Friday, February 21, 2014

More community film in Dubai

Now that cooler weather is back in town, I thought I'd make the best of it and check out some now-outdoor free film screenings in Dubai. Some are old traditions (well, "old" relative to the Dubai pace), and some have just started out. Here are the ones I enjoyed this past month.

Following the merging of their DIFC gallery into the Bastakiya XVA Art Hotel's gallery space, XVA Gallery's film screenings now take place in the hotel's courtyard cafe. They have had a screening almost every Wednesday, and while the films have ranged from black-and-white classics to 90s cheese, there is seems to be a theme for each month. The hotel itself is lovely, with the rustic ambiance of the converted old merchant quarter along the creek, art pieces installed here and there, and light vegetarian and pescetarian food at the cafe to munch on while watching. One can also check out the gallery's running exhibition at the hotel. Charlie Chaplin films were on in January, so I caught a show of the Chaplin anti-Nazi classic, The Great Dictator, on January 29th.

I also went to the launch event of LOCO'MOTION, a new community cinema initiative, which screened the anti-consumerism/conformism documentary, I'm Fine, Thanks, on February 1st, behind The Archive in Safa Park. They plan to screen films on the first and third Saturdays of every month, and probably ones in similar genres. The grass can be damp, so it would be a good idea to bring a lawn mat.

The Emirates Golf Club Poolside screens a double feature at their outdoor poolside projection area every Friday evening, starting with an animation or children's film, followed by a live action one for grown-ups. The menu's priced at hotel rates, but they do throw in a free tub of popcorn, and you can watch the film(s) while comfortably lounging by the pool on deck chairs, surrounded by palm trees. Here, I watched Open Season on Friday, February 21st.

And if you'd like to unwind and clear your mind with a light B flick, the Pyramids Rooftop Gardens at Wafi hosts a late evening (and free) open-air show every Sunday. I caught a screening of the romcom, When in Rome, on the 26th of January; it was not as bad as its rating, in my opinion. The audience space is pretty large, with a bar and food service (and, of course, many sit-down restaurants around), a stepped section at the back, and plenty of beanbags. If world cinema is more your thing, they also host an Alliance Francaise French film screening on the first Monday of each month, thanks to which I was able to watch Sport de Filles early in January.

1 comment:

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