Monday, 22 November 2010

secret cinema - november'10

i've talked about the fabulous secret cinema before here and have had to resist writing about my recent trip until now as this time the film was on for a fortnight - so the contents of the event and film had to be kept secret till the last screening.  now that everyone knows that it was 1975 classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest i am free to post photos from our trip last saturday (photos courtesy of Faddy Shamas & Noreen Meehan).  what a gas! initially we had to congregate outside Ladbroke Grove tube station equipped with dressing gowns, slippers (i wore my lovely monster feet), a toothbrush, a photo of someone/thing we love (i took a photo of my bicycle) and a stamp (all props to be used later on).  there we were met by serious looking american-accented orderlies in white outfits with black bow ties - at which point our suspicions were confirmed that it was definitely 'Cuckoo'. we were then herded round the back streets to reach an abandoned part of a local community hospital where we were handed our patient gowns and told to go inside the 'asylum' for our journey to begin.  the SC crew really did a great job with the whole affair - with doctors doling out assessments and prescriptions, medication stations to collect booze, art, yoga and music therapy areas and food (calpol flavoured donuts!) provided by the brilliant Bompas & Parr  - who were also experimenting with ether cocktails which resulted in some rather interesting effects.  we had so much fun exploring the venue and chatting to the "patients" that i must admit i sadly missed most of the film - but the whole experience was fantastic and i'm looking forward to the next one.

 Niel & I...on our way to the asylum...
 Faddy & I have a lucid moment...
 Nurse Ratchett gives me the evil eye...
 Doctor, Doctor...there's something wrong with my feet...
 a spot of group therapy
 i wonder if now is the time to raise my suspicions about this doctor's credentials
 Mandy participates in a little music therapy...
interestingly the Oregon State Insame Asylum, where the film was shot (tho not the location in the book)  has been in the news lately because part of it isre-opening after some refurbishment.
also...rather strangely, i came across this fascinating article the other day about "cremains" found in tins at the asylum.  the collection of copper urns came to light in 1914 when the state decided to use the land where dead inmates had been buried so they exhumed the bodies, cremated them and put them into these tins - they all originally had labels identifying whose remains were contained within but most have decayed and disappeared over the years. in 2005 photographer David Maisel made a book of photographs of the tins - creepy but beautiful.


  1. "A triumph!" -The Lancet
    "Five stars" -BMJ
    "fookin ace" -Dr Hugh Jarce, c.Diff (Hons.), M.R.S.A. Univ of Ebola, Namibia

  2. high praise indeed, thanks awfully, Dr Jarce.
    PS: can you come round and take a look at my pootah - its arsing about.