After an extremely long and agonizing wait, the summer is now officially here. Unfortunately, the UK doesn’t offer much in the way of elegant and tropical weather conditions. This often means that us Brits are forced to get creative in order to enjoy the (occasionally) sunny season. This year however, breezy beer gardens, cloudy BBQ’s, and showery seaside visits may be a thing of the past. While experts haven’t miraculously discovered a way to reverse global warming or swap Africa’s climate with our own, Time Out may have us covered!
The highly renowned travel magazine celebrates its golden anniversary this year, and once again looks to maintain its firm grip on cultural relevance and sophistication. As an exciting Summer treat for movie fans, Time Out has brought back their incredibly successful ‘Movies on the River’ event. As London’s first ever opportunity to watch your favourite classics on the Thames, the experience is an absolute must for film fans across the country. THN was fortunate enough to be invited to its opening night, which included a fantastic screening of the Academy Award-winning The Shape of Water.
Even with our well-documented track record of patchy Summer’s, THN was treated to a pleasantly warm evening for the event. After boarding the surprisingly large and luxurious boat at around half eight, it was clear that there was a palpable excitement for the night ahead. Despite a short delay and slightly longer wait than anticipated, fellow film enthusiasts remained positive and eager to board.
Upon entering our water-side vessel, we were handed a pair of stylish wireless headphones, as well as an absurdly soft blanket to prepare for the obligatory chills that would accompany nightfall. Once boarding had completed, people quickly started to reflect their British roots by gravitating towards the bar. After acquiring a quick bag of popcorn and large glass of red wine, we were directed upstairs to the top deck for the main event. Blankets at the ready, an appropriate amount of selfie-taking, and a beautiful view of London’s famous Shard. We were ready for the night to begin.
While the first act of the evening was intended to be a sunset cruise along the Thames, this was unfortunately cut short due to technical issues. Staff were gracious, apologetic, and incredibly polite about the situation. Guests were also offered an extra complimentary drink, and the opportunity to re-book the event. Fortunately, this didn’t dampen the mood. The novelty of sipping wine on the top deck of a boat, awaiting an open-air screening of Guillermo Del Toro’s magnificent critical darling was enough to maintain the air of enthusiasm and privilege. It wasn’t long after that before the screening commenced.
For those that have been living under a rock (or in the sea) for the past six months, The Shape of Water is a beautifully dark fairytale from the man who brought us Pans Labyrinth, Crimson Peak, and both Hellboyfilms. The film revolves around a mute woman named Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), who works for a secret government facility in 1962 which secretly houses a humanoid amphibian creature. Elisa begins to fall in love with the creature, and quickly devises a dangerous plan to free him from the clutches of ruthless military colonel, Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon).
As a film that has redefined the fairytale for modern audiences in a time of fear, war paranoia and an ever-shifting political climate, The Shape of Waterhas become an instant classic. Its dark and murky aesthetic is beautifully juxtaposed with the innocence and optimism of true love from the most unexpected of places. Time Out could not have picked a better way to kick-off this years ‘Movies on the river’ series. The visual spender of the film, alongside the view of our wonderful capital from the Thames, was an experience to remember and a truly special way to celebrate the Summer.
For more information on future events, including screenings of Jaws, Dirty Dancing, and The Greatest Showman, head over to Time Out’s official website.