Does it get better than this? A balmy summer night. Picnic blanket. Some good food. A couple of Matso’s beers. And a movie under the stars!
Outdoors cinemas have exploded in popularity across Australia, and there’s none better than Barefoot Cinema. Matso’s is stoked to jump on board with Barefoot this summer, as it returns across four spectacular Victorian locations. We sat down with Barefoot Cinema Founder Julian Grant to discover what makes Barefoot so special, and to find out his ‘pick of the flicks’ from this summer.
What’s so special about watching a movie under the stars at Barefoot Cinema?
What defines Barefoot from any other outdoor cinema experience (or any other cinema experience for that matter) is that we offer an experience transcends the standard theatre session by making the most of our majestic and awe-inspiring locations and combining great films with a full hospitality experience. It’s about taking a breath of fresh air, being in nature and perhaps discovering one of Victoria's hidden treasures while having a great night out with friends and family. Visitors can come early, grab a drink from one of our brilliant Barefoot Bar partners and something delicious to eat from a food truck, stroll through the spectacular surrounds, play some lawn games and chill out with live music.
What are you looking for when deciding on locations?
Quite simply, we look for large, breathtaking locations where visitors can be immersed in the beauty of nature. Whether coastal or more inland, the location needs to be an oasis. Barefoot Cinema is a chance to escape the hustle and bustle, make the most of the summer months outdoors and connect with community, all while being entertained. We minimise fencing in order to allow visitors to connect with the place they are in, and all our wonderful partners bring the venues to life with elements that work to enhance the enjoyment of the location.
How much work goes into collating the film program and how difficult is it to achieve balance?
The program is an ongoing process over months before it’s all confirmed. We look at release schedules throughout the year, and what reviewers are buzzing about. Then I compile a program and consult with the Barefoot Cinema team. The key is to make sure we get a good mix of the very best recent release films in different genres like comedies, dramas, rom coms, thrillers, action and family films. The special events like the Surfing Nights, Valentine’s Day and co-presented screenings with organisations like Melbourne Queer Film Festival also need special attention to choose the right movie. Of course, we always make sure we throw some nostalgic classics in there for good measure!
What are the five films you’re most looking forward to this year?
This is a hugely entertaining story of Elton John’s breakthrough years, built around a star performance by Taron Egerton as the legend himself. Incredibly, Egerton performs all the songs himself. It’s the perfect way to open our season on Boxing Day at Portsea, and is screening at all other locations too.
Barefoot Cinema’s Surfing Nights have become a regular and unmissable fixture in our season. This year’s awesome feature is directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s acclaimed documentary Momentum Generation. It tells the story of a ragtag community of teenage surfers and how they took their sport to unprecedented heights, and it features surfing icons Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, Ross Williams, Shane Dorian and more.
On these nights, we also raise funds for One Wave, a non-profit community organisation raising awareness around mental health.
Daniel Craig and Christopher Plummer are joined by an all-star ensemble cast including Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, LaKeith Stanfield and Jaeden Martell. The result is is a fun, witty and stylish whodunnit guaranteed to keep audiences guessing until the very end.
This is a totally engrossing take on the origin of Batman’s legendary nemesis, Arthur Fleck, a man battered by a cold and indifferent world until he snaps and takes everything down with him. Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime is a captivating character study and he just does an incredible job embodying the role.
This is an awesome way to experience the songs of The Beatles on the big screen, and audiences have just been loving it – it’s a great take on the what if? concept. In Yesterday aspiring singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is hit by a bus at the same time as a freak cosmic glitch plunges the world into darkness. The world he wakes up in seems the same, but with one big difference: The Beatles never existed, and Jack is the only one who remembers their music.
Barefoot Cinema runs across four locations from December 26 to March 3. More info, full film programs and tickets on the Barefoot Cinema site.