Tickets, please, for festival of classic and cult movies at old bus garage
CLASSIC and cult films will be screened alongside archive footage of Nottingham at The Bartons Spectacular Spectacular!
The three-day festival takes place at the former bus depot in Chilwell this weekend.
"This garage used to house the Barton company's fleet of buses that operated for more than 100 years," says Vicky Fenton, of the Cambridge Film Trust, which has organised the event with the help of The Broadway cinema.
"The iconic buses will be parked up alongside classic cars, providing some of the seats for the audience to watch a host of spectacular entertainment."
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Among the films screened will be classics from over the decades, including Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton comedies, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, Steven Spielberg suspense thriller Duel, plus The Third Man, It's a Wonderful Life, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The festival runs from Friday to Sunday with screenings on each evening and two matinees.
Alongside the two big screens showing the main features will be a rolling programme of film of travel in Nottingham provided by the Media Archive of Central England (MACE).
"MACE footage will include the last trolley buses to run in the Midlands, a drive through Nottingham in a historic Barton's bus and the question of whether it's OK to eat fish and chips on the top deck!" says Steve Wallace, of Bartons.
"There will also be local material showing the Lace Market area and plenty of Nottingham characters.
"The projectors will sit on a 1940s Matador truck and staff dressed in original Bartons uniforms will talk visitors through the history of the vehicles on display."
Accompanying a selection of clips from classic silent movies such as Big Business in Silent Transports of Delight will be pianist Neil Brand.
"The beauty of a show like the one at Bartons is that there is such a joy about silent comedy," he says.
"People laugh louder and longer at the antics of Keaton and Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy, than with sound comedy. This is partially because purely visual comedy connects with us in a more potent way."
Mr Brand has been a silent-film pianist for 30 years.
"It wasn't a career choice but one I fell into," he says.
"I could always play by ear, even from when I was very young. If I heard a piece of music I liked, I would play the piano endlessly until I found the chords and the melody."
The first film he accompanied was Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jnr.
He says: "It was a revelation. I was able to improvise music in response to the images. At the end of the film, I had no idea what I had played but it worked.
"I joined the National Film Theatre and began to experience the whole repertoire of silent cinema, finding the music to go with it. Pretty soon, I was regularly composing for radio drama."
His work has taken him to film festivals around the world.
"I have travelled a good deal doing this job, another unexpected bonus of doing a job which is supposed to have died out in 1929!"
The Bartons Spectacular Spectacular! starts on Friday at 6pm and runs until Sunday evening.
A real ale bar and gourmet catering will be available all weekend.
Tickets are priced from £6 to £10 per screening and are available in advance from Bartons, in High Road, Chilwell; Broadway (0115 952 6611); and the Royal Centre (0115 989 5555).
For the full programme of screenings and to book tickets online, go to www.bartonsplc.co.uk.