Culture Films News, Article, Blogposts, Culture, Environment, Ethical and green living, Film, Film blog, Olympic Games 2012, Recycling, Sarfraz Manzoor, Waste — August 2, 2011 13:47 — 1 Comment
Films on Fridges: from cold mountain to cool cinema
It’s why London is the coolest city on the planet, last year I saw a pop-up cinema on a disused garage forecourt in Clerkenwell, but this is truly inspired, hope they show Ice Cold in Alex!
It is Britain’s coolest new pop-up cinema and the only one inspired by a load of rubbish. Films on Fridges is the brainchild of 25-year-old American Lindsey Scannapieco and it is inspired by “Fridge Mountain”, the 20ft high pile of discarded fridges that towered over the London district of Hackney until its removal in 2005. Films on Fridges is an outdoor venue where the screen is surrounded by fridges, the bar is made of fridge parts, and fridge doors are incorporated into the seating arrangements.
Scannapieco was researching east London while studying City Design at the LSE when she first heard about the dumped refrigerators. “Fridge Mountain seemed to be part of urban folklore,” says Scannapieco. “Something which spoke to east London’s industrial past at a time when the area was changing. I thought it would be fun to resurrect it and create something that was both educational and playful.”
Cinema felt like the perfect medium in which to celebrate sport and thus Scannapieco and business partner Mat Triebner came upon the idea of a cinema that would explore the juxtaposition of the old, gritty industrial Hackney and the regeneration of the area in time for the Olympics.
“There was a huge amount we had to learn,” Scannapieco says. “We had to understand how film licensing works, we had to develop partnerships, get insurance, get portable toilets – and we had to find some fridges.”
Emma Rutherford, an architecture student at London Met University was tasked with transforming the vision into reality. The fridges were sourced through Sims Recycling Solutions who operate a huge fridge recycling operation in Newport. Sims arranged for 150 fridge doors to be loaded on to a truck and transported to London. “We didn’t charge for the fridges because we are going to pick them up when the project is over and they’ll be recycled again,” says Sim’s Jacqui Simpson. “The reason we are taking part is that we see this as a public education exercise. We want more people to know that the metals you can get out of fridges – as well as cookers and lawnmowers – can be reused rather than mining virgin metals out of the ground.”
The site of the pop-up cinema is close to the original Fridge Mountain – the exact spot where the mountain stood is now the Olympic aquatic centre, designed by Zaha Hadid. “We had one week to build the set,” said Scannapieco. “We had an army of volunteers. There was a core team of 10 but there were 30 last Saturday and all together there have been around one hundred volunteers doing everything from painting to creating seating to cladding the fridges.”
Films on Fridges ends on 13 August; and as the Olympic redevelopment is dominating the area, the festival is screening films inspired by sports. The opening night was a sell-out screening of Rocky, while other films have included Jamaican bobsleigh comedy Cool Runnings, Olympic flagwaver Chariots of Fire and, West Indies cricket doco Fire in Babylon.
While some may come to the festival for the sheer peculiarity of seeing a film in a fridge-themed cinema its organisers hope that visitors leave with a greater awareness and appreciation for this part of east London. “We wanted Films on Fridges to be a playful, creative but also educational installation,” says Rutherford. “There will be people who come to see a film who never knew about the fridge mountain, so even if this switches a light bulb on in people’s heads and makes them more aware that would be good – so long as it’s an energy-saving light bulb.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010