Shaun of the Dead + Land of the Dead @ Somerset House

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Shaun of the Dead + Land of the Dead @ Somerset House

Postby vicious_bastard on Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:38 pm

Good time had by all last night at the Somerset House zombie spectacular. It is one hell of a place to watch a movie - the vast courtyard of a glorious 18th century building which has housed various institutions from the Royal Academy of Arts to the Inland Revenue over the years. The regal surroundings were accompanied by stratospheric beer prices, as I had expected, sneaking in some vodka and orange to ease the aches and pains that four hours sitting on hard granite would surely invoke.

I spotted those bearded twin-zombies from SOTD wandering around early on - sadly, my photographic skills leave much to be desired so it's a bit blurry. DJ Osymyso provided the music, which became more and more zombie related as we neared the start of the first movie. At about 9pm Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, Kate Ashfield and Peter Serafinowicz came out to introduce SOTD urging the crowd to cheer each on-screen appearance of the aforementioned bearded twins (tonight was their birthday) and leading a Happy Birthday singalong.

I have seen this movie 5 or 6 times now, enjoying every one - Nick Frost's comedy genius becoming more and more apparent. The crowd loved it though a lot of them seemed to have disappeared by the time Pegg & Wright emerged again to introduce the "English premiere" (Edinburgh having shown it the night before) of Land Of The Dead, complete with a brief history of Romero's movies and urging us to cheer on the various awesome zombie-killings we were about to witness. Oh, and to watch out for their brief cameos.

LOTD is very short. Good news for my rapidly forming piles but bad news for the movie - while it had everything I expected, some decent shocks and some great deaths, there were a few too many plot lines going on for my liking which drew focus from the zombie onslaught and their leader's awakening. Romero is clearly still a master of the genre, but having seen so many cheap rip-offs over the years, this new movie doesn't have the same impact that his other work did the first time round.

I missed most of the political undertones (terrorism, right) - need to watch it again. But the message seems clear. Holing yourself up in a fortress solves nothing - the walls which protect at first, imprison before long.

Finished at 1am - man, driving through London late at night is awesome - empty roads. Home to find all but three of my photos are blurred enough to have been taken by a zombie. Next time I go to one of these I will be prepared - picnic hamper and ass-padding. Again, fantastic venue. Good work FilmFour!

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If you squint you can make out two identically hirsuite, dwarfish forms.

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Postby John-Locke on Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:57 pm

Nice one Bastard, I'm going to see LOTD on Friday, Romero is meant to be there. Hopefully I'll get to have a photo taken with the great one. I filmed once at Somerset House and at the end of the shoot my feet had serious arthritis, I wouldn't want to sit on that stone all night, I hope your piles aren't too bad.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:03 pm

Great stuff Bastard! Thanks for sharing it with us! This post is a great example of what the forum could be used for in the future. Festival reports and photos etc.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:20 pm

Nice job, you Bastard! I wish I could've been there for that!
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Postby bluebottle on Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:05 pm

awesome, bastard... looks like you had fun! sounds like a dream night.
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Postby Brocktune on Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:45 pm

man, you dudes in the u.k. get some good ass film events over there. you guys also had that really cool episode 3 premier that G. Luc attended, and you guys got to see all 6 star wars flicks, AND have the London Philharmonic perform music from the films as well. man, you couldnt ruin that show, no matter how bad the prequels suck! and you guys also have like a travelling japanese classics circuit or something like that, thats showing shit like Onibaba, In the Realm of the Senses, The School of the Holy Beast etc. man, im glad to be half english, but it makes me so jealous that i cant afford to attend!
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Postby vicious_bastard on Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:03 pm

Yeah, but you guys get BNAT and that QT festival thing which sounds like a dream. Worth flying to Texas for. I might try and go next year. Harry's marathon road trip sounds awesome as well. Once Upon A Time In The West screened in Monument Valley?!? Close Encounters at Devils Tower! Real genius. I wish there was something like the DRAFTHOUSE in London.
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