24 hour cinema marathon, 24 hours of cinema, 24 hr cinema marathon 2015, Alfred Hitchcock, all night movie night, anime, Army of Darkness, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Billy Zane young, Bruce Campbell, Canadian whiskey bacon donut, Cartems Donuterie, Cinematheque Vancouver, earl grey donut, French Sci Fi, Groundhog Day, High Noon, James Stewart, La Jette, Mamoru Hosoda, Memento, orlando, Peggy Sue Got Married, Primer, Rope, Run Lola Run, The Girl who Leapt through time, theme of time in cinema, Tilda Swinton, Vancouver's Best Donuts, Watch La Jette Online, Western
It’s been over a week since I took part in this delightful event put on by the Cinematheque and I can easily say it took me a good few days to catch up on sleep! Introduced two years ago this is only the second time they have put on this event so I felt it was good timing I happened to be here and was meant to be! Once I heard about it I thought I just have to do it. With a line up of 15 films, that of which you are not told, the event kicked off at 10am and would run for a full 24 hrs with a few breaks in between. I had only bought my ticket the night before and didn’t realise it started at 9.30 with a talk so arrived pretty much smack on 10 and the film was already in its opening credits. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the day, just that there was a theme (again not disclosed) and we would discover this theme as we watched the films.
The opening film was Groundhog Day, which although I have seen countless number of times, still works its magic. I’m used to watching this film around Christmas time so felt quite strange watching it in a dark room on a sunny morning in March but what the heck I still enjoyed it! The second film of the day was a little gem, Chris Marker’s La Jette, a film which many Sci Fi films have since been based on. Only 28 minutes long the film is made up entirely of black and white still photographs with voiceover and tells the story of Scientists who decide to send a man into the past to try to prevent the nuclear war that has almost destroyed the earth and threatens to annihilate the human race. This was the only non feature length film of the night and definitely left an impression on many people. Third up it was the wonderful Hitchcock film Rope which was probably one of my favourites of the day. Again I had seen this before back in A level Media Studies however it still felt so fresh and new and has one of my favourite actors in, James Stewart who as always was fantastic. I loved that the camera never pauses and follows the action of the whole event as if you are in the theatre watching a play. Some shots were executed wonderfully such as the shot of the door swinging open and dropping the rope into the drawer. His films are completely timeless. By this point in the day thoughts that the theme was time or entrapment in time of some thought had spurred to mind and time indeed was the theme. It was four films straight with as little as five minutes break time in between, just enough to refill your coffee, before we had a good 20 minute break. After film four which I can’t even remember now, we were treated to some of the tastiest donuts I have ever had, from Cartems Donuterie. There were over 7 different flavours, some amazing ones being the maple walnut and the Canadian whiskey bacon. I absolutely loved the vanilla bean raised one and tried the earl grey one too. There were so many I just had to try a few. Someone clever had cut them up in half which meant I could take about 6 pieces and not look too greedy!
We were treated to Memento after the break which was then followed by Mamoru Hosoda‘s The Girl who leapt through time, a beautiful animation about a girl who finds out she can travel through time and change events to her advantage, however she soon realises that everything does not go to plan. By 7.10 we were almost hitting the half way mark and had a chance to leave the cinema, get some fresh air and head somewhere for some dinner. By this point the sun had set so it felt even nicer to be chilling in the cinema and watching films for the evening. Orlando featuring Tilda Swinton giving a strong performance as a young nobleman who is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young, was the film after dinner and although a wonderful film, I started to feel the time pass slowly as I watched it. It was fun however to see a young Billy Zane with his long flowing locks pop up as a love interest! The rest of the films kept coming and I somehow managed to nod off during Primer, probably the one you’d be advised not to nod off to as when I awoke I could make no sense of the film at all! I perked up however for Run Lola Run as it is a film I’ve wanted to see for some time. I was practically on my last leg falling asleep before this film started but pushed through and thoroughly enjoyed it. Several of the films explored the idea of an alternate ending due to nature of time and I was convinced Sliding doors would be up next but I think that would have been too much! By this point a few people had snuck out and not come back, more breaks were being used to stop by and get some coffee. The staff had been wonderful with popping in quarterly and throwing prizes to the audience and holding a bigger raffle price too. There were only 5 films to push through and I think once you pass a certain point you can just keep going. Peggy Sue Got Married added a fun romantic comedy element. I slept a little through this one but got the jist of it and saw enough of Nicolas Cage with his crazy hair to enjoy the majority of it! There were punches in the air and shouts when Army of Darkness was announced and I’m ashamed to say I have never seen any of the Evil Dead films so had no idea what was going on but Army of Darkness was throughly enjoyable and I’ve been informed this is the least favourite of the series so will need to get cracking with those! The penultimate film of the night shown at 7.05 am was of course Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I have seen this film SO many times I did consider leaving but then thought I can’t really as there is only one more to go. That being said the final film for me was a little bit of a let down. Fabulous cast and I do love a Western but High Noon just didn’t quite swing it for me. Nevertheless it definitely did for others as there was cheering and all sorts going on when the titles rolled. There was a communal good feeling when 10am hit as those who were left seated yet standing inside had survived the marathon. 24 hours, 15 films later, we had travelled through time ourselves in cinema and explored different places, cultures and decades. Would I do it all over again? You bet, and I imagine everyone else would too.