A great weekend in Salisbury – and launching a new community cinema in Alfriston

Phew – We’re just back from a fantastic time in Salisbury, where we ran a screening of ‘The Great White Silence‘ at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum on Saturday. More on that below, but first of all, we want to let you all know about our next event. We are very excited to be working with The Coach House Gallery in Alfriston to launch Deckchair Cinema – a new venture bringing art house and world cinema to Alfriston.

Our inaugural Deckchair Cinema event will be on Saturday 20 October, 6pm (for a 6.30pm start). We are presenting GOODBYE LENIN [2003], in association with and supporting the Seaford Twinning Association and the German Conversation Group. We will be showing the film in original German, with English subtitles.

This heart-warming tragicomedy, set in 1989, tells the story of a son who lovingly dupes his socialist mother, recently awoken from a coma, into believing that  Lenin really did win after all!
 Location: The Coach House, High St. Alfriston BN26 5TD. Parking: Willows Car Park: Free from 6pm
Here’s a clip, to whet your appetite!
TICKETS: £7 each, levied against licensing and including, a seat, a drink and German canapes – non language speakers also welcomed. Advance booking is recommended – please email deckchaircinema@rocketmail.com with your name and number or call 01323 871402
Back to Salisbury!

We had a great time in this picturesque city, and received some great feedback from the audience, including:
‘Very moving, thank you’
‘Excellent – loved the soundtrack’
‘Superb. My eight year old son and 76 year old father were equally entranced’

Thank you to all of you who came along – and also to those of you who noted down some suggestions for future screenings.

Here are some photos:

The beautiful venue: the Lecture Theatre (to the left of the photograph) at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

The beautiful venue: the Lecture Theatre (to the left of the photograph) at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum

The audience arriving

The audience arriving

Here's Mr Filmspot's projectionist's eye view of the audience during the event, from the balcony!

Here’s Mr Filmspot’s projectionist’s eye view of the audience during the event, from the balcony!

We are looking forward to being back in Wiltshire again soon!

The Great White Silence at Newhaven Fort

We had a great time, and a fantastic turn out, at Newhaven Fort on Saturday evening, with our special screening of The Great White Silence. We had some interesting discussions with many members of the audience after the event – we were so pleased that everybody found the film so engaging!

Here are some photographs…

We projected a stock footage video of Antarctica at the entrance of Newhaven Fort

We projected a stock footage video of Antarctica at the entrance of Newhaven Fort

Here are some of our visitors arriving at the Fort.

Here are some of our visitors arriving at the Fort.

Here's a family group arriving at the Romney Hut, for the Screening

Here’s a family group arriving at the Romney Hut, for the Screening

The audience start taking to their seats!

The audience start taking to their seats!

...and here's an 'audience eye view' of the film underway! We nearly had a full house, with only a couple of tickets to spare, and a few house seats at the back!

…and here’s an ‘audience eye view’ of the film underway! We nearly had a full house, with only a couple of tickets to spare, and a few house seats at the back!


This weekend, on 22 June, there will be a special screening of one of Team Filmspot’s favourite films, A Canterbury Tale in Veules Les Roses, France, to mark their twinning with the picturesque Sussex village, Alfriston. We have helped to organise the film and licencing for this event, which we hope will be a success. Sadly we can’t make it over ourselves, but we look forward to posting about it soon. In the Autumn, we will present a French film, as suggested by the film club in Veules Les Roses – more news about this will appear over the summer.

We’re also looking forward to screening The Great White Silenceat Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum (in honour of Salisbury0born Herbert Ponting, the Director of the film) in October – more details will appear on here and the Filmspot website later in the Summer.

Our next event at Newhaven Fort will be in the Autumn, when there will be all sorts of ghoulish fun for our screening of Ghostbusters on 2 November.

Announcing our Spring/ Summer Season!

We are really pleased to be presenting our upcoming season of films for 2013. There is one final addition to the programme, which we are in the process of confirming, so do check back in the next week or two for details of that, but in the meantime, get out the diary and start marking up dates! We’re looking forward to seeing you all at events around the South East soon!

The Great White Silence (1924) [U]

at Salisbury Museum, Saturday 9th March, 2.30pm (doors 2.00pm)

I posted about this remarkable film a couple of weeks ago, so for further information, please look back to my last post. Last time, I included the trailer, but for those of you who can’t wait for the event, here’s a few Q&As about the film from the BFI:

Tickets: £6 Members of Salisbury Museum, £8 Non-Members

From: 01722 332151


The Golden Age of Hollywood Weekend

at Devonshire Park Tennis Centre, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th April

Filmspot are delighted to be partnering up with Eastbourne Borough Council Events to present two very different films about Hollywood, with theatrical touches, music, period trailers and themed snacks.

Sunset Boulevard (1950) [PG]

Friday 5th April, 7.30pm (doors 7.00pm)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of American cinema, Billy Wilder‘s classic noir is a scathing satire of the movie industry. William Holden portrays an unsuccessful screenwriter who is sucked into a web of sleaze and insanity by a deluded, faded silent movie star, played by tour-de-force, Gloria Swanson.

Tickets: £6.50 adults, £4.00 children

From: http://www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk/What%27s_On/show.asp?showID=2670

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) [U]

Saturday 6th April, 4.00pm (doors 3.30pm)

Gene Kelly’s comedy-musical is a lighthearted look at Hollywood’s transition from silent film to ‘talkies’. Starring Kelly alongside the undisputed talents of Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds, the films boasts instantly recognisable tunes, fun and awe-inspiring dance routines and charming comic performances. A sure-fire hit for the entire family! dance routines and charming comic performances.

Tickets: £6.50 adults, £4.00 children, £18.00 family (two adults, two)

From: http://www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk/What%27s_On/show.asp?showID=2671

Filmspot at Newhaven Fort

Filmspot are delighted to be working with Newhaven Fort again in 2013 for three exciting film screening events. Expect theatrical touches, installations, as well as period trailers and newsreels to set the scene. Themed refreshments will be available, including a licenced café.

The Dam Busters (1955) [U]

at Newhaven Fort, Thursday 16th May, 7.30pm (doors 6.30pm)

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the RAF Squadron 617’s raid on the Ruhr Valley dams, Filmspot are pleased to be presenting a special screening of The Dam Busters at Newhaven Fort, as part of Museums at Night.

Based on true events as featured in the book Enemy Coast Ahead by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the film focuses on scientist Barnes Willis’s (played by Michael Redgrave) work on the ‘bouncing bomb’ during WWII, as well as on the mission itself. The breathtaking footage of aircraft required that five Lancaster Bombers were rebuilt, with the aircraft expenses making up a tenth of the film’s overall budget. With its ‘docu-drama’ tone, stellar cast and memorable music, The Dam Busters is regarded as one of the finest British war films.

Tickets for The Dam Busters are free but must be booked in advance.

Call Newhaven Fort for bookings on 01273 517622 

The Great White Silence (1924) [U]

At Newhaven Fort, Saturday 15th June, 7.30pm (doors 7pm)

We are taking Captain Scott and company on the road – for those of you who cannot quite get to Salisbury on 9 March, we are presenting The Great White Silence in the atmospheric setting of Newhaven Fort.

Tickets: Adults: £6.00; Children: £4.00.

Call Newhaven Fort for bookings on 01273 517622


As I mentioned above, we have one more very special screening to be confirmed for our Spring/ Summer season, more news on that to follow, but in the meantime get booking your tickets – we hope to see you all soon! 

‘The Great White Silence’ and other chilly cinematic delights…

SNOW! You are probably sick of hearing about the stuff by now, but that has never stopped us Filmspotters from pulling on our wellies, hats and gloves… although in reality, this weather does just make us yearn for blankets and a good, cosy film to watch.

By coincidence, though, we are pleased to announce that our first Filmspot screening for 2013 will be the very appropriate ‘Great White Silence’ [1924], at Salisbury Museum on Saturday 9th March at 2.30pm

Newly restored by the BFI and a winner of awards, The Great White Silence is a deeply moving account of Scott’s sea journey south from New Zealand and, once his team reaches Antarctica, their preparations for the long walk.

Scott chose to take Salisbury-born Herbert Ponting to record the journey. Thanks to Ponting’s superb eye, a century later we have an astonishing visual account of his tragic quest. After Scott’s death Ponting began a lecture tour which he eventually built into a silent film (now with a new haunting score performed by the contemporary string ensemble, The Elysian Quartet) with intertitles, as well as his own stills, maps, portraits and paintings, to create a narrative of the terrible events. He even filmed some novel sequences using models and stop-motion photography to show the various journeys of the polar teams. The final film was tinted and toned to express lighting effects. Although he did not travel beyond the final base camp, Ponting had the foresight to film Scott, Edward Wilson, ‘Taff’ Evans and Henry Bowers (interestingly, the same men, with Lawrence Oates, were to form the – as yet unselected – polar team) manhauling the sledge and cooking and sleeping in their tent, just as they were to do for real on the way to and from the Pole. It really is a compelling and beautiful film. Here is the trailer, to whet your appetite.

Please contact Salisbury Museum to book your tickets (£6 for members; £8 for non-members) on 01722 332151. The Museum has a webpage about the event here

For those Filmspotters in the East Sussex area, we will be running a screening of ‘The Great White Silence’ at Newhaven Fort in June, and will announce final details in the coming weeks.

Inspired by Captain Scott and our upcoming visit to Salisbury, as well as the ‘winter wonderland’, which is now rapidly melting outside, we have been thinking about some of our favourite films featuring snow. So, without further ado, here you are:

1. Fargo [1996]

Joel and Ethan Coen‘s quirky crime comedy uses its snow bound ‘Minnesota nice’ setting to great effect – and particularly revel in the contract of white and red, and ‘niceness’ and ‘nastiness’. The film boasts a fantastic cast, featuring many of the Coen’s regular collaborators, including Frances McDormand, William H Macy and Steve Buscemi – and of course the unforgettably sing-song accents: ‘Yah, you betcha!’

2. The Gold Rush [1925]

This wonderful silent comedy is the film that Chaplin himself said he wanted to be remembered for – and indeed, this film features many of Chaplin’s most memorable scenes, including he often parodied ‘bread roll dance’. The film follows the exploits of The Tramp as he travels to take part in the Klondike gold rush.

3. Touching The Void [2003]

Kevin McDonald’s gripping documentary follows the story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, who successfully climbed to the summit of previously unclimbed Siula Grande in Peru. After a disastrous accident, leaving his partner hanging by a rope over a cliff, Yates, who felt sure Simpson was dead, cut the rope. Consisting of re-enactment footage, together with interviews with the mountaineers.

4. Ikiru [1952]

Admittedly the trailer above doesn’t exactly scream SNOW at you, but snow features in the most pivotal scene of this wonderful, moving film. In this humble Filmspotter’s opinion, this is Akira Kurosawa’s best film, with a touching performance by the underrated Takashi Shimura. The story follows a middle-aged bureaucrat who, on learning he has less than a year to live, attempts to come to terms with his impending death and sets about discovering the secret to happiness.

5. Bambi

I know that this, like Ikiru, isn’t entirely focussed on snow, but the clip above of Bambi on ice is the Disney studio demonstrating why they were at the top of the animation tree for so long.

Hope to see some of you in Salisbury in March – keep cosy!