The 2011 Belfast Film Festival is well under way and last Thursday night we attended our first Film Festival event of the year. It came only a couple of days before the first year anniversary of us losing our Rocky Horror virginities when we went to see the stage show in the Grand Opera House twelve months ago. This event however was a screening of the film version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) in the Black Box that was attended by Patricia Quinn (Magenta in the film) who gave an interview on the stage before introducing the movie.
Before we made it to the Black Box to meet our friends for Rocky Horror night, Norngirl and I met up after work for a drink at the Duke of York.
After a nice pint of Guinness we headed on to try a restaurant Norngirl had heard good reviews about and that eatery was Hooligan on Talbot Street in the Cathedral Quarter of town. The décor is the thing that will initially stand out, with all sorts of mix-n-match furnishings.
It's quite a sight and probably worth a trip just to sit on who knows what type of chair to take it all in... even the loo's are peppered (like the roof) in newspaper and eclectic art. Then the food arrived. I'd ordered the Fish Finger sandwich and it was absolutley delicious. The chips were perfect and reminded me of those my dad used to cook me when I was young and when he did it he would peel fresh potatoes, par-boil them, fluff them up with a sieve then use sunflower oil in a chip pan until golden brown. I can only assume something similar was done here too - I could have eaten what was a sizeable portion twice over! To go with these home made chips was a sizeable sandwich of breaded fresh fish, garnished and seasoned. It was all absolutely delicious. The presentation of the food was great, no regular plates here, Norngirl's portion of chips even came in a small metal bucket. For pudding we both had the Spiced Plum and Apple crumble with Egg custard. Again the portion size was great and like the main course it was really tasty. For the quality of food and service, the price was reasonable too and I think I would go so far as to say that it is now my new favourite restaurant in Belfast.
Full and happy from our nice meal we walked the short distance to the Black Box met our friends and queued up to present our tickets. Once inside we headed into the main room where there was a small slightly raised stage, a big screen set up to our right and lots of chairs and tables laid out cabaret style between them and the bar.
We found ourselves a table, settled down and got some drinks in and it wasn't too long before some dude whose voice seemed familiar was interviewing Patricia Quinn. The interview was a bit of fun but not the most informative. There were a few random stories, a story of Deep Purple in Dresden and some mention of a memorial Meatloaf didn't attend. Such is the surreal world of showbiz so it seems.
With a fandom styled introduction of the movie from Patricia Quinn we were into the feature presentation of the night as the film started. Like most of the crowd there - we had seen the movie many times before and so, like the stage show, it was one big sing-a-long with the traditional audience participation of heckling the characters.
It was good fun however unlike when I was up dancing with the rest of them at the Grand Opera House last year, I admit that I was one of the few who didn't get up to do the dance to the Time Warp this time. "Booooo!" I know.
I was bopping along in my seat to the songs I like most though and it was great to see the movie on a big screen rather than just on a small TV screen. That really for me is the best bit about the Belfast Film Festival - it gives you a chance to see films as they were meant to be presented and with the audience, who especially in the case of Rocky Horror, really do add to the experience which would never be the same. The funniest audience participantion of the night for instance had to be the during the line "There's no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure" to which the cry from an audience member was "There is in Northern Ireland" or words to that effect.
I really enjoyed the night and it brought back great memories of last years trip to Rocky Horror and also the film festival events. I can't wait now for the rest of the Film Festival events we've booked to go to - like Janet, "I've tasted blood and I want more" - "more, more, more" :)