Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Ah Juicy Fruit

It was Secret Cinema again recently and this time the secret was pretty well shrouded. Wellbeing and Ladbroke Grove tube station were the only obvious clues and directions, two things that don't normally end up in the same sentence. At the station we were shepherded by whitecoats about a mile away towards a derelict building that turned out to be a former hospital, originally The Princess Louise Hospital for Children that opened in 1928. Everyone was handed inpatients overalls before shambling into a crazy maze of overcrowded dank corridors with flickering strip lighting which created an all too convincing asylum atmosphere. It soon became clear that One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was the film as orderlies patrolled the corridors keeping MacMurphy, The Chief and other recognisable loons in check. Booze was handed out at medicine stations to prescription card holders and patients were lobotomised while activities were laid on in the various wards that also screened the film later on to smallish groups providing a more intimate setting than usual. I've seen this classic a number of times but seeing it again here was like watching it afresh with all it's comedy highs, such as the inebriated party in the ward (for which the audience were handed out medicinal vodka shots), to the crushing but redemptive finale. Go Chief Juicy Fruit!

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