Nope, it's not the monthly meeting of the neighbourhood gardening and window sill management associate but rather a mid-summer (please take the loosest sense of the word "summer") outdoor screening of Stephen Spielberg's 1993 mega-movie Jurassic Park. Screened in Bangor Castle's Walled Garden as part of the Open House Festival in brought together old fans (this guy) and the newly initiated (thanks to Jurassic World) together for Ponchos, Pilsner and Pterodactyls.
|Realistic dino effects on a budget|
In the darkness, sat in the rain, and quite possibly the most realistic 3D experience of a 2D movie ever, two things became apparent. The first was just how little of the movie I actually remember. Sure, the set-pieces lodged themselves deep inside my brain at the first time of viewing (upon release when I was 12 years old), but the film is a lot more than the set-pieces. Having watched many of the years "blockbuster" titles it seems cliche to say "they don't make movies like that anymore" but it's true... and they don't... which brings me nicely on to the second point. In the 22 years since the film's release it has barely aged a day. The blending of in-camera effects with computer generated has given JP an amazing shelf life. Watch a CGI heavy film from 6 months ago? Compare it to Jurassic Park and be honest... which one has aged better?
My love of this movie has been re-awoken, but not only that it has made me long for the days of cinema as an "experience". Nowadays cinemas are sandwiched into the corners of large malls, little more than servants to the temples of consumerism. Growing up as a child, many of the classic cinemas from the Golden Age were still standing around me in Belfast. The Curzon, the Park Picture House, The Strand. These were standalone buildings. You couldn't also buy trainers in a nearby store. They allowed for cinema to be an almost religious experience.
|Photobombing just got... lazy.|
|Gathered in silence and darkness to pay tribute to the moving image.|
|"Summer" is here! ...apparently.|