Paul the 80s movie duck

A couple nights ago I went to something called Folly For a Flyover.  It is a cinema space that some architects and artists set up underneath a road overpass in a east end neighborhood called Hackney Wick.  There seem to be a lot of people right now in London interested in ‘re-purposing’ public space or using spaces that are not really used for much else, but that exist.  From the creators: “Hand-built with local, reclaimed and donated materials, the Folly draws influence from the surrounding red-brick buildings of Hackney Wick, posing as an imaginary piece of the area’s past, a building trapped under the motorway.”  So there you go: reclaimed materials, imaginary past.

Anyway the space was quite interesting.  I took a bus line that stops near my house all the way to the end, and then walked a bit with another confused person to the underpass.  The site is actually right next to where the 2012 Olympic park, which seems to be in a lot of people’s thoughts as they think about London’s cityscape these days.  There were a few people there and many more showed up, with many bicycles.  Even Paul rode his bicycle there.

I managed to get a ticket to the show and they had drinks and popcorn and bagels inside (there wasn’t a kitchen or anything). The space is pretty simple: the screen underneath the road, with the rows of seats using the natural incline from the base of the underpass to where it almost meets the road above.  It seemed to be able to fit a fair number of people.  I’m bad at guessing numbers, but maybe 300 people?  Quite a few.  Next to it they had made a little building with brick-shaped pieces of wood, and inside there was the cafe.  It looked like a very big game of jenga.   The wood bricks must have been stuck together somehow, and generally didn’t move, but I did at one point happen to be standing next to a piece that sort of spun around when you pushed it.  This did not lessen the jenga feeling.

The people there were all very hip, of course.  Once everyone gathered in front of the screen, I realized why I like seeing movies around other people again.  It was a very convivial, friendly, goofy, tipsy crowd.  Of course I’m not sure you get these same elements at most movie theaters, and my mood is usually ruined after half and hour of commercials anyway.   They are mostly showing cult 80s movies and/or animation here; tonight they were showing Flash Gordon along with a couple shorts (pictures below).  I had not seen Flash Gordon before and so didn’t realize that it’s FUCKING HILARIOUS.  And it wasn’t just the effect of being around so many other people who were very wiling to laugh and cheer.  By the end I almost thought the makers of the movie must have been aware of how ridiculous they were being.  They were aware, right?

Anyway, between the space and the movie and the crowd I had a pretty good time.  From what I gather, these spaces proliferate in the summer, for obvious reasons.  I also think there is a lot going on in the run up to the Olympic games though, in terms of wanting to make the area more of a destination (rather than simply ‘up and coming’).  I mean, this whole project is funded from a grant from Bank of America through this thing called CreateLondon, itself funded by a mix of public and private money.  But fun is fun, I suppose.

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2 Responses to Paul the 80s movie duck

  1. Pingback: “it will be like living in a concrete prison, but I suppose I don’t mind that to a certain point” « ducks & turtles

  2. Pingback: artists and athletes of to-morrow « ducks & turtles

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