Film House: A pop-up cinema making something new, by bringing back the old
Nathan McMillan | On 09, Jun 2018
Film House is an upcoming pop-up cinema co-created by Portia Hunt and Michael Brooks. We recently reached out to Portia to learn more, and she described the driving idea behind the project; “We wanted to move the viewing experience out of the cinema auditorium for the night and create a fun event for film lovers”.
The community aspect of movie-going is something that we rarely notice or take for granted when sitting in a cinema. It’s always a different experience when an entire theatre is fully invested in what they are seeing, something that only being in a cinema can give you. That is what Film House is trying to capture with this event, but on a smaller and more intimate scale. Speaking on the venue; Mowbraytown Hall in East Brisbane, Portia mentioned, “We wanted to start small, inside the hall there is this charming studio, which was the perfect setting”.
A pop-up cinema has the advantage of choosing different locations for each event, and Brisbane is full of places that would be the perfect setting for a pop-up. We asked if their were any fantasy locations that Film House would want to use in the future; “I would personally love to do something at the Enogerra Reservoir, Ithaca swimming pool, The High Church, or some of the beautiful rooftop bars”, just to name a few.
But it wouldn’t be a pop-up cinema without something to watch, and Portia was excited about their first screening, a documentary from 1975 called ‘Grey Gardens’. “It’s a film that is fiercely loved by people and then there is this audience that have never heard about it”, she continued to touch on briefly about the film, “The story of this mother and daughter is extraordinary, the fashion is iconic, and is full of quotable lines”. Documentaries often get lost from peoples attention, and are never the first pick on Netflix, but ‘Grey Gardens’ is one of the most famous and critically-renowned. So If there was a ‘1001 Films you need to see before you die’ list, it would definitely be on it.
Speaking of Netflix and the ever-increasing giants of streaming services, we asked Portia how she felt about their effects on the community aspect of film watching. “It makes us a little more hesitant to leave the comfort of our own home”, she said. With Film House she hopes to create something that will get people to turn off their televisions and lap tops.
With the addition of Film House to Brisbane’s slowly growing screen culture, we wanted to know Portias thoughts on it as a whole, and from someone involved within it. “I think there are people out there who think that screen culture is a bit dead in Brisbane”, she said; “We’re not Sydney or Melbourne and I wouldn’t want us to be, but there are a lot of options and free events out there for people that are interested in film”. Brisbane definitely has the potential to have a unique screen culture and offer something different than our fellow east coast cities, and Film House is trying just that.
For some parting words, we asked about the hopes of the future of Film House; “Ideally, I would like to see Film House as a monthly occurrence in Brisbane. Further down the track I’m hoping to create some events with a focus on women in film, such as retrospectives on female directors and actors who have made a huge impact over the years”.
What: Film House
Where: Mowbraytown Hall – 26 Mowbray Terrace, East Brisbane, 4169
When: June 9
More Info: Facebook Page