The Red Bulletin June 2019

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Secret Cinema

Blade Runner, Canning Town (2018)

“We didn't want to break the spell, and playing the Vangelis soundtrack would do that,”

says Bennett. “So we took the music from Taffey’s Bar, because it’s a place in the film.

We stretched 18 seconds of Arabic-style dub into six hours of low-end exotica.”

Broccoli. She listened, asked very astute

questions, then said, ‘Yeah, you can do that.’

Next, I got hold of the film’s director, Martin

Campbell, and said, ‘What were you thinking

when you filmed Casino Royale?’ He said,

‘I looked down the camera lens and asked

myself if it was real. And if it was, I filmed it.’”

Jackson, shrewdly, won’t reveal the

contents of the show. “We’ve got a casino –

that’s not too much of a spoiler,” he laughs.

However, fans of the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock

thriller North by Northwest may find the prescreening

narrative familiar. Jackson also

name-drops Sébastien Foucan, the founder of

freerunning, who played bomber Mollaka in

Casino Royale’s opening chase in Madagascar.

“Seb’s been in and out a few times,” he teases.

What Jackson does promise is an

opportunity for everyone to live out their 007

fantasy in a way that no one, except perhaps

the Bond actors, has had the chance to do.

“Spielberg said we go to films to watch people

making the choices you wouldn’t make in real

life,” he says. “We’re putting these choices in

the hands of the audience. You get to a point

where the audience are the performers. That’s

what a Secret Cinema show is.”

“When we bring films to life, that also means

whatever message those films have,” says

Riggall. “When we did One Flew Over the

Cuckoo’s Nest, we worked with mental-health

charity Mind and integrated fundraising

awareness. This year, with Casino Royale,

we’re working with Calm, a charity that raises

awareness of mental health and male suicide.

The film is very honest about what James

Bond goes through, and it’s interesting to

allow that to be part of the story. One gesture

can change your life and sometimes that

thing is cultural. For me, it was cinema. It’s

important to create experiences that can be

a conduit for change.”

Casino Royale is the first Secret Cinema

that Riggall has delegated control of, handing

the reins to veteran theatre director Angus

Jackson. “It’ll be the biggest indoor show

we’ve done – twice the size of Blade Runner,”

says Jackson. “It’s 1,500 people a night, 50

performers. This is closest to when I ran the

entire Rome season at the RSC [in 2017],

when we built a four-show Roman world for

Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Titus

Andronicus and Coriolanus. That collapsed

in on itself in the space of a year.”

It also heralds a deeper partnership with

the film creators. “I had to pitch to Barbara

Riggall and Luhrmann on stage

at 2017’s Moulin Rouge

There’s a desire

to escape our

looped existence”

Fabien Riggall may be a master of

secrecy, but he’s quite open about some

of the plans he has for Secret Cinema.

He wants to take it global. “We’ve done

teasers in Berlin, New York, to see how can

that works. Universally, I think people want

experiences that are mysterious, to become

part of a bigger thing. In the US, cinema has

a cultural resonance, and bringing these

experiences to a country where entire towns

transform for Halloween is interesting. And

when we start going to places that don’t speak

English, how do we translate that?”

As for which films he’d like to do next:

“Titanic. The richness of that world could

be huge. The question is, how are we going

to build it, sink it and then get it back up

every night? I’ve always wanted to do Secret

Cinema on a train. And ET – to have everyone

cycle to a forest on BMXs, strap them onto

wires, then they fly over the screen and we

never see them again.”

Riggall may be joking about ET, but

there’s one idea for the future that he’s

serious about: “Once Upon a Time in America,

set beneath Brooklyn Bridge. Transforming

a district of Brooklyn into prohibition New

York, with Morricone and a live orchestra.

I’m definitely going to propose that to

whichever mayor of Brooklyn we have

to talk to. I think that’s possible.”

Secret Cinema presents Casino Royale

launches on June 5; tickets.secretcinema.org

SECRET CINEMA/AL OVERDRIVE/MIKE MASSARO

52 THE RED BULLETIN

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