My goodness it’s hot! The mercury is hovering around the ‘seventh circle of hell’ mark, our air conditioning units are using more wattage then CERN, and we all seem to be wearing PVC catsuits – even when we’re convinced we picked out linen blend trousers from our closets this morning. If you’re lucky enough to be on holiday, you’ve undoubtedly headed for the nearest coastline; if you’re stuck in the city, you’re probably reading this from the top shelf of your fridge. In short, there’s no respite from the heat. Well, until the evening rolls round… While the stifling summer days may be a sore trial even for those of us who are the most avid of sun-worshippers, after eight, we’re reprieved, and can set out to enjoy a social programme which includes festivals, concerts and – best of all – that highlight of the season: summer screenings.
Cinemas and clubs all over the island like to go off-piste in July and August. Gone are the action-heavy blockbusters and clichéd romcoms; in come the lesser-known boutique productions, cinematic gems from all over the world. Nicosia’s own Cynema Xanthis 3, in collaboration with the Cultural Workshop Ayion Omologiton and the French Institut, will be showing two Gallic classics on the nights of July 25 and 26, under the title Classic French Film Nights. Taking place in a divine courtyard setting – herbs and flowers nestling among lemon, fig and pomegranate trees around three of the walls, the other a purpose built screen – the two screenings (Eric Rohmer’s 1982 Le Beau Mariage and Rene Clement’s 1952 Jeux Interdits) will be shown with English subtitles and are completely free of charge.
Heading south – both geographically and in cinematic provenance – the Larnaca Cinema Society is also getting in on the summer screening act with a July 25 showing of the Spanish-language drama El Club. A 2015 Chilean film directed, co-produced and co-written by Pablo Larraín, and winner of the Grand Jury Prix at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, the plot follows four Catholic priests in a secluded beach house who are intent on purging themselves of former sins. Aimed at audiences of the 18+ persuasion, Le Club will be screened in its original Spanish with Greek subtitles.
Over in Paphos, the summer screenings continue at Technopolis 20, with a selection of films from local directors. Billed as Summer Cinema Evenings Under the Stars, the series is already well underway (having kicked off at the start of the month) but happily continues throughout the summer and into September. Aiming to “promote the work of Cypriot directors, but also to create a new habit and to bring the audience closer to the art of cinema” these Tuesday movie nights include Nicoletta Dimitriou’s fascinating documentary on The Cypriot Fiddler (August 9), Marinos Kartikkis’ social commentary Family Member (August 30), and Stelana Kliris’ full-length feature film Committed (September 6) which charts a chance meeting between a man who is be being pressured to propose to his girlfriend and a runaway bride.
Finally, if boutique films are not quite your thing but you’re still not prepared to crush into a generic Cineplex, the FANAROMENI16 programme – taking place in the courtyard of the Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus, Nicosia – may be just the ticket. Now in its third year, this open-air cinema series – which takes place most Wednesdays “under the starry sky of the capital” – is set to “bring together film stars of a bygone romantic era, and the stars of today in an evening of entertainment, cultural and social character, and charity”, with proceeds from the sale of food at the venue going to local schools. This coming Wednesday sees Joel Zwick’s raucous 2002 comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding; August 3 will be Brides (a lack of information meaning you could either be in for a Greek film about mail-order brides, or the more likely Hathaway/Hudson pairing of Bride Wars!); and August 31 is the 1989 classic romcom When Harry Met Sally. Continuing in the same vein, September brings audiences The Wizard of Oz, Some Like It Hot and Mamma Mia – all of which will be subtitled in Greek.
Forget trying to tackle the daytime heat this summer: save your energy for the evenings. And get set to enjoy a season of superb silver screenings.
Classic French Film Nights
Cynema Xanthis 3 in Nicosia take place on July 25 and 26. Films start at 9pm. Entrance is free. For more information call 99 435754
At the Larnaca Cinema Society on July 25. 8.30pm. Entrance is €3 / €5. For more information call 99 435754.
In Paphos will be screening films most Tuesdays throughout the summer. Entrance is €3. For more information call 70002420
In Nicosia will be screening films most Wednesdays throughout the summer. Entrance is free. For more information call 22 128157