This was a night of firsts for me. Not only was it the first time going to a Jameson Cult Film Club night (or any type of organised film showing night) it was also the first time seeing Hitchcock’s, “The Birds” – shocking I know, however this meant I went with no preconceptions about what to expect.
The location for showing was St Paul’s Church, set in a wet St Paul’s Square in the heart of Birmingham. This was the first time the Jameson Cult Film Club had been to Birmingham, adding to the night of firsts. We approached the church to find an eerie green glow through the stained glass windows, which set the scene perfectly. The rain obviously hadn’t deterred people away because when we made our way in through the big church doors most of the pews, which would be our seats for the duration of the showing, were already full. Candles were lit, the church organ present at the front was being played and fake birds were perched in the rafters and projected on the ceiling which all helped with creating the atmosphere.
Armed with the free cocktail tokens, my date for the night, Samantha Lyster formally of The Times, and I made our way to the bar upstairs. It was here that I started to spot the actors walking around, dressed and narrating in character to those in the film. I of course could not relate however upon reflection they were pretty spot on with the characterisation. The Jameson cocktails on offer were lovely, not a whiskey drinker myself I was pleasantly surprised how it could be made into something fruity, light and easy on the palette.
We spotted in the far corner a photo opportunity to pretend to have been attacked by birds in front of a specially created backdrop by local graffiti artist ‘Victor TX’. Whilst in the queue to be snapped a member of staff added the finishing touches to our face by applying a long streak of blood from our eyes to look as if we had been pecked. We stepped in front of the backdrop, posed in a dramatic style, as if the birds were just above and Christine Tellier, the photographer, snapped us. This was very fun to participate in and a nice touch.
We grabbed a hotdog and popcorn (a little pricy) and made our way to the pews to find seats. Here an actor helped us into our seats as if the birds were attacking and every now and again a woman screaming, “The birds are coming” would run down the aisle. Little touches that added to the overall mood in the dramatic setting. The film itself I found to be actually rather funny as oppose to scary, but this is for me made it charming to watch and at these moments the whole congregation laughed together. Samantha however was ducking and diving all over the place through out the film whenever the birds were relentless in their attacks. The sound of the birds and their wings was certainly chilling.
All in all I would say the night a success. I enjoyed the complete production Jameson put on as well as the film itself. I would thoroughly recommend others to attend one of their Cult Film Club nights if the opportunity arises.