film and a few heckles at appropriate moments. With everyone gradually moving from sitting to lying down it became one big outdoor sleepover, lovely. Unfortunately we hadn’t claimed a long enough plot, and were stuck in an awkward lying position, trying not to kick the people in front, or rest our heads in the laps of those behind.

After Die Hard there was a brief interval during which a small proportion of the audience bailed, before Joe Cornish came on to introduce his debut feature. As a veteran of the Summer Screen, Cornish seemed really excited to have his feature shown at Somerset House. One by one he was joined by a huge number of the cast who each got a quick go on the mike. Their messages to the audience varied greatly, from, “Anybody wanna play Fifa?” to “FUCK!” An adorable bunch.

With the people behind us having deserted the area we could enjoy Attack the Block exactly as was intended, flat on our backs, this time under our blankets, in a Grade I listed building. The film was just as brilliant as before, though I found I couldn’t really forgive the kids this time, despite them sitting mere metres away. Jodie Whittaker’s friends went mental for her during the closing credits, Summer Screen definitely provides a unique experience.

Stumbling home at 1:30am we were a happy bunch, though had learnt a few valuable lesson which we can implement when we return as a larger group for Princess Bride next Sunday:

1. Arrive Early: To get the best spot you want to arrive way before the film starts. Don’t complain about having to wait hours for the film to start, you’re with your friends in a beautiful setting and there’s a bar. Shut up and enjoy yourself.

2. Claim a Space as Long as Your Body: At some point during the film you will want to lie down and if you haven’t marked your territory properly this will be difficult and slightly uncomfortable. You have been warned.

3. Bring a Picnic: You can buy wraps, brownies and the traditional popcorn or pick and mix on site, but bringing an impressive spread will help wile away the hours before the film starts and stave of food envy when your better-prepared neighbours are spreading humus on brioche.

4. Pack Layers: It may be a glorious summer’s day but you are sitting still on cold stone flooring so will get gradually colder and colder. This goes double for anyone going to the triple bill on Saturday night. Nobody should die for the love of cinema.

5. Bring Lots of Cushions etc: A blanket to sit on and mark out territory is essential but so is a big, soft cushion. It will keep your ankles from agony when cross-legged and lift your head into the prime angle for film viewing when lying down.

Follow these five tips and you too can have a memorable and unique evening at the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. You won’t get Joe Cornish and Alan Rickman though, sucks to be you.