After the huge success of last years Big Screen in the Park at Exeter’s Northernhay Gardens, it’s very exciting to hear they’re returning this year, thanks to Exeter Phoenix, for another SEVEN nights of big-screen cinematic escapism with comedy, animation, classic horror, musical and science-fiction all bringing their best.
If you’re new to this game, it’s an opportunity not to be missed as outdoor cinema really brings forth a unique atmosphere, whatever the weather. The fun thing about these events is also the opportunity to take as many people as you can muster with you, and for Big Screen in the Park they even take away the hassle of thinking about what food and drink to get beforehand by offering a great selection out there to buy on the night. They’ve even got picnics available when you pre-book, if you fancy it.
August 7 – Four Weddings And A Funeral (Book here) – Mike Newell‘s 90’s comedy classic that set Hugh Grant up as a worldwide icon for British floppy-haired foppishness but all the while does it charm, style and warmth from a Richard Curtis script that’s never wavered, even some – whisper it – 23 years later.
August 8 – Monsters Inc (Boo(k) here) – I’m not saying Pixar came from nowhere but their ideas and craftsmanship continue to inspire, even if some (sheltered) souls thing they’re just animation. Monsters Inc is an absolute Pixar classic and follows the adventures of Sully and Mike, two monsters voiced by John Goodman and Billy Crystal, who change the way their world sees the human world… forever.
August 9 – Psycho (Book here) – The quintessential Hitchcock thrill-ride that still finds itself among the all-time greats. Anthony Perkins‘ Norman Bates goes down as one of cinemas most unforgettable characters in a film that offers up twists and perfect suspense. If you’ve never seen it, beyond recommended.
August 10 – Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Book here) – A wonderful choice from 2016, directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi and set there, this unique indie comedy follows an unlikely pair, rebellious kid Ricky (Julian Dennison) and his foster uncle Hec (Sam Neill), who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.
August 11 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Book here) – This is basically the Star Wars film you never knew you needed in your life. Directed by Gareth Edwards with a tremendous cast, this is set before Episode IV A New Hope and finds an unlikely team combine to steal the plans for the Death Star. It’s a smart entry to the entire Star Wars universe and you won’t be disappointed.
August 12 – La La Land (Book here) – Unless you’ve literally been in hiding for the past 7-8 months, then you can’t have failed to have, at least, to have heard about Damien Chazelle‘s multi-award-winninig modern musical classic that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a jazz pianist and aspiring actress, respectively, who meet in LA and fall in love… or do they? You’ll have to book to find out!
August 13 – Donnie Darko (Book here) – An absolute all-time favourite of mine closes the wonderful week of films as we see a young Jake Gyllenhaal take on time travel, high school, psychotherapy and a six-foot imaginary rabbit called Frank in Richard Kelly’s 2001 cult classic. It’s October 1988 and a small town is about to witness the end of the world… but what role does Donnie have in this unique and bizarre event? It’s a must-see.
So, there you have it, find your favourites and book your Exeter Big Screen in the Park tickets now! In the past, I’ve attended evenings with Life of Pi and tigers, Tippi Hedren at Somerset House in London, and recently at Exeter’s Double Locks with the magnificent Jaws, every time the surroundings add something unique to the occasion.
Head to their site for more info as well, if you fancy it: bigscreeninthepark.co.uk