The big idea: you enjoy a magical evening of film, friends and wonder. You meet our guide and they take you to a unique location in Bristol and we show a film. All the money we make we pass to Awamu, supporting women and children affected by HIV in Uganda.
YEAY! It’s been on Magic Lantern’s wish list for EVER to do a film night just for children in the slums of Kampala where the children we support live. On the 26th of September 2015 Magic Lantern organised a screening not only in Kampala but also in Bristol at the same time as part of the wonderful Scalarama film festival.
Our first Kampala event and the excited anticipation was palpable when 4 hours before the screening we found 40 kids already in situ waiting for the films to start! Most of the children who attended do not have electricity (only 19% of the population do) let alone a tv or have visited the cinema. It was all pretty exciting! 23 of the children AWAMU supports go to West Valley School and the deputy head, Ssempala kindly let us the school for free for the event. Our initial estimate of 30-60 attendees was way off and as the numbers increased we removed yet another partition wall – the room used was 3 classrooms split by plywood walls. We think 180 children managed to fit inside, sat on desks at the back on on cardboard at the front. Kerry introduced the night and Peter translated into Luganda. Are you ready to watch some films?!! YEAHHHHHH!! The night started with some of the children watching on the big screen in our latest mini video announcing the 2015 winners of the sunflower competition.
We then showed a mixture of international children’s classics including Bert and Ernie, Sean the Sheep, Der Maulwurf, Pingu, Elephant and Mouse, Minions, Mr Bean and some Uganda local gems like Katoto. The most laughs came at the first farting scene in Elephant and mouse. LOLZ!
At 8pm we skyped the Bristol Magic Crew who were also having a special screening in the prison cells of the old police station Bristol. After all contraband was removed an eclectic mix of shorts chosen were by the attendees – yes! you voted on which film was screened next! Thank you to Xave and Jon for making this happen and enabling us to skype as well as raising some sweet money to help get more children in school!! Check out the video below of the skyping and screaming!
A Kampala magic popcorn machine distributed fresh popcorn for all the kids to take home and apparently the film night is still the talk of the town. YAY FUN.
Here’s to more international magic shenanigans in the future!
The Magic Ticket Machine shuffled into location at Bristol Temple meads concourse, ready for the 19:00 departure. Ticket Master Keeling and Bradshaw internally manned the state of the art machine. Regular commuters pondered their new ticket machine option but were hastily turned away by the machine which rejected non-magic seekers. A valid boarding code and most importantly hand made railcards were requested by the Machine. High levels of creativity and engagement in fun were expressed which was duly noted by the machine.
Once all tickets were issued and railcards scanned magic commuters were guided to the screening carriage in the Engine Shed. First opened in 1841 Brunel’s Engine Shed was a fitting location for tonight’s rail themed screening. 65 commuters filed through the food carriage picking up super-saver ginger snaps and Rhiannon Buck’s 5 carriage vegan chocolate cake! Once seated on the platform steps and with tea in hand agent Bradshaw introduced the film – The Station Agent.
When his only friend and co-worker dies, a young man born with dwarfism moves to an abandoned train depot in rural New Jersey. Its only flipping Tyrion Lannister from Games of Thrones! The Station Agent is a sublime feel-good film (with less boobs and dragons then G.O.T) about friendship between Peter Dinklers character who is trying to maintain a life of solitude whilst being pursued by amongst others an overly friendly Cuban hot-dog vendor.
Ticket master Bradshaw compounded the warm fuzzy feeling people had inside with the knowledge that this event raised 700 quid for HIV+ children in Uganda. She then shared a 2min film of Fatuma in Kampala getting a surprise she never expected…
The evening was brought to a close with Jon sharing news of his upcoming mega walk of 216km for Awamu! and the launch of his fundraising – he’s hoping to raise 1000 squids – PLEASE HELP HIM OUT WITH A FIVER HERE
Thank You, Team Magic Lantern
p.s. an extra special thank you from Kerry who was overwhelmed by the attendance and love from old friends and new!
Kerry, music and drama teachers and some of the kids that Magic Lantern and Awamu supports to go to school in Uganda
Hello! or Oli Otya as they say here! This photo was from my first week here when I sneaked in on a drama and dance session that the kids in Makerere slums were involved in. This is one of the two groups which Awamu supports and all the money from Magic Lantern goes to paying for kids like these to go to school. It currently cost £66.67 for a year of school fees inc. text books and pens which is well out of the means of many parents in slums who live on less than 50p a day.
Emma from Awamu has been in Kampala for the last month and we’ve been setting up the urban gardening project! Check out our video diary to see me shoveling mud and find out what veggies Jon is going to plant!
I’m hoping to organise from a far a Magic Lantern in Bristol next year and do some al-fresco screenings in Kampala when i know the city better – maybe if Joey and Michelle come to visit we can get the old team together for a special screening 🙂
If you’d like to get involved in fundraising or just want to say hello drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can get £5,000 to do even more Magic in Bristol and Uganda if we get the most votes on the Talk Talk award. We’ve got a one in three chance!
We would spend a portion of the money on a portable screening kit that anyone in Bristol could borrow to have fun and raise money for Awamu. We would also purchase a kit with a generator we can use in the slums of Kampala to show fun films with the kids in their neighbourhoods.
Winnie and her friends showing off the new cabbages they’ve grown in the Urban gardens project – find out more here – www.awamu.co.uk
We would also hire more expensive super cool places to do massive/super awesome magiclanterns that could in turn make bigger profits to get more kids in school in Kampala. Please press the button above to vote for Kerry and pass the URL below on to millions of people! love Kerry ( in Kamapala!) http://digitalheroes.talktalk.co.uk/fundraising-digital-hero/
19.8.14 All Hallows Hall, Easton. 38 attendees. £208.46 raised
The lovely ‘Driss’ on the big screen and in the bath of his new abode where he has just taking the role of caring for his quadriplegic aristocrat boss. One of Kerry’s all time favourite films, The Untouchables brought a special French flavour to the proceedings along with our fromage poll, take on french boules and free Boursoin for everyone! Kerry’s jetted off to Uganda now to work with VSO and the Awamu kids that Magic Lantern supports, but never fear more Magic Lanterns are in the pipeline in Bristol and Kampala!
17.6.14 The Bed Workshop. 27 attendees. £297.34 raised
On Tuesday the 17th of June at 7pm, 27 Magic Seekers were invited to this very exclusive screening event. Such was the buzz around this event tickets sold out in 3 hours!
Magic Seekers were met at The Old Bookshop in Bedminster by Kerry (avec PJ’s and this months Magic ideas man Jon Brookes) With the precursor to the evening to give way to the overwhleming force of magic at this event attendees were on their way.
A short excursion ensued where upon revelers arrived at the workshop cafe at The Bed Workshop. Tasty home made cakes and tea were served by Annie, Michelle and Scruff while surrounded by a plethora of tools for making beautiful bespoke beds.
Upstairs, a no shoes rule was instigated as this time everyone was sitting/lying/lounging on a bed to watch the magic screening! Some families/lovers were split up due to the seating arrangements. that’s the breaks at ML.
The magical Joey was back with us, donning his best PJ’s to kick of the evening by inviting attendees to read out their favourite lullaby’s
Matt Jennings dished out magic sweets and badges with five lucky people who had golden jelly teddy’s being presented with their very own cuddly teddy sourced by Jon from small children’s bedrooms
Kerry shared the news that she will be moving to Uganda for 2 years in August and tonight’s £297 donations will go to VSO who she will be working with in Kampala.
A MASSIVE thank you to The Bed Workshop who allowed us to use their showroom for FREE enabling us to help even more kids in Uganda and to Paul who stayed late to let us in and out. YOU ROCK!
The big screen next to @Bristol provided the first clue as to what shenanigans would unfold during the Magic Lantern extravaganza, displaying a quote from the evening’s film as individual people-units gathered in Millennium square.
Agents Bradshaw and MacFarlane saw that each human was -not so- carefully checked for contraband literature before giving them a badge to gain access to Phase 2 processing.
Units were guided through Millenium Square, along Magic Lane and to the back entrance of the Central Library in Bristol where the head ‘non-reader’ Andrew Cox revealed that ten incinerators were in constant use to rid the city of dangerous books.
Agent Jennings was on hand to secure attendees in the holding pen before they were briefed on entry to the incinerator room.
Contraband literature was taken from attendees and placed in the first incinerator by operatives Browning and Browning. Full of books, the button ‘451’ (the number of degrees farenheit at which paper supposedly burns) was pressed and the books were duly torched.
Having been relieved of their books, over 60 magic seekers were led around this five story, iconic establishment of non-learning.
Due to the massive energy consumption of the incinerators, lighting was at a minimum, but thankfully only a couple of attendees were lost during the tour. Starting in the basement where 270,000 reference and lending store books are housed, Agent Cox led the crowd up dark wooden staircases, into paneled rare book rooms, (usually closed to the public), around balconies, down spiral staircases and through neoclassical corridors of abhorrent learning.
The tour neared its end in the arched vaulting of the main atrium where the living sculpture ‘the Book Hive’ resides. This ludicrous testament to misguided human endeavor celebrates 400 wasteful years of public libraries in Bristol, during which time residents used to actually borrow and read books (!).
At the culmination of the tour, a plethora of cakes and tea were on hand, made and donated by professional healthy cake maker – Agent Efi (no sugar or butter! Who knew?!), Rhiannon, Jon, Annie and Kerry. Expertly served by magic volunteers Annie, Dom and Elena.
Agent Cox welcomed viewers to the screening area (the children’s library section) and introduced the film, Fahrenheit 451, based on the 1953 dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury. Agent Cant, projectionist extraordinaire started the screening in what some might say was the best magic lantern yet…
Based on the 1951 Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. Guy Montag is a firefighter who lives in a lonely, isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public. It is the duty of firefighters to burn any books on sight or said collections that have been reported by informants. People in this society including Montag’s wife are drugged into compliancy and get their information from wall-length television screens. After Montag falls in love with book-hoarding Clarisse, he begins to read confiscated books. It is through this relationship that he begins to question the government’s motives behind book-burning. Montag is soon found out, and he must decide whether to return to his job or run away knowing full well the consequences that he could face if captured. Written by Brian Rathjen
During the film credits, and in a fitting end to a most extraordinary night, Agent Bradshaw wheeled-in some books rescued from the cinders of the incinerators. Amongst those saved were two copies of Ed Milliband’s biography and the screenplay to the film Deliverance… hmm maybe there is something to be said in outlawing these pesky books! Or something better not said about the calibre of Magic Lantern attendees….
100% of the £681.15 raised from the Magic Lantern processing event will go to the inspirational woman and children from AWAMU working in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Special thanks to Jo Keeling for photographizing and Mark Leech for linking up all the people to make it happen!
Check out this awesome video of Ray Bradbury talking about his love of books. It made me cry!
Blinded by the hi-vis magic lantern guide, speeding bikes and surrounding Friday night rush hour traffic 40 adventure seekers met their guides at the cenotaph in Bristol city centre.
With Spokey Dokey bike gifts for all (generously provided by Matt Jennings) the highly visible gang set of to the secret location.
With three zebra crossing manoeuvred with limited casualties we arrived at the bike and smile filled destination for tonights extravaganza, Roll for the Soul cafe. The non-profit cafe is run by bike enthusiasts, has an amazing vegetarian menu, a workshop, gallery and was the perfect setting for our bike themed evening!
With home made cakes, tea and alcoholic beverages in hand we headed upstairs for the magic screening.
Joey was back! rousing up the crowd and introduced Emma Scullion who had come all the way from London to show of some of the new Awamu products and bring a personal thanks from the children in Kampala, Uganda where all Magic Lantern profits go to.
Just before the film started we introduced Jethro who had already started on our Awamu logo bike tattoo! He put the logo on both sides of Kerry’s bike with enamel paint. See him in action in the photos below! (also note the brilliant use of Kerry’s bike basket as a magic beer bottle carrier.) I hope no-one was riding home drunk!
So what flippin’ film would be fitting of a magic bike related screening?! Police Beat of course! The lovely people at Simple Machine recommended the film to us and with the main character being a bike riding police man in Seattle from Senegal how could we refuse! The police man rides around investigating what turns out to be actual recorded crimes and daydreams ALOT about his girlfriends possible unfaithfulness. It’s beautifully shot, we felt like we were on the bike with him riding through the green sunlit parks and grimier bits of the city. The film is in English but interestingly his thoughts are in his native Wolof, the language of Senegal and these bits are subtitled. (It’s not so far from l’ugandan the native language of Uganda and reminded us of our friends at Awamu). It was great to see a film with an immigrant new to America that didn’t focus on his monetary status or possible social issues that might face a foreigner. A few Magic Lanteners’ said they wanted to watch it again as they felt like they probably missed a lot and even though the pace was reasonably slow there was so much to take in. It was noted by our beady/sarcastic audience that ‘Z’, the main character did not adhere to the highway code and often rode without Hi-Vis or lights on at night. The film got a laugh every time ‘Z’, inputted a crime report on the computer and seemed to randomly choose from a sort of periodic table of possible crimes what he had investigated.
Check out the trailer below!
100% of the amazing £254.12 raised from this Magic Lantern will go to the inspirational woman and children from AWAMU working in Kampala, Uganda.
With their slippers on, Corrie on record and head scarfs wrapped tightly round their blue rinses, 40 OAP’s of a very magical nature head for bus stop ‘Bb’ on Baldwin street. At 7pm they were met by their doddery Magic Lantern guides complete with a silver zimma frame and 27 broaches.
Once slippers were assessed and people ticked off the magic list, attendees were handed a goody bad including Werthers originals, an extremely hard crossword, song sheet for ‘We’ll meet again’ and a return magic bus ticket for First Bus (thanks First for giving us half price tickets!)
With still no idea of where they were going and what they were going to see everyone jumped on board the 19.10 number 7 bus for a good old sing song!
All 42 of us squished onto the top deck much to the bemusement of regular travellers and bus driver who joined us on the 20 minute ride.
We alighted at the top of Whitehall road and made our way to our final destination, The Magic Lantern Seniors Day Centre (A.K.A. The Beehive Centre)
Mr and Mrs Busher had set up a marvelous spread at the Magic Cafe with generous yummy creations from Efi, Annie and Mhairi. With Bovril in hand, bums firmly stuck in the most amazing chairs ever to grace a Magic Lantern screening and bi-focals adjusted accordingly the silver screening was underway.
Mrs Bradshaw introduced the first film, a short film by Conor Ferguson called ‘The Wednesdays’ about an elderly couple who get bored on Wednesday so get up to some shenanigans you wouldn’t expect.
We then went straight to the main flick of the night Harold an Maude. We broke with Magic Lantern Film Club tradition and showed a film twice! But since it was over 4 years ago and Kerry was the only person at both screenings and oh yes its BRILLIANT we decided to show it again, in the fitting setting of the Beehive centre.
Self-destructive and needy but wealthy teenager Harold is obsessed with death and spends his leisure time attending funerals, watching the demolition of buildings, visiting junkyards, simulating suicides trying to get the attention of his indifferent, snobbish and egocentric mother, and having sessions with his psychologist. When Harold meets the anarchic seventy-nine-year-old Maude at a funeral, they become friends and the old lady discloses other perspectives of the cycle of life for him. Meanwhile, his mother enlists him in a dating service and tries to force him to join the army. On the day of Maude’s eightieth birthday, Harold proposes to her but he finds the truth about life at the end of hers. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Check out Kerry’s favourite scene.
Jees everyone! If you want to Sing out just SING OUT!! la leee laaaa
100% of the amazing £352.08 raised from this Magic Lantern will go to the inspirational woman and children from AWAMU working in Kampala, Uganda.
“There is something wonderful about a truly ‘bad film’ – whether it’s the head-scratching dialogue, the shoddy special effects or acting that would not look out of place in a nursery school’s nativity play.” Bristol’s very own Bad Film club had its first sell out screening in August of this year, showing Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space. The club has already created a buzz around the city with The Bristol Post raving about it on thefront cover of their weekend magazine and completely selling out its first screening. Tim Popple and Timon Singh are the mastermind behind the venture and have doubled their Karma by not only bringing an amazing night to the people of Bristol but by also donating the £210.56 from the evening to Awamu – working with HIV+ childre in Uganda to give them the opportunity of an education.
At 19:00 hrs on the 19th June 2013, thirty-five green fingered magic seekers pollinated at Bristol temple meads for the most chlorophylled screening to date. These new seedlings were in for a treat as the magic lantern film club teamed up with Bristol’s Big Green Week festival and Leila Conners (The 11th Hour) and Mathew Schmid in the U. S of A to get down and dirty with a new film following the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit.
Agent Patch Malone and Scruff Macfarlane guided the entrepid explorers on foot over the river Avon to the new disclosed venue of The Severn Project. With security passed, tunnels navigated and trains waved at two looming iron gates were prized open to their magic lantern hosts Joey and Kerry.
Guests entered an open area of scrub land surrounded like a flowers petals by six polytunnels full of rows of thriving salad plants. Steve the founder of the Severn Project invited people to check out the site, see what’s growing and to have a taste!
Visitors were treated to a fresh salad of mustards rockets, mizuna, mibuna, chard and land-cress all freshly picked and washed in the bath seconds before eating!
Steve and co supply many of the major Bristol restaurants including the Glass Boat, the Canteen and River Cottage. The majority of the people that work here and at their sister site in Keynsham are ex drug and substance misusers, giving them meaningful work as well as benefiting the project.
With Steve’s hands on intro over, magic cake and drinks bought, attendees took to their alfresco seats as the sun set over the Bristol skyline.
Kerry introduced the special 3 min short film to kick the green magic off, a locally made documentary about an urban greening project in Bristol.
Libreville Films (A.K.A. Jean, antonio and Vincente) filmed the ongoing community gardening party at Rosa Parks Lane in the Ashley district of Bristol. This local gardening project along with the Severn project and the feature film we then screened illustrates the effect gardening can have on individuals and their community, both by those who do the gardening and those who reap the benefits either through the food on their plate or the lane they walk down every day. Urban roots is a film about the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Once the car manufacturing centre of the world the city has seen it’s population drop from two million in the 1950’s to one million today . With 1000’s of acres of derelict car plants and car parks the film follows the story of individuals and communities who have taken over and cultivated land and their communities.
As a special treat at the end of the night as the sky grew darker we screened for the first time a heartwarming short about Tom, our latest lovely little friend in Kampala, Uganda who YOU have helped enrolee in school by buying a ticket from magic lantern. See how happy he is here!
We had the honour of our newly elected green councillor for Ashley ward, Rob Telford in the audience who the following day facebooked about the film. As the film states at the end ‘Plant a Seed’ , ‘change the world’ we couldn’t resist giving all our guests their very own free magic seedling to take home and plant. Each sunflower or cosmos now have new homes all around Bristol and maybe even further a field? Please paste up photos of yours at Facebook.com/awamutogether
Big thanks this time to Mark Leach, the Create Centre, Big Green Week, Libreville films, Cousin Kate, scruff and Jess for all their help
100% of the amazing £245.49 raised from this Magic Lantern will go to the inspirational woman and children from AWAMU working in Kampala, Uganda.
On Friday the 2nd of November 20 entrepid explorers met their Magic Lantern Guide at ‘echo square’ in the centre of Cabot Circus shopping center. With a click of their heels and a few high pitched monkey noises they set of for the 20th Magic Lantern extravaganza.
Secret Circus is a new pop-up shop in Cabot run by Michelle Owen and Kerry Bradshaw and one day after recieveing the keys to the place we took over and used the venue to full affect for a Magic Lantern screening.
There was no option in the biggest shopping centre in Bristol but to show dawn of the dead and as such people were warned that for the first time ever we were showing an 18 but you will always be safe with the Magic Lantern.
9.8.12 Boiling Wells, St Werburgs, Bristol. 68 attendees. £174.49 raised
With vaseline applied, lycra shimmering and lunges aplenty 64 entrepid magic seekers met at the Better food company in St Werburghs on a warm summers night for an evening of bikes, cinema and cake fun. Attendees on bikes sped ahead with 4 times Olympic bike champion ‘Kerry 220’ winding past herds of sheep and through miles of dark tunnels. Magic seekers on foot were led by BMX half pipe world record holder ‘Joey PK Ripper’.
The al-fresco grass lined amphitheatre of Boiling wells was the perfect setting for our greenest event to date. And it wasn’t just the setting that was green, the event was powered by YOU! that’s right all electricity was generated from participants cycling their way through the film screening. Charlie from the awesome Electric Pedals in London provided us with the means to make this happen.
There were also a couple of firsts at this event! A mini AWAMU shop was open, showcasing some of our finest hand-made products from Uganda allowing visitors to touch and see up close the amazing designs and quality work in the clothing ranges. While people were getting seated and grabbing yummy refreshments for the night we also screened a slideshow of photos Kerry took on her recent adventures in Uganda so you can see first hand who your lovely donations have been helping.
In keeping with Magic Lantern tradition we showed a film with links to the event set up and location. “Breaking Away tells the story of best friends Dave, Mike, Cyril and Moocher who have just graduated from high school. Although each of the four is a totally different personality from the other three, they also have in common the fact of being unfocused and unmotivated in life. The one slight exception is Dave. Although he has no job and doesn’t know what to do with his life, he is a champion bicycle racer… ” Written by Huggo
7.4.12 UNIT 15, Bristol. 284 attendees. £913 raised!!
On the euphoric eve of Saturday 7th of April 2012 two hundred and eighty-four fun seekers entered UNIT 15 warehouse for the most ambitious Magic Lantern collaboration to date.
Donned with tracksuits, glow sticks, furry boots and smiles revelers grabbed a disco biscuit, magic drink and sat before the humongous screen and massive Funktion-One sound system eagerly anticipating the screening of the 90’s classic movie Human Traffic.
The screening was followed by a awe-inspiring clubbing experience brought to us by the world renowned UNIT 15.
Event video to come!
£913 was raised for the night! with 100% of this going to AWAMU, supporting children orphaned by HIV in Uganda.
21.2.12 The Scout Hut, Bristol. 52 attendees. £257.81 raised!!
Under moonlight two entrepid explorers donned with their back packs, maps and walking sticks discover 48 people who’ve lost their way in Queens Square. With gifts of pine cones in their hands and safe in the knowledge that it’s only a 25 miles trek to the location everyone sets out on their journey. Over Redcliffe Way bridge, and down to the riverside the guides lead the entrepid explorers through Pirate Pete’s roaming ground. Small flickering lights and lanterns are seen in the distance, aside a dark brown hut. On closer inspection it becomes apparent that this is actually the Magic Lantern ‘Club House’ (In daylight under the guise of the Benjamin Perry Boat House). The wooden clad scout hut with model boats and knot diagrams is the perfect location for this most intimate of Magic Lantern Film nights.
Two 5* pancake chef’s in the form of Sarah Macfarlane and Kate Curtis are on hand for all our pancake needs and over 70 pancakes are flipped throughout the night. Once tea and pancakes are in situ with their new owners the light are dimmed and the film begins…
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life. (imdb.com)
£257.81 was raised for Awamu working with children orphaned by HIV in Uganda.
There are various things wrong with my life. My job sucks. I don’t earn enough. I keep losing staring contests with animals. You know how it is.
Well apparently my list of problems just got one entry longer, because by not living in Bristol it means that I won’t get to regularly go to the events organised by the wonderful Magic Lantern Film Club. Last Friday while I happened to be in town, I was invited as part of a birthday celebratory weekend to go along to one of ML’s screenings. We met up at a pre-arranged location and it was pretty much fun-times-are-go from the off, as the event organisers Kerry and Joey were already in full swing – handing out headbands to all attendees and dancing to the beats of an old-skool stereo decrepit enough to have actually been hand built by Thomas Edison himself. Before long we were being led through the backstreets of Bristol, buzzing with anticipation about what we could be watching (Dirty Dancing? Flashdance? Breakin’ 2: Electric Bugaloo?), and arrived at our destination – an office building, in which we were ushered up to a completely disused floor where the screening would take place.
After a brief introduction by the hosts, in which we were told not only about the film, but got the warm-and-fuzzies from knowing our entry fees were entirely being donated to the Awamu charity for the poor of Uganda, we settled in – and WOW. The film, Girl Walk // All Day was wonderful (you can read my full review of it here: http://onewickedmaiden.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/girl-walk-all-day/), and by the end of the evening everyone in the room was completely, ecstatically buzzing. Unable to sit still. And really, genuinely feeling like part of something special.
It was a superb night, and my friends and I spent the entire rest of the weekend talking amongst ourselves – and to others – about the experience. It was truly brilliant, and I was truly illuminated; and, to that extent, I can’t think of a more fitting name for this event than Magic Lantern.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a staring contest to try and win.
The Magic Lantern Film Club was joined by the acclaimed soundscapers MINIMA at St Mary Redcliffe to produce one of the most anticipated cinemographic events of the year. It sold out and made over a thousand pounds for AWAMU!
St Mary Redcliffe was the perfect location, with the 12th century gothic Church providing a wonderfully atmospheric backdrop to the film. Nearly two hundred people came along and gathered in the pews for the evening. Tea and cake from the Black and White Cafe provided the perfect accompaniment…
Nosferatu was shot in 1922, loosely based on the story of Dracula. It tells the story of a German estate agent who is dispatched to sell a property to a mysterious count who lives in a Transylvanian castle. Upon reaching there, he notices something is strange about the count, and must battle to save his innocent wife from a terrible fate.
The silent film was really brought to life by the live musical accompaniment of Minima. With just four members, they created an amazing amount of atmosphere and created an unforgettable experience.
Thank you to everyone who came and supported us! We hope you had a fantastic evening.
21.6.11 The vaults of the old Bank of England building, Wine Street (In the vaults)
On Black Tuesday the 21st of June attendess were invited to the most ambitious Magic Lantern event to date.
Attendees were met at Lloyds bank on Corn street where they were asked to contemplate their investments with The Bank of Magic Lantern. The Magic Lantern Bank manager suggested hedge funds, ISA’s or long term investements to attendees.
The highly attentive bank manager guided the investors to the newly opened Bank of Magic Lantern, located at the old Bank of England Building on Wine Street. A grumpy security guard was maintaining the main doors. Inside three recently qualified teller staff were waiting behind the counter of the Banks foyer to receive their investments. Attendees queued to invest, received magic lantern pounds in return then mulled around the foyer until all had been processed. BANG! BANG BANG! THIS IS A ROBBERY GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR!!!… Those poor people were never seen again, but they did have a bloody good night including a fab film (Inside Man), never ending tea and new found friends….
A cop has to talk down a bank robber after the criminal’s perfect heist spirals into a hostage situation.
The oldest, darkest and most mysterious screening of 2011…
It’s 1327 and after a mysterious death in a Benedictine Abbey, the monks are convinced that the apocalypse is coming. An intellectually nonconformist monk (Sean Connery) comes to investigate…
Write up by Efi Chatzopoulou
They did it again! Amongst the faithful, the lost and the unreligious, there’s no doubt about it! Joey and Kerry pulled off yet another brilliant Magic Lantern Film Club evening, some say the best one yet! Where can one start describing what was a magical and enchanting evening.
Attendees were sent a cryptic text when at the meeting point of St Peter’s Church. This directed them through the herb garden and to a mysterious monk who was situated by the old dungeons of the castle. The monk gave each person a scroll on which was a map to the venue.
The venue was once again carefully chosen to reveal to us Bristol folk another secret treasure of our city, the tiny keep of Bristol castle in Castle Park. And who could expect what a night such a wee space could hold! The essential screening equipment and 27 people and then there was a rich, full of goodness buffet that included magic popcorn, fresh, hand-made cake and holy hot cross buns, sweets and plenty of tea! Lit candles and a few warm-up tunes, the atmosphere was soothing and comforting.
After the all-necessary sugar fix and a good old chat, we were ready for it. The anticipation that waiting for a surprise movie creates never fails to overtake me! Like a child in a sweet shop where sweets are free and tooth decay is inexistent!
27 faces all excitedly glued on one very spot on the wall, where the projector revealed this evening’s movie, the Name of the Rose. Another great choice and as always a brilliant fit to the evening’s venue.
By the end of the movie, I too felt stigmatised forever. For this very Magic Lantern -the best one yet- might have not left us with black fingertips but left us with a sweet taste in our mouths and a common new belief; this was a night to remember.
What can I say? I’ve done it! I’ve traded with the devil and oh boy how excited I now am for the new venture Magic Lantern Film Club will guide me through, breaking the law!
A kindly grandfather sits down with his grandson and reads him a bedtime story. The story is one that has been passed down from father to son for generations. As the grandfather reads the story, the action comes alive. The story is a classic tale of love and adventure as the beautiful Buttercup, engaged to the odious Prince Humperdinck, is kidnapped and held against her will in order to start a war, It is up to Westley (her childhood beau, now returned as the Dread Pirate Roberts) to save her. On the way he meets a thief and his hired helpers, an accomplished swordsman and a huge, super strong giant, both of whom become Westleys’ companions in his quest. Written by Afterburner
The Trinity Centre and Team Love of It invited Magic Lantern film club to do an extra special screening at their alternative wedding day. They knew what they wanted us to show and we certainly couldn’t resist, this classic, probably THE best wedding movie ever. After a day of crafting, being married with haribo rings, playing scrabble at Word Up!, dancing a Kaylee, and doing the Wills and Kate 1000 piece jigsaw what better way to chill out than to a magical showing of The Princess Bride. It’s even got Kevin from the wonder years AND Columbo in it!!
“A triangle: Franz, Arthur, and Odile. Franz, a young man with Alain Delon good looks, has met Odile in an English class. She lives in Joinville with wealthy benefactors and has mentioned to Franz that Mr. Stolz keeps a pile of 10,000 franc notes unlocked in his room. Franz tells his friend Arthur, a swarthy guy whose shady uncle is pressing him for money. Arthur and Franz, who mimic American movie tough guys, case Odile’s house, pressure her to assist them with a burglary, and make passes at her as well. She’s alternately compliant and distressed. Will they pull off the heist?”
Madamoiselle Bradshaw met magic lanterner’s at the entrance of Bristol Cathederal avec beret and brilliant french accent. We had about 30 people come to this special screening in a very public disused shop at the bottom of Park Street. This French classic is apparently one of Tarantino’s favourite movies and the inspiration for the dance scene from Pulp Fiction. This film made me want to get a new wardrobe with Anna Karina’s timeless style, the fringe and pigtails wouldn’t be out of place on Park Street today. £55 was raised for our charity special thanks to those who helped us pack up at the end.
In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the police Captain Renault detains Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick’s surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan….
Written by Gary Jackson
Meeting in Freemantle square Magic Lanterner’s were guided to the cosy surrounding of Joey’s living room/ Sam’s Bar. 23 people watched, cried, sighed and sung with Ingrid and Humphrey. The Popcorn machine and special treats from cousin Kate featured heavily at this event.
An eccentric man aged about 40 lives alone in a decrepit house in Tokyo. He periodically transforms into a giant, about 30 meters tall, and defends Japan by battling similarly sized monsters that turn up and destroy buildings. The giant and the monsters are computer-generated. Written by Ed
This is probably THE weirdest film we’ve ever show at Magic Lantern. I had a sensation like when watching Dusk till Dawn when it lulls you into a false sense of security with dramatic/poetic characters and story line for the first half of the movie then POW!! it suddenly goes immensely crazy! The Bath Japanese Festival invited us to play a Japanese film after some shorts which they brought. It made for a really enjoyable screening for the last night of the festival.Watch the crazy final fight scene!
William Friedkin’s gritty police drama portrays two tough New York City cops trying to intercept a huge heroin shipment coming from France. An interesting contrast is established between ‘Popeye’ Doyle, a short-tempered alcoholic bigot who is nevertheless a hard-working and dedicated police officer, and his nemesis Alain Charnier, a suave and urbane gentleman who is nevertheless a criminal and one of the largest drug suppliers of pure heroin to North America. During the surveillance and eventual bust, Friedkin provides one of the most gripping and memorable car chase sequences ever filmed. Written by Tad Dibbern
This film had been on our list to show from the beginning. How can a car chase be so compelling without any music in the background?! Clip of the car chase! wahhh
In Mexico, two teenage boys and an attractive older woman embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, sex, and each other.
One of our favourite films of all time… Just writing about it makes me want to watch it again. Road trip, Sun, Sea, Sex and a corkin’ storyline. I really loved seeing the Mexican countryside and the people who live there in this honest portrayal. Gael Garcia is as HOT as ever and this is before he got super famous. Ahhh can we go swimming in the sea now?….
Setsuko and Seita are brother and sister living in wartime Japan. After their mother is killed in an air raid they find a temporary home with relatives. Having quarreled with their aunt they leave the city and make their home in an abandoned shelter. While their soldier father’s destiny is unknown, the two must depend on each other to somehow keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. When everything is in short supply, they gradually succumb to hunger and their only entertainment is the light of the fireflies.
I’ve got goosepimples just thinking about this showing. We met people at Bath Train station and guided them along the candle lit canal to the Widcome Social Club. The screening coincided with pancake day thus free pancakes were on offer, as well as Gee Wizz Dan Popcorn Man being on hand for all your popcorn needs. Photo Credits – Alex Craven
We gave out Magic Lantern tissues at this event and if you’ve watched Grave of the Fireflies you’ll know why. I first saw this movie at the Pheonix Picture house in Oxford and EVERYONE in the cinema was crying at some point, even the men. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful this film in my opinion is the BEST WWII movie out there.
I really like this top comment on the trailer on YouTube – “When people talk about WWII it seems like we always lament only the American soldiers and the american people who died, but what about people like seita and setsuko? It seems like today in people’s eyes, they don’t matter. Out of all the WWII movies that I’ve seen, this is by far the best. It didn’t need to have blood and gore for it to be a masterpiece, rather it touched your heart in a simple, more humane way, that takes real talent. Pearl harbor has NOTHING on this movie, NOTHING.”
Tragic, harrowing, Insightful, beautiful, thought provoking, stunning, saddening clever, subtle jees just watch it if you haven’t! (oh yes and make sure you watch the Subtitled version not the Dubbed, and stay clear of the live action remake! 🙂 )
17.12.09 Widcombe Social Club George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George’s modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George… Written by alfiehitchie
The quintessential Christmas feel good movie. Magic Lanterners were greeted at Bath Train station with mulled wine. After a short walk along the river to Widcombe Social Club attendees were greeted with personalised crackers with their future horoscope enclosed and of course minced pies a plenty.
17.10.09 The Circus, Bath Life is no bed of roses for 52-year-old Juan “Coco” Villegas. He, who has been a gas station attendant for twenty years in Patagonia, finds himself jobless overnight. He first tries to survive by selling knives of his own making. But business is bad and he can’t find real work. One day though, after fixing a vehicle on a farm, he gets paid by means of a … beautiful Argentinian watch-dog! From this blessed day on, things start shaping well at last… Written by Guy Bellinger
A listed building in the Circus, Bath was the location for this Magic Lantern. Shoes of and Slippers on to watch Coco and his new dog in this loveable Argentinian movie
The self-destructive and needy wealthy teenager Harold is obsessed by death and spends his leisure time attending funerals, watching the demolishing of buildings, visiting junkyards, simulating suicides trying to get attention from his indifferent, snobbish and egocentric mother, and having sessions with his psychologist. When Harold meets the anarchist seventy-nine-year-old Maude at a funeral, they become friends and the old lady discloses other perspectives of the cycle of life for him. Meanwhile, his mother enlists him in a dating service and tries to force Harold to join the army. On the day of Maude’s eightieth birthday, Harold proposes to her but he finds the truth about life at the end of hers. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If I turn out half as cool as Maude when I’m 80 I will be pretty happy, I definitely want an instrument wardrobe and to carry big trees in my car. This movie also introduced me to Cat Stevens who’s soundtrack perfectly matched the madcap, smiley and sometimes somber mood of the film. This was another showing which we did under the stars in the Summer.
p.s. Thanks to Hayley and Luke for introducing me to Harold and Maude!
Dead Man is the story of a young man’s journey, both physically and spiritually, into very unfamiliar terrain. William Blake travels to the extreme western frontiers of America sometime in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Lost and badly wounded, he encounters a very odd, outcast Native American, named “Nobody,” who believes Blake is actually the dead English poet of the same name. The story, with Nobody’s help, leads William Blake through situations that are in turn comical and violent. Contrary to his nature, circumstances transform Blake into a hunted outlaw, a killer, and a man whose physical existence is slowly slipping away. Thrown into a world that is cruel and chaotic, his eyes are opened to the fragility that defines the realm of the living. It is as though he passes through the surface of a mirror, and emerges into a previously-unknown world that exists on the other side.
The first ever Magic Lantern event! Thanks to Tom Davidson for coming to Kerry with the idea to start up a film club in Bath. This time people were met at Bath train station and brought to Kerry’s garden where the cinema was set up, projected on to the back of her house.
We support Awamu, which means 'together' in Lugandan, the main language spoken in Uganda. Women in the projects we fund are supported to earn a living – children in their care are healthier, happier and can go to schools in two of the poorest areas of Kampala, Uganda. 100% of the profits made at Magic Lantern goes to Awamu.