01 September 2013

Southwark Film Festival and Other Southwark Fun

Although Maltby Street is inarguably cool and there are plenty of swankier areas near the Thames, the parts of Southwark that surround Burgess Park don't usually have much to offer in the way of dining and entertainment. This weekend, though, Burgess Park played host to a mini outdoor film festival. They screened Inception on Friday night, and last night it was the turn of Italian Job — the original, of course, starring Southwark son Michael Caine, who was born in Rotherhithe and grew up in Elephant and Castle. To my shame, I've never seen the original Italian Job, but I quite liked the remake (I'll watch most things with Mark Wahlberg).

Armed with enough chairs, blankets, popcorn and margarita mix to last a weekend, we made the short walk to Burgess Park and set up camp in front of the Old Library. Before the movie started, they showed some footage from the Southwark archives, including a rather creepy clipping about The Centre in Peckham, which seemed to involve bribing post-war Peckhamites into being guinea pigs in health research by offering a place with facilities so fancy the subjects never wanted to leave.

The film screening itself was great fun. It started to get rather chilly last night, but the aforementioned blankets kept us pretty snug. The only problem came about ten minutes from the end when the DVD froze, just as the red Mini was trying to drive into the bus. They had to replay the five minutes leading up to this scene about three times before it eventually worked, by which point, we were all shouting out the lines and singing along with the prison inmates (each time the DVD started, Michael Caine's most famous line from the film — "you're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off" — would also blast out of the speakers, accompanied by the audience).

The Southwark Film Festival continues next weekend, with screenings of Chaplin and Keaton and Edward Scissorhands in Peckham Rye — the latter is, apparently, bike-powered! There are also more free film events this month, as part of the Peckham & Nunhead Film Festival.

I spent most of the rest of the weekend in Southwark too, nipping over the river only to grab a coffee from Tonic Coffee and to continue my unsuccessful hunt for a soft and semi-sheer but relatively slim fitting white t-shirt.

1. Colour-coordinated cocktails at The Botanicals Bar. 2. Sweet treats at Comptoir Gourmand's Maltby Street home. 3. "Did you say Purrmondsey?" 4. Fruity street art in Bermondsey. 5. Leaping up the Shard. 6. The view from Waterloo Bridge. 7. Macchiato from Tonic Coffee in Golden Square. 8. Flowchart advertising in Soho. 9. Bermondsey Square geometry.

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