War of the Worlds – Observatory Review

Are we alone in the universe? It's a question that has been asked time and again, but few times as engagingly as this.

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e attended the Royal Observatory’s screening of the 1953 classic War of the Worlds last month, the first in a series of  sci-fi movie screenings complementing their alien revolution season (1st March – 8th September). The series continues with It Came From Outer Space, due to be screened on the 18th July.

For those unfortunate few who have never seen the original film the story follows a small town whose existence is threatened when aliens begin to invade the planet. Blasting anyone who tries to intervene into dust, the aliens pose a very real threat. Though some of the effects have aged over the years there is still much enjoyment to be had with the film, with many taking as much pleasure from the dialogue as the effects themselves.

Screened in the Peter Harrison planetarium, the film was bolstered by its unique setting, with audience members enjoying the surroundings as they watched the film unfold. With seats engineered to ensure visitors enjoy an optimum view of the domed roof, the seating is not simply your standard cinema affair, whilst the aforementioned roof adds a distinctive feel to the experience.

After the audience enjoyed the cinematic blast from the past we were treated to what few places can offer; a trip around the solar system. Exploring the assumptions and gesticulations in the film, the trip showed how scientific truths have developed in the sixty years since the film was made. This was complemented further by an exploration of films that touch on similar subjects to those covered in The War of the Worlds.

If you’re looking for a unique evening that offers you a range of experiences look no further than these screenings.

SciFi film night

Future screenings: 
Came From Outer Space – 18th July

This Island Earth – 15th August
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