sarcophagus screenings

Do you love movies and the sweet embrace of death? Then I have some good news. The Goteborg Film Festival is offering “sarcophagus screenings,” where filmgoers will be offered the opportunity to watch a movie while sealed inside a coffin. Don’t worry, though: you’ll be safe and above ground. The coffins will have screens, speakers and air vents, and rotting skeletons still wearing their moldy burial clothes! Okay, I made that last part up.

THR is reporting that this month, a few lucky boils and ghouls will be given the chance of a death-time to climb inside a coffin and watch a movie. That movie is Aniara, a “Swedish-language apocalyptic sci-fi film,” premiering at the Goteborg Film Festival beginning January 27. According to festival director Jonas Holmberg, the so-called “sarcophagus screening” is intended to “enhance the bleak themes of the movie’s late-era capitalism dystopian setting.”

All in all, this sounds like a very pleasant night at the cinema.  Holmberg added that Aniara is “a drama about a spaceship carrying consumption-obsessed passengers, knocked off course en route to Mars,” serving as “a metaphor for Earth, that the future of our planet could be this kind of sarcophagus, floating alone through space as we use up our natural resources…Our goal was to find a way to take the experience of the film, and the apocalypse, further. To take the sense of aloneness and claustrophobia and strengthen it.” You can see what the coffins look like at the link above.

Obviously, if you’re even slightly claustrophobic, this probably comes across as an absolute nightmare. But I have to admit: I’m intrigued. Mostly because going to the movies has become a shit-show, wherein I’m forced to listen to fellow moviegoers loudly chat, eat snacks, or worse, talk on their phones. All of that would be completely blocked out if I could just watch movies inside a coffin.

Also, even though this might sounds like a horrifying idea, the festival has worked hard to ensure everyone’s safety, with staff standing by, in case someone starts screaming, “Get me out of this coffin!” like a character in an Edgar Allan Poe story. There’s also a red panic button inside every coffin. But when you press it, the worms will crawl in, the worms will crawl out, the worms will play pinochle on your snout! Whoops, that’s a typo. I actually meant, you’ll be safely released from the coffin.

“It’s an experiment,” Homberg added. “At Goteborg we like to find new places and new ways to experience cinema. But we really have no idea how people will react.” There will be 33 screenings between January 27 and 31, so you better book your ticket now. And don’t forget to bring your death certificate!

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