Albert Hall Hosts Festival Of Film

In Features by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

The Royal Albert Hall will host its first ever Festival of Film this year – celebrating the magic of the movies, while shining a spotlight on cinema’s most stunning scores.

From 27 October until 6 November, the programme will cater for all tastes, jam-packed from dawn till dusk with immersive movie and music experiences, including a host of screenings, intimate jazz and classical concerts with a film flavour, and a series of exhibitions, talks and tours, all underlining the Hall’s status as both the country’s biggest cinema and one of its most iconic movie locations.

The Festival Of Film will comprise 27 events across 10 spaces, including a Soundtrack Silent Disco in the venue’s underground Loading Bay, a Halloween screening of horror masterpiece, Nosferatu, and a special 60th anniversary celebration of Hitchcock’s immortal The Man Who Knew Too Much – the most renowned of the many classic films shot at the Hall – including a screening, talk and guided location tour.

Lucy Noble, Director of Events at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “Film is a vital part of the Hall’s history and we are thrilled to present this diverse and innovative programme, celebrating some of the best scores – and stories – in cinema.

“The Hall has screened movies from the early days of silent cinema, and since 2009 we’ve pioneered ‘film with live orchestra’ presentations, hosting hugely popular performances of classic films with classic scores, like Singin’ In The Rain, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and The Lord Of The Rings.

“With the Festival Of Film, we’ve gone further, creating a season with something for everyone, from a storytelling session for 0-4s to an underground silent disco, musical talks from historian and acclaimed film composer Neil Brand, and orchestral presentations of Aliens and Jurassic Park in our iconic, 5,000-seater auditorium.

“So come and experience your favourite movies – and movie music – in an all-new way, whether delving into the science behind Jurassic Park, following in the footsteps of Jimmy Stewart or enjoying a crash course in scoring love scenes, all inside a building that’s a film star in its own right!”

Other events include an Education & Outreach workshop based around Pixar’s Up, a late night film quiz, the Comedians’ Cinema Club – in which top comics improvise a version of Jurassic Park – and a BAFTA-backed exhibition of movie posters, showcasing countless classics, including some of the finest films shot at the Hall.

The Hall has appeared in more than 40 movies. It was recreated, mentioned or featured in four Alfred Hitchcock movies, with the director shooting both versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much at his favourite venue, and has been a popular film location since the 1940s, when it starred in British classics Major Barbara, Love Story and The Seventh Veil.

It has since graced movies as diverse as spy drama The Ipcress File, Oscar-winners A Touch Of Class and Shine, Bollywood smash Bombay Dreams and, erm, 1997’s Spice World, while legendary directors like Woody Allen, Dick Lester and Michelangelo Antonioni have all chosen to shoot at the Hall.

Other cinematic claims-to-fame include hosting the first UK screening of Fritz Lang’s silent epic, Die Nibelungen, and the Royal World Premieres of three Bond movies: Die Another Day, Skyfall and Spectre. All of those events, and many more, will be covered in a talk from the Hall’s Archives Manager, Liz Harper, on 29 October.

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