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Abovegroup hosts Picture House at HOME

Sunday, February 1, 2015
Classic cinema in an outdoor setting at HOME. Photo courtesy Abovegroup

Taking in classic cinema under the stars is an enchanting way to spend a Thursday night. That was the consensus among audience members on January 22 as St Clair-based design company Abovegroup hosted the latest edition of Picture House, featuring La Haine. 

The screening took place at HOME, a multifunctional, creative work-hub space on Scott St, St Clair. Home is a partnership between fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee and Abovegroup.

Members of the public were invited (via Facebook and e-mail) to bring their blankets and refreshments and watch the movie on the rooftop. Over 100 people turned up.

Fellow Home “residents” north eleven, who have facilitated outdoor screenings for the ttff (Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival), Green Screen Environmental Film Series, and others, had set up a huge inflatable screen on the flat, paved roof. Guests mingled until the 8 pm start time and, after a brief welcome by the Abovegroup team, the movie began.

French film La Haine (Hate), a gripping drama in black-and-white, held the rapt attention of the audience, with its affecting story of inner-city youth in Paris, seemingly trapped in a cycle of anger and violence. Three friends must negotiate hostile race relations, poverty and lack of opportunity, and a war with police in their embattled tenement.

The Picture House series was created by Abovegroup managing partner Gareth Jenkins, who started off showing movies for friends in his back yard. With the additional support of Abovegroup, Home and north eleven, it has grown in scope. Previous screenings featured Dr Strangelove and Easy Rider, both in 2014.

Speaking on the choice of La Haine, Jenkins said: “I chose (it) for its powerful portrayal of the alienation of young people on the fringes of society. 

“While this film was made for a previous generation, it is very much relevant today, as we have seen with the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris and beyond. History has a way of repeating itself—a lesson worth bearing in mind.” 

He said Picture House is getting bigger “while keeping the backyard vibe”. 

“We’re going to be building on the atmosphere and context of the film though music, design, fashion and more.” —Gillian Moore


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