The secret life of British cinema
An underground film scene is emerging – for those in the know
At Canary Wharf underground station in London, vampires and vampire hunters are following each other up the escalator in a blur of fake blood and excitement.
The blood-suckers and their seekers are, of course, in fancy dress and have all come for a special screening of 1980s cult classic The Lost Boys, organised by Future Cinema, the group which wants to "change the way we view cinema".
"California" (the event has been sponsored by www.welcometocalifornia.co.uk) has been created on a stretch of land by the docks. For the Lost Boys event a funfair has been set up, various areas are recreated to look like scenes from the film – inside "Grandpa's house" there's a bar and a chance for people to learn about taxidermy by skinning rabbits.
The event comes at a fragile time for the film industry. This year saw the demise of the UK Film Council, and last month it was revealed that demands for DVDs in the UK dropped 8.3 per cent in the past year, with the market worth £3.5bn less than it was five years ago.
So it's perhaps even more remarkable that over the weekend 8,000 people paid nearly £25 each to go and watch two films (Top Gun was on the following evening) that came out in the 1980s, the DVDs of which you could buy online for around £3.
The founder and director of Future Cinema, Fabien Riggall, says: "The main crux of what we do is: how can you get films to be seen and how can you change the way films are seen?"
Riggall is part of a new wave of cineastes, offering unconventional ways to enjoy films. Literary society Flicker Club screens book adaptations and invites special guests to read the source aloud, while the Arty Farty Film Party at Manchester café An Outlet takes a ballot so customers choose the next film. While hotels such as The Scotsman in Edinburgh, Fawsley Hall in Northamptonshire, Barnsley House in Gloucestershire and The Soho Hotel in London hold regular screenings as an antidote to the generic multiplex.
In Docklands it's difficult to tell who are the actors and who are the punters. "It's a manic film, so it was important to have a manic atmosphere here," says Riggall.
"We have 60 actors here and they help the 4,000 visitors become extras. We're getting closer each time, to the audience becoming part of the event."
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food