How time passes. Set in the majestic surroundings of Somerset House, Film4’s annual open air crowd pleaser featuring cinematic hits old and new is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
With tickets on sale now for the event that runs from 7-20 August, the full programme (check it out here) is looking good. But in case you find there’s a little too much to choose from, here’s the highlights you should be booking for post haste.
There are three UK premieres showing this summer and it’s fair to say that they’re an intriguingly disparate bunch.
First up, and for my money the most exciting of the trio, comes Two Days, One Night (August 7th), the latest effort from the Dardenne brothers. If you are familiar with their work, they need no introduction. And if not, correct this oversight straight away! Their new film, currently competing for what would be a record breaking third Palme d’Or in Cannes this year, stars Marion Cotillard as a woman who tries to make her colleagues give up their annual bonuses to save her job. It’s the Summer Screen opener and if it’s anything like their previous output, it will be fantastic.
Also appearing before British audiences for the first time is 20,000 Days on Earth (August 13th), a unique blend of fact and fiction that follows acclaimed musician Nick Cave’s 20,000 day on this good planet. It’s an odd concept blending together several distinct elements. Much like the man himself then and all the better for it. And ending on a high, Jermaine Clement closes proceedings in What We Do in the Shadows (August 20th), a New Zealand vampire mockumentary.
Let’s be honest though, the real joy of a trip to Somerset House on a (hopefully) balmy summer evening is the opportunity to catch an old favourite back where it belongs. If you haven’t got the time to camp out for two weeks and catch them all, here’s the top three to make sure you get along to.
1. The Great Beauty (August 14th): The best film of 2013 may only have been out of cinemas for a few months but it feels like a lifetime. Seize this opportunity to catch Toni Servillo’s sublime Jep Gambardella make his way through a morally vacant Rome on the big screen again while you can.
2. The 400 Blows (August 18th): Even after all these years, François Truffaut’s 1959 debut is still an astonishing achievement. The first in the recurring adventures of Antoine Doinel, misspent youth has rarely been as entertainingly affecting.
3. The Royal Tenenbaums (August 17th): In case you’d forgotten why Wes Anderson’s idiosyncratic filmmaking is so good, he released a strong reminder with The Grand Budapest Hotel earlier this year. Take this chance to step back and revisit his second (and best) feature. You certainly wouldn’t want to be part of the family, but time spent with the Tenenbaums is well worth it.
If all of that isn’t enough, the power lies with you to pick one more film. To celebrate their anniversary The Best of 10 offers up 10 classics from previous years for public vote, the winner to be shown on August 19th. I’ve gone with Rear Window but there isn’t a bad film on the list. You have a week left to have your say and you can cast your vote below:
On top of that, don’t forget there are a number of talks and even a film poster exhibition. Not a bad line up then to celebrate the first decade. No need to book a summer holiday abroad this year.