Preview: Night & Day: The Arena Time Machine at Regent Street Cinema
On Saturday 3 February, Regent Street Cinema plays hosts to a unique, landmark cinematic event in partnership with BBC Arena and Heavenly Films.
Night and Day is a completely new cinematic experience. Sourced entirely from the unique treasure trove that is the archive of Arena, the world’s longest running arts documentary series. It has no beginning, no middle and no end, simply the time you choose to start watching, how long you stay watching and the time you choose to leave. Its narrative is simply that of night and day itself, edited to a precise audio visual experience of the times and date on which its screened.
The Arena archive provides an inexhaustible supply of scenes from all over the world and protagonists who range from ordinary people to some of the most famous of the past century - Mandela to McCartney, Amy Winehouse to Catherine Deneuve (below), Johnny Rotten to Antonioni.
Drawn exclusively from Arena’s archive of over 600 films, Night and Day is edited to link the time in the film to the time in the location of the screening – if it’s dawn on the screen, it’s dawn outside the cinema.
Night and Day has screened as a continuous television presentation, tailored to each time and place in numerous locations:
At the Telluride Film Festival
On screen at the Cambridge Film Festival for 24 hours
As an art infiltration all over the City of Cambridge
As part of an exhibition of the story of Arena at the University of Brighton
At New York University
As a 24 hour installation at the Carroll Fletcher Gallery
This free screening at Regent Street Cinema will run for 8.5 hours in perfect sync for the afternoon, evening and night-time. Audiences are encouraged to come and go as they please.
BBC Arena began in 1975, it has won numerous awards from all over the world, including 9 BAFTAs and the Special Medallion at the Telluride Film Festival for its ‘commitment to cutting edge documentary film making’. Martin Scorsese, director of three Arena co-productions observed that, Arena has been home to some of the very finest non-fiction film making.;
Regent Street Cinema was built in 1848 and housed within the Polytechnic Institution on London’s Regent Street, the cinema was the first in the country to show moving pictures. In 1896, the cinema showcased the Lumière brothers’ Cinématographe to a paying audience, and, as the curtain fell, British cinema was born.
After being used as a student lecture hall by the university since 1980, it was restored into a working cinema featuring a state-of-the-art auditorium as well as an inclusive space for learning, cultural exchange and exhibitions. It is a truly landmark venue for the British film industry in the heart of London’s West End.
The cinema is one of the few in the country to show 16mm and 35mm film, as well as the latest in 4K digital film. It offers exclusive premieres, repertory screenings, retrospectives, documentaries, animation and experimental cinema. You can also experience double bills, showcasing the best of home-grown British talent, world cinema and classic movies in a classic environment.
Night & Day: The Arena Time Machine will be shown on 3 February at Regent Square Cinema, 309 Regent Street, London. The event is free throughout the day and night.