There was once a simpler time, when watching the latest blockbuster with a hotdog and bucket of popcorn was all we thought to wish for. But now it seems that merely viewing a film is barely worth going out for – instead, cinema needs to be a fully immersive, unique and bizarre cultural occasion.
It is possible now to watch a film in a silent crowd with headphones on (silent-cinema.co.uk), in the fresh air on a high rise rooftop (rooftopfilmclub.com), in a narrow boat on the Thames (floatingcinema.info), projected onto a stack of discarded fridges (filmsonfridges.com), or even powered by your own pedal-work (magnificentrevolution.org).
But whatever happened to simply enjoying a film, not the surroundings? Does something always have to be happening off screen as well as on nowadays? We’d hypothesise that as the opportunity for self-expression seeps into almost every field of life, and people are constantly in search of a ‘life less ordinary’ to broadcast on Facebook we’ll see this kind of ‘event-ing’ happening in other walks of life. Anyone for a ‘moonlight supermarket shopping?
Surely there is a space for a Minimal Cinema (could we call it a Minema?) – unadorned, with no distractions and the full focus of the audience directed toward the solid content of the film. Could no-gimmicks be the new gimmick? Watch this space.