Coming soon to a canal near you: London's floating cinema returns

We’re nostalgic old things here at LondonlovesBusiness.com, so we heartily suggest rejoicing in this glorious sunshine by indulging in that most traditional of London past-times: sitting by the banks of the Thames, watching horror films projected by a 60-foot canal boat in a spectacle dreamt up by two artists who met at the Edinburgh College of Art.

That’s right, you cultural, kooky and just plain curious cinephiles: the Floating Cinema is back. It made its triumphant first outing in 2011 upon London’s waterways, and artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie describe it thus: “The Floating Cinema was an initially temporary commission to create a water-borne cinema space which would spend summer 2011 navigating the canals and waterways around the Olympic Park in East London.

“Somewhere developed the programme of events and screenings for the cinema, thematically relating them to the geography and communities of the waterways.” It attracted more than 5,000 visitors in its debut year across its various locations (it’s floating, remember).

It made a come-back in 2012 thanks to support from The Legacy List, the organisation tasked with ensuring the cultural legacy of the Olympics around London.
This year it launches on 27 July at the Open East Festival in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will feature screenings and other happenings and will run until 30 September under the banner Extra-Ordinary, curated by director Steven Shell.

One weekend will focus on horror films, including a screening of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. (We’d also suggest Jaws, Lake Placid, Dead Calm, It Came From Beneath The Sea, etc etc.) Other events include newly commissioned feature films, a floating tour of London’s burial grounds, and a travelling talk on the microscopic creature that live in London’s waterways.

Pope and Guthrie said in a statement: “We wanted this year’s programme to say that it’s London’s ordinary people that make its culture so extraordinary, and to spotlight some of those people and what they do in life, as well as to make sure they are at the heart of the programme as an active audience.

“The Extra-Ordinary theme offers a celebration of the overlooked and ‘ordinary’ in life, and brings to the fore the brilliance to be found on our doorstep.”

 

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