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360 Screenings – Amelie

360 Screenings Amelie
Photography Credit: Alex Neary – Wild Eye Photography

As a violin and accordion played in the background, a lone man intently watched a soccer match, a mime performed, a singular bespectacled woman sat behind a desk adorned with a goldfish bowl, and an elderly man could see it all from his second floor studio. Decadent pastries were passed around as others carried pieces of fresh baguettes, and most in attendance at a French-theme Valentine’s Day party cheered and chatted with a glass of wine.

There were wistful writings on the wall as love filled the air and a romantic mystery quickly unfolded. February 14th marked the fourth installment of the ever-growing and innovated series 360 Screenings, an immersive film event shrouded in secrecy designed to liven up the movie going experience.

Following up a Halloween party that saw 28 Day Later as the surprise film, co-founders Ned Loach and Robert Gontier brought curious and passionate cinephiles to The Artscape Wychwood Barns for a celebration of boundless love and incurable charm—brought to you of course, by the French.

It seemed nearly everyone in the sold out show clued in quickly. A classic film infused with French style and filled with oddities and quirk; there could be no other. And surely the lovelorn French man searching for a shades-wearing pixie meant only one film: Amelie.

The much beloved 2001 film by Jean-Pierre Jeunat, starring Aubrey Tautou as the innocent and enchanting titular Parisian girl, was greeted by applause and carried on throughout with laughter and cheering.

While at times it may be difficult for those unfamiliar with the film to fully enjoy the interactive part of the evening (not the food and drink, that’s easily and often enjoyed by all), the film portion is then enhanced. What better setting to watch a popular and timeless film than among an engaged and eager crowd that reacts the right way at the right time? It’s like going to a theatre on opening night of a popular film, except just about everyone there knows they will enjoy it ahead of time.

If you missed the big night, 360 Screenings look to return for show Number Five in May, and as always, when you sign up, you won’t know the film, and won’t receive the location or instruction until the day prior. From their track record of selections, however, and the width and breadth of the interactive experience, these guys know what they are doing. So start guessing now, and get in line.

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.