December 29th, 2019

Husky Airways

Take My Breath Away

I love popup cinemas. The fun and novelty of seeing a film in an unlikely location makes it a more than usually memorable occasion; I have fond memories of forcing my friends to watch Skyfall with me in the pouring rain.

Yesterday, it was Top Gun on the Fleet Air Arm Museum's mockup aircraft carrier.

It was a dark, rainy evening in Somerset, which is about as far removed from Fightertown USA as you could be, but staff and patrons were doing their level best to provide the right atmosphere. Some attendees went the whole hog and wore flight suits, others contented themselves with 'Because I Was Inverted' T-shirts. There was a bar under Concorde offering nachos, hot dogs and cocktails with names like Blue Goose Lagoon and Take Me To Bed Or Lose Me Forever (I had a Viper On The Beach).

Then it was time to take our seats on the carrier deck, surrounded by Buccaneers and Sea Vixens. Not F-14 Tomcats, the purist will observe, on account of the Royal Navy not having those (though there is a Phantom to represent the US), but it still made a brilliant atmosphere for a film about Navy flying.

I won't tell you how the movie goes, because either you know already or you're not interested, or quite possibly both. (Another fond memory: how my dad and I used to fall about laughing at the line "I've got bogeys all over me!") But any film is improved by sharing it with a live audience to laugh and cheer along with.

"The thing about Top Gun," I observed to Howard as we were leaving, "is that Maverick is a total douchenozzle and Iceman is completely correct about him."

Fortunately, he agreed with my analysis; I don't think I could feel quite comfortable with a man who didn't.