Golden Globe nominee “The Florida Project” is set to hit the I Fell building screen at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
The local pop-up cinema collective, Cicada Cinema, helped organize the screening at the I Fell building, which is located at 415 West Fourth St. Tickets cost $6.
The cotton candy-colored film follows a group of friends led by 6-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) as they share a number of mischievous summertime adventures. Meanwhile, their parents struggle to stay afloat financially by living in cheap motels in the shadows of Disney World.
The film debuted at the Cannes film festival last May and went on to rack up 48 wins and 74 nominations for awards, including a BAFTA award and a Screen Actors Guild award, throughout this awards season, according to IMDB. It has also been featured on the “Best of 2017” lists of numerous critics, including The New York Times' A.O. Scott.
“The Florida Project” is indie director Sean Beaker’s second feature. His first film, “Tangerine,” which is available to stream on Netflix, received 97 percent positive reviews out of the 134 reviews surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes.
Nile Arena, one of Cicada Cinema’s board members and founders, praised the film for its stunning visuals and the performances of its cast, especially Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe.
“His performance is really grounded, especially for someone who’s known for playing crazier roles and kind of over-the-top comic book villains,” Arena said. “I think it’s nice to see him in an understated role.”
He said he fell in love with Baker’s juxtaposition of childhood wonderments against the harsh realities around the characters.
“I’m endeared toward anything that shows that childhood is wonderful no matter what the circumstances are,” Arena said.
IU student Emma Hamilton said she saw the film in Los Angeles last fall and was instantly stricken.
“The way it was presented seemed really authentic,” Hamilton said.
She also said “The Florida Project” made her recall what it felt like to be a child.
“It feels like a nostalgia trip — the bright colors, the characters’ ability to do things without big consequences,” she said. “I think that Sean Baker makes you feel like a little kid again.”
She added that she adored the film’s color palette.
Arena said “The Florida Project” is a film to be seen on the big screen. He said he loved the pastel-toned visuals and thinks that the opportunity to see the film in a theater is a special one.
Arena said one of Cicada Cinema’s goals is first and foremost to put on a show, but they want to provide audiences with more than just a movie to watch.
“We try to make it clear that it is a show, and that it’s kind of a community event,” he said. “The reason we’re doing this is that movies are great, but they’re best when you’re seeing them with an audience, when you’re in a crowd.”
He said he thinks Cicada Cinema offers a nice alternative to more traditional theaters. Currently, the organization finds a new venue for each of its monthly screenings. Arena added that he thinks this gives them more freedom to experiment and to provide fun experiences.
“I think we’re trying to fill a niche for just about everyone,” he said.
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