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Sunday, June 02, 2013

Sean Kelly

360 Screenings Kicks Off Second Season with Insanity

After launching last May, 360 Screenings have found success through their series of interactive theatre installations based on popular films (which are also screened).  Another goal of 360 Screenings is to showcase the various historical venues around Toronto.  Venues showcased in the first year include The Burroughes (Ghost, May 2012), the Fermenting Cellar at the Distillery District (Fight Club, August 2012), the Berkley Church (28 Days Later, October 2012), and the Artscape Wychwood Barns (Amélie, February 2013).  I managed to check out the first two events and, despite being initially underwhelmed, I came to understand what the event was all about.

one_flew_over_the_cuckoos_nestI returned to 360 Screenings this weekend for the first event of the second season, which was based around the 1975 Oscar-winning film One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  The event was held at the Christie Mansion along Queens Park and the biggest difference from previous events is that there were now three shows over the course of two days:  Two evening shows on Friday and Saturday, plus an afternoon show on Saturday.  This is clearly meant to allow more people to attend, since 360 Screenings has now become popular enough that they regularly sell out.

As per the theme, the Christie Mansion was made up to feel like the psyche ward from the film.  While waiting to be let in, nurses came outside and started offering “medication” to the attendances.  Once inside, you were greet by the bowtied orderlies, who gave you a tour of the facilities. You can have conversations with “Dr. Spivey,” check out the electroshock therapy equipment, or most humorously, participate in "Nurse Ratched’s" group therapy sessions.   The therapy sessions were the most interactive and enjoyable part of the evening.  I have to admit I cracked up laughing when the Ratched character pointed out some embarrassing features of the way I was sitting. 

While the previous two 360 Screenings events I attended had food provided, this event had a paid sandwich bar catered by Rebel Food Inc.  It is not really a complaint (the sandwiches were relatively inexpensive), it is just merely an observation.  Also in a nice little touch, because the mansion belonged to the Christie of Mr. Christie cookies, all patrons were given a free bag of either Chips Ahoy or Oreos on their way out (I picked the latter).

Now in it’s second year, it is obvious that 360 Screenings is here to stay.  While the event is aimed more towards a theatre crowd, despite the cinematic theme, I still find these events to be enjoyable and I looking forward to seeing how they continue to improve in the year ahead.

Here is a slideshow of photos I took during the event:

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).