Having already seen both Joe Cornish’s Alien invasion movie Attack the Block (2011) and the original Die Hard (1988) (the latter at unhealthy amount of times), Film4 Summer Screen’s recent double bill at Somerset House was certainly a mouth-watering proposition – and it didn’t disappoint.
The night started with a ‘Behind the Screen‘ screentalk from Cornish as he discussed his feature length directorial debut. The co-star/creator of The Adam and Joe Show explained the events had inspired him to make the film and what informed its subject matter, referring to how a bad experience with a bunch of youths evolved into the basis of his plot.
Cornish went on to discuss how important he felt it was to portray an authentic depiction of South London youngsters, describing how he even took the film’s concept to groups of young people in the capital to get their feedback on it, receiving what he described as great results and a “bucket-full of ideas.”
Following the Cornish screentalk, it was time to get comfortable for the evening’s opening film, action epic Die Hard. There was an atmosphere akin to a real cult event in Somerset House’s courtyard as the audience eagerly awaited the 80s action classic.
People were drinking, eating and cheering for John McClain (the iconic Bruce Willis) to grace our screen and kick some arse, but first there was a surprise in store for the audience in the form of Alan Rickman. As the saying goes, for every great hero there is a great villain, and Rickman’s Hans Gruber is an emphatic and memorable antagonist that lives long in the memory. As soon as Rickman spoke to introduce the film the audience erupted into spontaneous cheer – it was a genuinely fantastic atmosphere.
Throughout the screening of John McTiernan’s cult classic, the audience cheered and jeered its illustrious heroes and villains as they brimmed with anticipation and excitement during the film’s most iconic scenes and events. Die Hard’s scenes of gunfire and other action seemed immense as the film’s audio track reverberated back and forth between the four walls of the courtyard. Couple that with the picturesque setting of Somerset House and you have one seriously exciting atmosphere. It was a truly captivating experience and one that all film fans should try to find.
Around the stroke of midnight we were given the chance to see Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block. A large amount of the audience had cleared out – presumably for the last tube home – but those that remained made the screening a fun and exciting experience.
Die Hard inevitably proved to be the crowd favourite and it’s hard to contest that. It’s a film that lives on through audience adoration of its clichés and the fantastic good guy/bad guy relationship that exists between Bruce Willis’ alpha male John McClain and Alan Rickman’s, at times camp villain, Hans Gruber.
Film4 Summer Screen provides a perfect opportunity to see your favourite films in full glory – there just really is something special about seeing a film you love under the stars.