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Secret Cinema presents:
Back to the Future
dir Robert Zemeckis
scr Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
prd Neil Canton, Bob Gale
with Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F Wilson, Claudia Wells, Marc McClure, Wendie Jo Sperber, George DiCenzo, Frances Lee McCain, James Tolkan, Billy Zane
release US 3.Jul.85, UK 4.Dec.85
Secret Cinema UK 31.Jul-31.Aug.14
85/US Universal 1h56
You built a time machine out of a DeLorean? Lloyd and Fox
In a space-time rift in East London: Secret Cinema's Hill Valley
SECRET CINEMA PRESENTS
BACK TO THE FUTURE (2014)
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E
You enter Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event the same way Marty McFly arrives in 1955 Hill Valley: through the Peabody family's barn, then through the houses to the town square, which has been recreated in astonishing detail in an apparent space-time rift right between Westfield Stratford and the Olympic Stadium.
The entire town has been lovingly recreated, and it all works: you can get your hair cut at Elite Salon, watch Cattle Queen of Montana at the cinema and send a letter to a friend. You can also buy clothes, comic books, records and of course burgers, fries and milkshakes at Lou's Cafe. You can wander through the classrooms and lockers of Hill Valley High School, then into the gym, where the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance is underway, complete with spiked punch.
Outside, there's a funfair with rides, arcade games, cotton candy and more food. And if you enter a gap between two shops, you may find yourself magically transported back to 1985. Buzzing through all of this is a crowd of some 3,500 attendees, dressed 1950s-style so the cast members are indistinguishable. These actors are up to all sorts of things, dragging you into scenarios from the film and generally making you part of the show as the parade kicks off around the town square, where a band plays a series of 1950s hits so everyone can have a good dance while waiting for the sun to set and the movie to start.
All of this gets the audience in the perfect mood to see a film that still feels remarkably fresh after all these years. So the audience cheers as the actors re-enact key scenes around the square in sync with the movie, and on a remarkably large scale. It's a thrilling way to relive a classic.
He may have won his Oscar for Forrest Gump, but this is Robert Zemeckis' masterpiece, a near perfect convergence of comedy and thrills that's packed with memorable characters and sparky interaction. And even after having seen the film over and over, it never gets old: packed with hilarious details, the twisty plot is funny and exhilarating, while the characters become more endearing on repeat viewings. Lloyd's Doc Brown is especially indelible, and his chemistry with Fox is wonderful.
There's even a strong message about the power of imagination and tenacity, plus an astute comment on bullying, although Zemeckis and Gale cleverly leave these in the margins of the story. So it's no surprise that a film like this has inspired the bright sparks at Secret Cinema to create their biggest event yet. There may have been some planning problems in getting the event off the ground (the first four nights were cancelled), but it's hard to believe they'll top this.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S
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© 2014 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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