Scala Beyond festival
Celebrating alternative film with screenings across the UK
The rise of the sanitized multiplex will never fully erase the down and dirty charm of the cult cinema event. Scala Beyond, a festival celebrating independent cinema exhibition, embarks on a six-week nationwide tour this autumn taking inspiration from London’s once famous repertory cinema the Scala. ‘We want to fill the land with cinemas of all shapes and sizes, whilst promoting the variety of film programming that is currently out there,’ says Scala Beyond producer Michael Pierce. ’It appeals to all audiences, of all ages and locations - anyone who wants to experience something different.’
Following on from 2011’s successful Scala Forever festival in London, Scala Beyond features such arcane delights as a double bill of remarkably fusty musical cheese with Xanadu and The Apple (25 Aug) at the Roxy in London, or even an event dedicated to the deathless talents of Parker Posey across two cinemas in Hackney (15 Sept).
Yet access to such ephemera is rarely on offer to cineastes north of Watford; who would dare write to their MP bemoaning the lack of local screenings for Strip Nude for Your Killer (Roxy, 16 Sept)? ‘This isn't just about cult movies - the aim of the season is to spotlight the diversity of films that exist outside the mainstream multiplex cinema programming.’ says Pierce. ‘Whilst this might seem limited to cities, it’s exemplified by the film society movement in rural cinemas.’
In practice that means that Edinburgh audiences can visit the newly opened Summerhall for a double bill of Czech New Wave curio The Cremator, paired with Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove. (19 Aug). And the same venue opens its Anatomy Lecture Theatre for a screening of Georges Franju’s influential horror Eyes Without A Face (Les Yeux Sans Visage) (25 Aug).
Scala Beyond have enlisted the support of such august bastions of public life as Edinburgh Zombie Club to offer a double bill of Jack Starrett’s supremely corny Race With the Devil alongside proto-slasher Sleepaway Camp (29 Aug). And in the same city, KinoKlub presents Jan Svankmajer’s equally disturbing animated take on Lewis Carroll, Alice (31 Aug) in a charity shop basement.
In Glasgow, the GFT exhume Tod Browning’s Freaks (4 Sept) and The Old Hairdressers in Renfield Lane playing host to a weird and wonderful double header of Monte Hellman’s Beast from Haunted Cave and Turkish superhero knockabout Three Mighty Men (29 Sept). It’s time for audiences to take one step beyond…
Scala Beyond plays around the UK from 18 Aug to 29 Sep.