Jameson Cult Film Club: ‘The Usual Suspects’

Last night, CineVue were honoured to be invited along to the latest Jameson Cult Film Club event, with an exclusive themed screening of Bryan Singer’s 1995 cult crime classic The Usual Suspects – starring Kevin Spacey, the superb Gabriel Byrne and Chazz Palminteri – at London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf.

As with a few of Jameson Cult Film Club’s previous events, logistic issues once again reared their ugly head. Comments on their Facebook page wall from disgruntled ticket holders – some of whom waited over two hours in line only to be turned away – highlights some of the shortcomings that JCFC will have to overcome in order to compete with event cinema’s big boys such as Future Cinema (the organisers behind the hugely popular Secret Cinema series). However, with a key sponsorship role at this year’s 55th BFI London Film Festival, Jameson look to be strengthening their position in a wildly competitive market.

After a relatively lengthy, non-themed boat trip from Westminster pier to the event site at Trinity Buoy Wharf, JCFC showed their trump card with some entertaining theatrics (roving police officers, a boat, a set of charred bodies) and a selection of moorish Jameson cocktails. A mock-up of The Usual Suspects’ infamous line-up scene invited waiting guests to join the gang, squeezing in next to a gentleman bearing a pretty impressive likeness to Spacey’s Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint.

After a few drinks and a spot of exploring (one of the gems of the event site was an American-style diner – a permanent fixture – serving reasonably-priced hot dogs, cheeseburgers and chips, which not even an ill-timed power-cut could keep down), the dispersed guests were ushered into the main, lighthouse-adorned building for the film itself. For anyone who hasn’t seen Singer’s The Usual Suspects – please consider amending this as soon as possible. In a crowded genre, Singer’s crime drama certainly stands up when compared with established classics such as The Godfather (1972) and Goodfellas (1990), complete with a fine ensemble cast and a meandering ‘whodunnit’ tale of back-stabbing, double-crosses and a mythical Turkish underworld kingpin know only as ‘Keyser Söze’.

Jameson Cult Film Club may well have some way to go to compete with the myriad other similar pop-up events that the nation’s capital has to offer, but if it keeps picking films as strong as The Usual Suspects or Gareth Edwards’ Monsters (2010) to theme their screenings around, things can only get better.

For more info on the Jameson Cult Film Club, visit jamesoncultfilmclub.com

Daniel Green