martedì 13 maggio 2014

A night at the Nitehawk

Nitehawk Cinema - Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Eating while watching a movie in a cinema theatre? 
NO WAY! I would have answered vehemently until few weeks ago, but now my answer would be: well, why not… Why did I change my mind so suddenly? It's simple: I have tried the Nitehawk cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!
The Nitehawk Cinema (I quote from their website) is New York’s original cinema eatery; an Independent movie house bringing a selective approach to film, food, and drinks. Nitehawk offers audiences an unparalleled cinematic experience by combining exemplary first-run and repertory film programming along with tableside food and beverage service in all theaters.
I didn’t know about this place and I have to thank my friend William who thought of bringing me there when I told him I wanted to see a movie called Under my skin by Jonathan Glazer. He suggested the Nitehawk imagining that I would have loved that cinema and he was damn right!
Their Williamsburg location is a triplex, hosting a 92, a 60 and a more intimate 28 seat theater. You can arrive 45-30 minutes in advance and order your food. The incredible thing is that the cinema team creates specialty dishes and drinks inspired by the films they’re showing. Under the skin is set in Scotland, and look what you could eat while watching it:

In those 30 minutes before the film, they feature something called Pre-show, where they display the whole program of the week. They have such a variety of choices! It is absolutely amazing:
At Nitehawk you can order food and beverages throughout the movie by using a flag system! On each table there are a pencil and a piece of paper, you write down the order and then you post it in front of you. A server comes by and picks it up. Towards the end of the film your server will come by to see if you need anything else, drop off your tab, and take care of payment before the credits roll. I really thought this would have been annoying but it wasn’t. And actually you’re not even disturbed by people eating close to you. What an experience!
A Table with a View!
Under the skin is a very particular kind of film, a true cinematic experience.
Based upon the novel by Michel Faber, relates the story of an unknown woman who spends her time luring men and taking them into a sordid house where the poor guys don’t have the fun they expected. It is not difficult to understand that there’s something very strange about this mysterious and stunningly gorgeous woman, but it is just towards the end of the movie that the audience have a clearer idea of the place she is coming from.

This movie is Scarlett Johansson's boldest career choice, for sure. 
Under the Skin is weird, unpredictable, quite chilly. It's got a very desperate and oppressive taste. It is extremely slow and repetitive. It is one of those films you fall in love with or hate with all your guts after about 10 minutes. Take it or leave it. I personally took it and enjoyed very much every minute of it. Sometimes there are movies able to bring you with them in the most unpleasant places and you are happy to accept it, no matter how gloomy it will be. And this is pretty gloomy, I assure you.
But... maybe it was the scottish landscape (that I love so much), maybe the hypnotic atmosphere, maybe the stillness of Johansson's eyes, I got caught into the movie and I wans't able to get it out until the very end.
Or maybe, who knows, it was just the enormous pop-corn bowl I was eating at the Nitehawk that made the experience so unique.
Another one, garçon!

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