Rocky Horrors of Milan

rockyhorrorLast night Carlo (a friend of mine I’m staying with in Milan) took me out to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Weird doesn’t begin to describe it.

I had so far never been to a midnight movie – in fact, had I been asked I could have given only a very vague answer of what it is. And basically what it is is a screening of some usually pretty bad (a.k.a. “cult”) movies, preferably at midnight and somewhere slightly out of the way to a bunch of people who are doing their best to enjoy the occasion to the fullest. The way how Rocky Horror Picture Show runs is that there is a movie running on a screen while it is also simultaneously acted word-by-word on stage, right before the screen. And the public is very much part of the act.

Carlo tells me that the venue was originally a porn cinema whose owner had first screened the Rocky Horror Picture Show without quite knowing what it was – misjudging the content of the movie by the fact that a central character in the movie is certain Dr. Frank N. Furter, a “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania”. Anyway, it turned out pretty good for Cinema Mexico as the show has now ran in Milan for last 28 years, and the theater itself has became a kind of an art house cinema, one of the few places in Milan where you can see movies in screened in their original language. There are people who have seen the show for tens of times, and apparently few ones who come every Friday. And the place is packed after thirty years. The ticket is €6 and you can get a €2 discount if you show up properly dressed – something that quite many people were taking an advantage of. Normally you have to show up well before the start of the show as it is by no means certain that you will get in if you arrive right on time. Carlo was able to get us on the guestlist as the guy who is playing the part of Dr. Frank N. Furter is his neighbour.

So if you happen to be in Milan and have a free Friday night I wholeheartedly recommend looking up Cinema Mexico and see the thing. Also, by all means buy the €3 kit that you get offered – it consists of a lot of stuff such as a latex glove, sheet of newspaper, a small bag of rice, some confetti, etc. Don’t worry about how to use all of it – in all likelihood the person sitting next to will let you know when to get out any particular item and how to put it in use. It all adds up to a rather interactive and engaging movie experience. Or, as the slogan goes: DON’T DREAM IT, BE IT!


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