Magazine article Screen International

Watching the Audience

Magazine article Screen International

Watching the Audience

Article excerpt

Learning from the laughs of 8,000 strangers.

Those of us on 'the circuit' can get accustomed to seeing films mostly in press or industry screenings (at best) or even Vimeo-ed on our laptops rushing from one place to another, and can forget the thrill of that collective experience of experiencing a new film with an audience who paid for their tickets, who didn't drink too much champagne at an industry party the night before, and who certainly haven't been 'tracking' a film's potential for months.I was reminded of that experience on a grand scale in Locarno this week, as I joined about 8,000 other people at a free outdoor screening of Bachelorette in the famed Piazza Grande. The projection (and even the sound) were the best I've ever seen at an outdoor event and of course the setting itself is lovely (especially if the weather is nice - poor Ben Wheatley sat in the rain with about 40 people seeing Sightseers the night before, when torrential downpours had driven most people to an alternate indoor screening.)

What's most magical about the Piazza Grande is experiencing a film with that many strangers simultaneously. …

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