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.
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 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 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.
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.