As part of the Cairns Festival going on this week they have a huge screen on the lawn of the lagoon and they've been showing free movies each night. Sadly, I didn't fully realize this until last night. On Monday night they showed "Strictly Ballroom", an Australian film I watched on Netflix before I moved Down Under. I really enjoyed the film and would have loved to have seen it again... Anyway, last night was the first night of the Big Screen Film Festival in Cairns. I only knew about the movies last night and tonight from an advertisement I'd seen in the paper. Had I been down to the lagoon at all this week I'd have seen the signs for the other screenings. The Big Screen Festival portion was playing old silent films from the National Film & Sound Archives and there was a live band providing some of the accompaniment. They did have a few, short documentary type films explaining about the Corrick family (you can read more about this fascinating family here) and their inclusion of films into their musical performances. They showed several of the films from their collection, which "offer a rare insight into the way Australians first experienced cinema. The collection includes silent novelty, comedy, chase and travel films, only a few of which were made by the Corricks themselves." There were also some films explaining the production of silent films in the early 1900's. They also had some old commercials, and if you think ads are long now you should see how long some of them were back in the 1920's!! I also never realized that they had "color" films so early in the 1900's - they hand painted each frame using glow-in-the-dark pigments (mostly made from things that will kill you, like uranium). My knowledge of silent films consists of watching "Singing in the Rain" and Charlie Chaplin's "City of Lights" so that might explain my surprise.
Call me crazy, but the other cool part of the night was the promotional seating they were handing out. It's this awesome invention called The Bum Box. They're corrugated cardboard seats that fold flat for carrying and opens to a triangular prism back rest. They're actually quite comfortable and I found them to be ingenious.
|*this photo is from the BumBox website*|