Hailed as London’s most beautiful outdoor cinema, attending the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House is a lovely experience. People bring picnics, blankets and cushions to stake out their spots early in Somerset House’s ornate courtyard, which accommodates 2,000 filmgoers.
Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire is not the first film you’d think of to watch in an outdoor setting, a fact noted by Film4 Channel Editor David Cox in his introduction to the movie. It’s a subtle but beautiful story about angels in Berlin who constantly watch over humans, delighted by their idiosyncrasies but detached from both the harsh and wonderful realities of our world.
And yet it worked perfectly, the film’s soulful, soaring scenes offset by seagulls circling while its industrial landscapes were enhanced by the occasional helicopter across London’s night sky.
Due to London’s inclement weather, the Summer Screen programme only runs for 10 screenings and I had observed yesterday’s rainy weather with increasing trepidation from VL towers. Thankfully it cleared to deliver a soft, balmy evening for the film. I guess the angels watch over Somerset House as well.