A few weeks ago for my friend’s birthday, I took her to the Backyard Cinema screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. The idea behind Backyard Cinema is to offer a more immersive cinema experience, and that was something we totally felt from the moment we stepped inside the beautiful London church.
Taking inspiration from Luhrmann’s cathedral death scene, St Mary’s Church in Marylebone was decorated with neon crosses, hundreds of flowers and tons of fairy lights and candles. It was like stepping into another world – the world of the film – and there was something so special about getting to watch such an already unique and gorgeous film in such a unique and gorgeous setting.
The screening started and ended with a choir performing some of the film’s songs. I guess I hadn’t really noticed how great the music is before now, but now I’m hooked on the soundtrack and choral covers of some old classics. (There was no Des’ree’s I’m Kissing You though – I guess nothing could ever live up to the aquarium scene in real life, all the feels!).
For me Romeo + Juliet will always be a masterpiece and it’s a film I can revisit again and again, always noticing new details. It’s such an explosion of colour and noise and chaos (typical Baz), but it’s also so nuanced and subtle too. The Backyard Cinema’s screening was a wonderful interpretation and addition to one of my favourite films, and I’ll definitely be checking out some more of their films in the future.