Somerset House stages London’s best-loved open-air cinema, Film4 Summer Screen this August with an extended programme of 14 nights of films, featuring classics, comedy, romance, musicals and thrillers, presented in the magnificent 18th century courtyard on a giant 17 x 8 metre screen with full surround sound. With early evening DJ sessions, food and drink and special live introductions to selected films, Film4 Summer Screen is the ultimate cinema experience and a highlight of the summer calendar.
This year, Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House is proud to present three premieres over the course of the extended 14 night programme:
World Premiere/Opening Night Film: About Time, Thursday 8 August
A magical new comedy from Richard Curtis in which Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) is able to relive every moment of his life until he gets it right. Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy also star in this “new funny film about love – with a bit of time travel” - which shows that all the complications of life, love, romance and family may well get even more complicated even if you can jump through the days and years. Richard Curtis said “I’m tremendously excited about the premiere of About Time happening at Somerset House. It’s one of my favourite open spaces in London and the occasion - outdoors, in the summer - seems terribly suitable for the movie. It was shot in the summer, the key scenes happen on a big wide open beach and there’s actually a scene in the film where the leading man’s family watch a movie projected on to a wall outside their house.”
UK Premiere/Centrepiece Film: The Way Back, Tuesday 13 August
A wonderfully warm and nostalgic comedy from Oscar-winning writers of The Descendants Nat Faxon and Jim Rash which, despite its coming-of-age perspective, doesn’t shy away from more adult emotions. An awkward fourteen-year-old learns some important life-lessons during a summer vacation with mum Toni Colette and her new boyfriend Steve Carell, although he does his real growing up at the local waterpark under the watchful eye of a supremely laidback Sam Rockwell.
UK Premiere/Closing Night Film: Prince Avalanche, Wednesday 21 August
The UK premiere of this funny and lyrical odd-couple comedy from supremely talented and always unpredictable director David Gordon Green brings Film4 Summer Screen to a close. Serious-minded Paul Rudd and irresponsible Emile Hirsch may have a tenuous family connection but they couldn’t be more different, meaning their summer together painting road-markings in the middle of nowhere threatens to be a long one. A gentle but richly resonant treat, graced by sublime landscape photography and two very memorable characters.
Beyond the excitement of the three premieres, this year's programme contains plenty of established classics and firm favourites. There's extreme sibling rivalry between stars of Hollywood's 'golden age' Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the unsettling, blackly-comic "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?" (Friday 9 August), while there's a more harmonious relationship on display between Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the buddy-comedy-cum-Western-adventure "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid" (Tuesday 20 August). There's more star-power on display, albeit of a more contemporary variety, in the sweet and sexy romantic-comedy "Crazy Stupid Love" (Sunday 18 August), which brings together the talents of Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Steve Carell and Julianne Moore in a tale of multiple interlinked love-lives.
Also in the line-up are two very different streetwise stories that bring a bit of attitude and action to the courtyard. Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra swagger onto the big-screen in the bright and romantic musical "Guys And Dolls" (Monday 12 August), while Oscar-winning Sean Connery teaches Kevin Costner how to walk on the wild side in order to bring down Robert DeNiro in "The Untouchables" (Sunday 11 August).
Elsewhere, two enduring and essential landmarks in British cinema will make for stirring evenings in the courtyard. Director Ken Loach's down-to-earth yet highly emotive KES (Wednesday 14 August) follows the story of a young Barnsley boy who secretly keeps and trains a kestrel, and that's followed later in the programme by legendary filmmaking duo Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger's bold, blazing and swoon-inducing "The Red Shoes" (Monday 19 August), in which Deborah Kerr's prima ballerina finds that success comes at quite a cost. Meanwhile, the eternal face of British drama William Shakespeare is represented in striking fashion in "Throne of Blood" (Thursday 15 August), in which master director Akira Kurosawa hauntingly reinvents 'Macbeth' for the big-screen.
Other highlights include three bumper nights of double and triple-bills to take our audiences deep into the night. A fun and fearsome triple-bill on Saturday 10 August gets darker the longer it goes on, kicking off with the Tina Fey-scripted "Mean Girls" before Stephen King sets the stage for revenge in "Carrie". It all wraps up with a special invitation to intense prom-night horror "The Loved Ones". The following weekend finds monsters emerging into Somerset House on Friday 16 August as Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on an invisible alien in "Predator", followed by the crazy live-action cartoon "Gremlins 2: The New Batch". The night of Saturday 17 August is a celebration of the outlaw spirit as Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek play lovers on the run in Terrence Malick's poetic debut "Badlands", followed by Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter as an odd-couple who can't stop themselves from stealing a baby in the Coen brothers' wild, wacky and big-hearted
For the third year running, American Express’ partnership with Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House enables Cardmembers to benefit from presale and reserved tickets to all shows.
For additional information about the event or to book tickets visit www.somersethouse.org.uk