Friday, July 29, 2011

Scala Forever!

On the subject of King's Cross (see Wednesday's post), next week sees a six-week season of Scala-inspired double bills showing at cinemas across London. The season comes complete with a programme replicating the design of the Scala's own lurid programmes from the 1980s and early 90s.

The programme stays loyal to the Scala's unique choice of films, always a bizarre mix of arthouse, foreign, porn, horror and mainstream. Highlights include double and triple bills from the Scala's favourite sleazy directors John Waters, Russ Meyer and Dario Argento; cult classic porno films Liquid Sky and Cafe Flesh; Santa Sangre and Tetsuo: The Iron Man; a healthy dose of Fassbinder, Herzog, Kieslowski and plenty more besides. Finishing the season is the film that bought down the original Scala: A Clockwork Orange.

All that's missing is the actual experience of seeing a film at the Scala (which is now a pretty good music venue). Surrounded by a bizarre audience of art students, raincoat brigade, women knitting and the two resident cats, a Scala experience back in the day was often more harrowing than the films they showed. Especially after an all-nighter of five films, emerging into the daylight of King's Cross on a Saturday or Sunday at 6am, it was often hard to know when the films had ended and reality had began. I distinctly remember seeing a scary-looking, almost naked prostitute (presumably – King's Cross was famous for them, once) walking slightly drunkenly along the pavement on such a morning. I wasn't sure whether I was still in a John Waters or Russ Meyer movie.

Scala Forever runs from 13 August - 2 October 2011.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Double Bill Me

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