Cycle Cine: An Experience

Cycle Cine

Words by Benjamin Pinsent

Cinema is more than a passive act, to feel the full experience one must be active. As The Rabbit walked into the amphitheatre on a damp Monday evening they new that this would be a cinematic experience like no other.

It was starting to get dark, and threatening to rain, but despite the drizzle people still sat outside under the gazebo and on the blankets that had been placed on the ground. There was a feeling of camaraderie between all those who attended, like we were all part of a secret society, hiding in plain sight: lovers of good film.

The Rabbit Film Section grabbed a few words from Francesca Passacantando (president of the Art House Society) and Calum Macmillan (Vice President) to see how the event and the society was formed.

Looking rather nervous about the event Francesca said that she had felt that the various film societies at the university were not offering what she wanted to see. She had been complaining to her friends about the fact that she could not see any alternative cinema – a passion of hers. When she decided to do something about it, she mentioned it to a few people and interest grew from there.

The Monday screening of David Lynch’s ‘Wild at Heart’ was part of a bigger film festival designed to get public attention for the society.

But wait, there is an important detail that The Rabbit Film Section has failed to mention, all electrical equipment is powered by bicycles. I asked Calum where he got the equipment from.

Interestingly enough the pedal powered projector is local to the area, through contacts at ‘Moving Image’ (an independent cinema based in Wivenhoe) they managed to find the right man for the job. But it didn’t come cheap, the Cycle Cine is being sponsored by Carbon Awareness, so everything is absolutely free.

Though this isn’t really our forte I must say that there was a brilliant set before the film by the university’s very own ska band ‘Ska-2-D2’. The Rabbi Film Section and a friend tried cycling to power ‘Ska-2-D2s’ set, and though this may sound corny, we both felt like we where part of the band. We were not playing instruments, but we were doing our bit to bring something to the masses.

Shortly after, the heavens opened and we all had to move into an LTB building. Though this meant that we couldn’t get the full experience of the outdoor cinema we were still able to enjoy Lynchian machinations on the concept of reality, the American Dream and his approach to L. Frank Baum’s ‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’.

Every one had a blast including this very happy critic who, after watching Nic Cage and Willem Defoe try to out weird each other, came away wanting more. It is not an experience to pass you by, with a festival so easy to access geographically and financially any one who claims to be a fan of film should say “I was there”.


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