Sitting on the edge of our Freshers’ Fair desk, tired and fairly sleep-deprived after three days and over a thousand confused first years, I think we had all acutely realized that immersive cinema was a pretty alien art form to most. We used to dream of people who had heard of Secret Cinema. It’s amazing then that six months and three immersive events later – the third of which, Black Swan, opens on April 25th – we still haven’t really come up with a succinct explanation of immersive cinema to copy and paste into situations like this. But here goes another attempt.
Immersive cinema is the collaboration of a number of different art forms into a single night of unique, unexpected fun. It aims to recreate the world of a particular film before, during and after the audience have taken their seats. The means of doing this is different from project to project: the unpredictability is part of the experience. However, usually this involves the recreation of set pieces from the film in which the audience can play an active or passive role. For example, our last immersive project, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, saw confetti cannons and balloons being released from the balcony during the famous ‘Twist and Shout’ carnival scene, among other surprises.
Black Swan, in association with Keble Arts Festival, seeks to capitalise on surprise even further. Dark and moody, the film is an marked change from many of those we’ve adapted before. But this has been a challenge we have really relished. Audience members can expect to be charmed, confused and hopefully even scared by an evening of immersive psycho-sexual horror.