A great success in Alfriston, and Ghostbusting at Newhaven Fort

We had a fantastic time in Alfriston just over a week ago, with the inaugural ‘Deckchair Cinema’ screening at The Coach House Gallery. For full report and pictures, see later in this post – but first of all, in celebration of Hallowe’en, here are the details of this Saturday’s spooky screening of ‘Ghostbusters‘ at Newhaven Fort!

Saturday 2 November, 2pm: Newhaven Fort GHOSTBUSTERS (1984, PG)

A special screening of classic supernatural comedy for Halloween. Featuring hapless heroes (played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) setting up their ghost-removal service in New York, ‘Ghostbusters’ was the highest grossing comedy film of the 1980s. A brilliantly sharp script, spooky special effects and a heavy dose of nostalgia, this promises to be a great fun event!

Advance tickets will available from Newhaven Fort, priced at £6.00 adults and £4.00 for children. Call 01273 517622 to book. Please note: This screening will be great fun for older children, but does contain some spooky ghosts, which might scare younger visitors!

Here’s, the trailer:

We hope to see you there!

…here’s the report on Deckchair Cinema at The Coach House Gallery

On Sunday 20 October, we, with The Coach House, presented a special screening of German film ‘Goodbye Lenin’…

The Coach House looked very welcoming to all the visitors, on a slightly soggy evening - perfect for settling down to a good film!

The Coach House looked very welcoming to all the visitors, on a slightly soggy evening – perfect for settling down to a good film!

There were delicious German-themed canapés for guests, provided by Chestnuts Tea Rooms.

There were delicious German-themed canapés for guests, provided by Chestnuts Tea Rooms.

The Director of The Coach House Gallery gave an interesting talk just prior to the film

The Director of The Coach House Gallery gave an interesting talk just prior to the film

...and then the screening got underway to a FULL HOUSE!

…and then the screening got underway to a FULL HOUSE!


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.

Dam Busters and Explorers at Newhaven Fort

We had a fantastic time at Newhaven Fort on 16 May, celebrating 70 years since the Dam Busters raid. We’re now looking forward to 15 June, our next event, where we shall show the fascinating and beautiful ‘Great White Silence‘, but more on that later – first off, here are the pictures from our ‘Dam Busters 70’ event! Thanks to everyone who came along…

...Filmspot have arrived at The Fort!

…Filmspot have arrived at The Fort!

Newhaven Fort's resident 17 Squadron expert, created some fantastic artwork for the screening, including this great poster!...

Newhaven Fort’s resident 617 Squadron expert, created some fantastic artwork for the screening, including this great poster!…

...and this very accurate cut out of the rather unfortunately named dog!

…and this very accurate cut out of the rather unfortunately named dog!

Our thanks to Ed, who gave an evocative and exciting introduction to the film, just prior to the screening.

We had a full house - and even had to bring in more seats!

We had a full house – and even had to bring in more seats! Photo: Lukas Rohulan


It was a great way to mark a very special anniversary - it was wonderful to see so many people at the Fort for this special 'Museums at Night' occasion.

It was a great way to mark a very special anniversary – it was wonderful to see so many people at the Fort for this special ‘Museums at Night’ occasion. Photo: Lukas Rohulan

We’re now looking to the future, where we go even further back in time! on 15 June, we are screening ‘The Great White Silence’ – the fascinating eye witness account of Captain Scott‘s doomed Terra Nova expedition. The film was beautifully captured by photographer Herbert Ponting, whose remarkable eye for composition gives the film some truly breathtaking scenes. The antarctic seems to be an icy wonderland, as beautiful as it is treacherous. There is footage of Scott and his team preparing for the long walk to the pole. Although he didn’t join the team on the push to the South Pole, Ponting also filmed the 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. Recently fully restored by the BFI, this version includes a haunting new score by composer Simon Fisher Turner, and is colour tinted, from the original notes by Ponting, to convey different lighting effects.

I’ve posted it before, but here’s the trailer:

Doors open 7.00 pm (film starts 7.30 pm). Tickets are £6.00 (£5.00 concessions) and are available from Newhaven Fort on  01273 517622.

A breath-taking film, in atmospheric surroundings, this promises to be a memorable evening. Hope to see you  there!

Magnificent Motors and Amazing Aircraft…

A big thank you to all of you who came out to the Western Lawns in Eastbourne to support the Magnificent Motors drive-in on Bank Holiday Saturday last week. We helped  facilitate the screening of The Italian Job, which was run by the Eastbourne Borough Council Events Team. It was great to see you all – including some of the classic cars that came and really added to the atmosphere. We have another great event coming up this week, do see the end of this post for details!

Here are a few photographs from the evening:

photo 2

Cars of all shapes and sizes came out to enjoy this classic British film.


We were pleased to see so many people brave the blustery wind, which fortunately calmed down by halfway through the film.

We were pleased to see so many people brave the blustery wind, which fortunately calmed down by halfway through the film.

photo 1

As the sun went down, we were very pleased to see a ‘red sky at night’! We were also very pleased to be parked next door to this charming vintage Ford Anglia!


photo 4

As darkness descended, the seaside lights gave a very atmospheric glow!

photo 5

Thanks to everyone who came along – we hope you enjoyed the event!

Don’t forget we have our FREE screening of The Dam Busters at Newhaven Fort this week – it’s on Thursday, as part of Museums at NightDoors open at 6.30pm, with the programme starting at 7.30pm, and we are expecting  a crowd, so do make sure you book your ticket in advance. To book, contact Newhaven Fort on 01273 517622.

A classic British war filmThe Dam Busters stars MIchael Redgrave as Barnes Willis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb. The first section of the film focuses on the background of Willis’s work on the bomb, and solving the problem of how to attack the Ruhr Valley dams from the air. The second section of the film focuses on the ‘Dam Busters’ raid itself, with some riveting flight sequences featuring specially modified Lancaster Bombers. Here’s a great clip from the film with an unusual bit of problem solving:

We hope to see you all at Newhaven Fort!

Call for performers and unwanted brollies – and ‘Great White Silence’ postponed

Yes, unfortunately we have had to postpone our upcoming screening of ‘The Great White Silence‘ at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum, due to unforeseen circumstances. This was originally planned for Saturday 9 March, but will now happen on Saturday 5 October. If you already hold a ticket, these will still be valid for the new date – but if you would like to discuss the screening, or cannot make 5th October, do please contact Salisbury Museum directly on 01722 332151.

If you live in East Sussex, our screening at Newhaven Fort will go ahead as planned, on 15 June.

On a completely different note, we are looking for volunteer ushers/ usherettes/ performers for our upcoming Hollywood themed weekend at Eastbourne Devonshire Park Tennis Centre, where we will be showing:

5th April – SUNSET BOULEVARD: 7.30pm (doors 7.00pm)

6th April – SINGIN IN THE RAIN: 4.00pm (doors 3.30pm)

See my previous post for full details and trailers for each of the films.

We are looking for ‘vintage’ ushers and usherettes for both events. For Sunset Boulevard, we are recruiting performers to take the part of 1950s paparazzi, to create a buzz on our ‘red carpet’, at the entrance to the screening. For Singin’ in the Rain, Filmspot are looking for a number of dancers or performers to dress up in yellow macs, wielding brollies (the suspicious need not apply!). We will provide costumes.

We can offer travel expenses and food – and the chance to dress up and be the envy of all your friends! We are going to be filming at the event, and can provide any performers who take part with copies of videos, for their portfolios.

Email Rachel Hunter, Co-Director of Filmspot, for details: rachel@filmspot.org.uk or call 07525 357393.

ALSO! We are looking for donations of any unwanted or broken umbrellas for a large-scale installation at the Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Centre

Any donations are gratefully received – please contact Rachel Hunter (rachel@filmspot.org.uk or 07525 357393).



Friendly aliens!

In part two of our E.T. inspired recommended film lists, we thought we’d share the antidote to last week’s scary aliens list, and give some examples of friends from other worlds. See below the list for full details of our upcoming E.T. screening event at Newhaven Fort, we hope to see you all there!

*batteries not included (1987)

Set in a New York apartment block, this sweet family film from the 80s features the cutest aliens ever to be created from scrap metal. This, like E.T, is one of those films that to watch without shedding a tear is evidence of a heart of stone.

K-PAX (2001)

This is a great film (although, predictably an even greater series of books!), which is a kind of combination of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Starman. Kevin Spacey is perfectly cast, too – I saw him as the protagonist man/ alien, Prot, when I originally read the book.

Superman (1978)

Possibly the most helpful of all aliens (well, along with Dr Who) is Superman. Where would we be without him to save us in our every hour of need?

Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Less friendly, more naughty, but totally lovable. Stitch is the kind of alien anybody would have wanted as a pet when they were a child. This is a very fine Disney film indeed, standing as a beacon against such horrors as Treasure Planet.

Paul (2011)

It was only a question of time before uber-geeks Simon Pegg and Nick Frost starred in the UFO-related film, and Paul is certainly a very friendly being. It is a kind of ‘greatest hits’ of UFO sci fi, featuring so many homages that if you blink you’ll miss one!

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

..and so, this had to feature on this list. As all know, the friendliest of all aliens is of course E.T, but as we’re screening that on 3rd November (see below), we thought we’d give a plug to Spielberg’s other wonderful classic friendly alien film, Close Encounters. It will have you craving mashed potatoes.

..so a brief round up of friendly aliens there, but why not come and see the friendliest of all extra terrestrial creatures, E.T: The Etra Terrestrial? 

For tickets, please contact Newhaven Fort, details are on their website. We hope to see you all there!



Yes, it’s that wonderful month. We love Hallowe’en here at Filmspot, and seeing as how we are thinking in an extra terrestrial way at the moment, because of our upcoming ET screening (see below for details), we thought we’d give you a few scary alien picks, ready for Hallowe’en. If these are all a bit gruesome and threatening for you, then fear not! We have a softer, cuddlier, fuzzier alien film list coming next week!

Village of the Damned [1960]

Based on ‘The Midwich Cuckoos‘ by John Wyndham, this film doesn’t explicitly tell us that what we’re dealing with are aliens, but I’m  going along with the assumption that they are. The horror in this one comes purely from the uncanny behaviour of the unworldly-looking children. Martin Stephens, who played David (the leader of the alarming youths), is eerily cold and emotionless – his startlingly precise diction is one of the most unsettling elements of the film.

The Thing [1982]

John Carpenter’s remake of the 1950s flick ‘The Thing from Another World‘ is a gruesome festival of ridiculous gore. The special effects were cutting edge, and the antarctic setting gives the film a strange atmosphere from the very beginning. The alien we are dealing with here is about as horrific as you can imagine – a parasitic, shape shifting monster that assumes the form of every living thing it kills, and it certainly kills a lot during its 109 minutes… I think, given the choice, I’d rather encounter ET, thank you very much (these two films were released in the same year!)

Mars Attacks! [1996]

One of Tim Burton‘s finest, made before he went all family friendly on us. It’s a homage to the sci fi films he loved as a child, and is based on a series of Topp’s trading cards from the 1960s. The cast thoroughly enjoy every minute that they are on screen, playing up the schlock-factor, while the quirky humour, lush visuals and completely ridiculous gore give the film a freshness that Burton’s recent work has lacked. My only regret (being an animation fan) is that the original plans to have stop motion aliens, created by the  masterly Barry Purves, never came to fruition because of the escalating budget.

The Day the Earth Stood Still [1951]

Directed by the wonderful Robert Wise (who directed, amongst many others, The Haunting AND The Sound of Music!), this is one of the original, and finest, alien invasion films. Steeped in cold war paranoia,  the film is surprisingly thoughtful and optimistic. Although I have included it in the Hallowe’en ‘horror’ list, the aliens here are far from evil monsters – in fact, the humanoid Klaatu (Michael Rennie), has come to Earth to give an ultimatum to end our violent ways.  The theremin soundtrack instantly conjures up schlocky B-movie connotations, but bear in mind, this came before all of that. This is the real deal.

Alien [1979]

Alien is probably the scariest extra-terrestrial film of all time. It is almost also the goriest (but misses out to ‘The Thing’, above) mainly from one particular, infamous scene. The film works by playing on the claustrophobic atmosphere of the spaceship, Nostromo. Ridley Scott instructed the set builders to create the ship in dimensions to feel as claustrophobic as possible on camera, and it certainly works. Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is also one of the best female protagonists of all time. Scott’s usual eye for detail together with H.R.Giger’s horribly sophisticated set designs make for a film that looks and feels like nothing else.

So… after all of those, I should think will need something a little bit more uplifting. Well, as promised above, here are the details of our E.T. screening!

Filmspot present a special 30th anniversary screening of
E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial
at Newhaven Fort, 3 November 2012, 3pm (film starts at 3.10pm)
Based on an imaginary friend created while his parents were divorcing, Spielberg’s iconic ‘E.T.’ broke box office records on release, and is one of the most successful science fiction films of all time. The story is centred on the friendship between E.T, a stranded alien visitor and Elliot, a lonely ten year old. Although it has its feet firmly set in the science fiction genre, the film is an utterly convincing portrayal of friendship and childhood – both charming and moving. By the end, there won’t be a dry eye in the house!

The historical setting of Newhaven Fort is the perfect setting for this special film event, which promises to be very atmospheric. There will be some special twists to set the scene, including light projections, 80s film trailers, specially chosen music and themed sweet treats for every audience member.

Tickets cost £6 for adults, £4 for children, and include entry to the Fort Museum. Advance booking is strongly recommended. Telephone Newhaven Fort for tickets: 01273 517622.


The end of summer, and looking forward to Autumn!

Team Filmspot have had a great Summer – we hope that those of you who came along to Eastbourne enjoyed ‘The Muppets‘ and ‘Chariots of Fire‘, at the beginning of the month.

‘The Muppets’ was a great success, with glorious sunshine beating down on the Wish Tower Slopes. A big audience came along, many clutching their very own muppets – it was good to see so many Kermits and Gonzos in attendance!

The people of Eastbourne, settling down in the sunshine for a screening of ‘The Muppets’.

Unfortunately, the sun did not have his hat on for ‘Chariots of Fire’ the following day, but those who braved the elements certainly seemed to enjoy themselves, and it is always good to see this classic – as one last hurrah for the Olympic/ Paralympic season!

Unfortunately, the weather was against us at ‘Chariots of Fire’. It was a bit grey and drizzly, but still we had plenty of film fans who battled the elements, wrapped in blankets, to watch the film.
Many people brought picnics, including Team Filmspot – who enjoyed it while the sun was still (weakly) shining, at the beginning of the event!

So, now we’re looking towards Autumn. We have many plans for the upcoming season, some are yet to be confirmed, so do keep an eye on the blog and the website. At the moment, our next confirmed screening is ‘ET’ at Newhaven Fort on Saturday 3 November (Doors 3pm, film 3.10pm). It will be a real occasion – an event to ward off the Autumn chill – with some typically Filmspot twists.

So, here to whet your appetite is the trailer!

Hope to see you all there!


STOP PRESS: Chariots of Muppets descending upon Eastbourne this weekend – and Willy Wonka report

Hello Filmspotters – lots of news for you in this blog, so I’ll just plough straight in!

Filmspot have helped to organise films for Eastbourne Borough Council’s Great British Weekend, this weekend. The events will take place at the Wish Tower Slopes, and are completely free! The films are to complement two fantastic live events, shown on a big screen, organised by the Borough Council.

On Saturday 8 September, the celebrations kick off at 4.30pm, with a screening of The Muppets [2011], followed by the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, featuring music from Delius, Verdi,Puccini, Dvorak, Richard Rodgers, John Williams Olympic Fanfare and theme and the traditional Henry Wood Fantasia on British Sea Songs together with Edward Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem orchestration.

So, to whet your appetite, here’s a splendidly ridiculous musical moment:

On Sunday 9 September, we will all be getting into the 2012 spirit with Chariots of Fire [1981] at 4.30pm, which will of course be followed by the London 2012 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony at 7pm, including the parade of athletes, the extinguishing of the Paralympic flame and the passing of the flag to the next host city of Rio de Janeiro, along with musical performances headlined by Coldplay.

Here’s a taster of Sunday’s iconic offering:

There will be a bar and refreshments for both evenings, and dressing in red, white and blue is definitely encouraged! It promises to be a really fun, lively weekend.

For further details, please see www.visiteastbourne.com or call 0871 663 0031.


Yes, apologies for taking a while to post these photographs, but it has taken a few days for the Filmspot team to come back to reality after entering a world of pure imagination at Newhaven Fort over the August Bank Holiday weekend.


Martyna Dawidowska created a fantastic short animation, especially for the event, which was projected in the Eastern Magazine and at the beginning of the screening


Two of our wonderful volunteers, Sophie Halas and Alexia Lazou, helped to greet the audience


….and everybody in the audience enjoyed a Wonka-themed treat – delightful Wonka-esque marshmallows, sourced by Sweet Moments in Seaford, and quirky cake pops

It was a sell-out show!


Designer-maker Adam Prior did a fantastic job on the brilliant props for the event – even Willy Wonka himself seems to approve!


As ever, veteran Filmspotter Lukas looked the part! This time, seeming to channel the spirit of Wonka himself!


So here’s the team (L-R: Alexia, Sophie, Filmspot Co-Directors Rob Cunningham and Rachel Hunter, Designer Adam Prior and Magician David Girt

This great musical has a dedicated following – we had lots of interest in the event, and you may have seen/ heard some of the local media coverage. We were featured on  BBC Radio Sussex and in The Argus and Sussex Express. We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who came along and all our helpers – you all helped to create a really magical atmosphere!

….so that’s it for now! I hope you’re now all off ransacking your wardrobes for your best red, white and blue – and we’ll see you in Eastbourne!

…in honour of the star of next week’s show…!

We thought we’d just remind you all why you have to love Gene Wilder! Here we go…

1. The Young Frankenstein [1974]

Personally, this is my favourite Mel Brooks creation – partly because of my love of the original ‘Frankenstein’ (which is one of the reasons we screened the 1931 Frankenstein as our inaugural event, way back in 2009!).

2. Stir Crazy [1980]

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor were just so good together!

3. The World’s Greatest Lover [1977]

Ok, I don’t think this is Wilder’s finest hour, but there are some pretty silly moments, that just can’t fail but make me laugh in this. Who is the world’s greatest lover? Why, obviously…

4. The Producers [1968]

From one of Wilder’s weaker performances to one of his most memorable – a possibly the most widely praised collaboration with Mel Brooks.

5. The Frisco Kid [1979]

Surprisingly, the chemistry between Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder works well. A slightly unusual, but very strong performance from Wilder, too!


…so… after all of these reminders, who could resist coming along to our screening of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory next Sunday, to see him in his most memorable role, as the great man himself?

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Sunday 26 August, 2pm
Tickets £6 adults/ £4 children
Advance booking strongly recommended. Telephone Newhaven Fort for tickets on 01273 517622, or reply to this email for more details.

The Filmspot team has enlisted the help of carpenter and designer Adam Prior, from Torbay, to create over-sized lollipops, candy cane vines and tea cup bushes to dress parts of the fort into a temporary ‘candyland’. Talented animation student, Martyna Dawidoska, is creating special projections, based on the colourful musical, which will be located in the underground tunnels at the Fort. A cast of unusual characters will be helping Filmspot out around the fort, including a magician, some oompa loompas – and even the great man himself.
A Wonka-themed treat is included in the ticket price, and these have been sourced by Sweet Moments in Seaford (http://www.sweetmomentsuk.co.uk)
…so to finish up, here’s a lovely clip of Mr Wilder at his finest!
We hope to see you all there!