In-person film festivals have taken a big hit due to COVID-19, and even though there’s a vaccine, there’s still no clear indication as to when most non-virtual fests can get back up and running. But the Göteborg Film Festival has come up with a unique solution: watching movies like a remote lighthouse island. For the most part, Göteborg is going virtual, but they’re also offering something called The Isolated Cinema, which will allow one fest-goer to watch 60 movies, alone, for seven days, on “the island of Pater Noster is inaccessibly located at the very edge of the archipelago in one of Sweden’s most barren, windswept locations.”
The Isolated Cinema
Have you ever wanted to go to a secluded lighthouse island, alone, and watch movies for seven straight days? I know I have, but up until now, such an idea seemed like a fantasy. But the Göteborg Film Festival is making it a reality with The Isolated Cinema, which allows one person to watch 60 movies, alone and isolated, in the middle of the ocean.
As the website puts it, “One solitary film enthusiast will experience total isolation from the outside world. No phone, no family, no friends. Just you, the sea and the festival’s film program with 60 film premieres. For seven days,” on “the island of Pater Noster, which “is inaccessibly located at the very edge of the archipelago in one of Sweden’s most barren, windswept locations.”
I know some people might think this is a weird, even unappealing idea – but to me, this sounds like heaven. Completely alone for a week, watching movies, while waves crash against the rocks? Oh, and there’s a lighthouse? Yes, sign me the hell up, please. Needless to say, this is a limited offer – only one person will be chosen to partake in the Isolated Cinema, and you can apply to be that person right here.
As CNN explains, the lighthouse “was deactivated in recent years, and the lighthouse cabin was recently renovated by design agency Stylt, so the chosen film fan will be able to relax in comfort and style. The living room will be set up as a screening room for movie-watching, while food will be provided for self-catering.” Artistic director Jonas Holmberg adds: “The stay at the island will be perfectly safe. The person will have a soft bed and nice food. This is not about surviving.”
And now for some fine print: the festival-goer won’t be entirely alone. Much like the hit TV show Lost, someone else will be hiding on the island – but only for safety reasons, so you don’t have to worry about the machinations of Ben Linus and the Others. “If everything goes as planned, they will never meet during the seven days,” adds Holmberg. Honestly, this just makes the entire endeavor sound all the more intriguing. You think you’re alone on this island, but there’s actually someone hiding somewhere. And who knows, perhaps that someone is Willem Dafoe’s character from The Lighthouse, and he’ll be asking you why you spilled your beans before the week concludes.
If you’re chosen to go to the island you will also have to record video diaries about their experiences, which makes this whole thing a kind of social experiment. “We are interested in how the audience’s relationship to films changes under those circumstances and wanted to explore this relationship by taking it to the extreme – isolating one person on a small rock in the sea for one week with films as the only company,” Holmberg says.
The experience runs from January 30 – February 6, 2021, so you should probably act quickly.
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