Jordan Bastian, Cinema Obscura

Hurry up and jump; you’ll be alright ...

The unknown brings an unrivalled medley of emotions – anticipation, fear, speculation and excitement – and it is these emotions that form the basis of Brisbane’s newest independent cinema venture, Cinema Obscura. Created by a group of cinephiles aiming to add a new element of intrigue to film, Cinema Obscura hosts pop-up cinema events in unexpected places. Cinema dwellers purchase their tickets knowing only the date of the screening – the location is emailed a day prior, and the film itself is only revealed once everyone is seated. With locations ranging from laneways to garden sheds and museums, and a selection of films encompassing classic and cult hits, this secret cinema society promises to always bring something new and unexpected to its gatherings. The Weekend Edition sat down with one of the founding cinephiles behind Cinema Obscura, Jordan Bastian.

How do you like to start your weekend?
My weekend is generally everyone else’s weekday. So, on a Monday morning while everyone else is off to work, I get to sleep in, head to the movies at midday, avoid the queues, and meet up for beers with friends once they finish work. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t great.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
I like to wake up after 10, catch up on the newest episode of Parks and Recreation and head out for a late breakfast with my housemate before work.

How do you like to unwind?
I have an almost unhealthy obsession with baking ridiculous cakes: the Momofuku Birthday Cake was my last delicious victim. I do find baking extremely relaxing, which is also lucky because my housemates find it extremely delicious.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Drinks and food with friends that then leads to drunken Singstar. This usually means the most beautiful and soulful duet of ‘To The Moon & Back’ with my friend Alasdair that would make even Darren Hayes shed a tear.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
I live literally a five-minute walk from the West End Markets and, in the year I have been living here, I have only been once. I should really get around to that …

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
I spend my Sunday evenings in a projection booth working my ‘day job’ – and truth be told it is my favourite place to be. 

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
The ‘Official Countdown Party for Raddest ‘90s Songs’. My friends have spent weeks archiving everyone’s favourite songs from the 90s and its finally time for the results party. This is also likely to lead to the aforementioned Savage Garden duet! 

What are you reading at the moment?
My friends Rob and Chris have been suggesting I read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, which I have finally gotten around to doing and it’s so fantastic. Also, thanks to this and GOMA’s Drawn to Screen program, I have a stack of old Tank Girl books by my bedside table.

What inspires you?
Film – which I guess is a fairly obvious answer, but I do really love nothing more than heading into a dark room to watch a 35 mm print (while I still can). It’s also such a broad and ever-changing medium that it can provide for any occasion. If you want to feel inspired you can put on 2001: A Space Odyssey, or fall in and out of love with Annie Hall or laugh with Evil Dead 2. It’s always there and it’s always willing to provide you with everything you need.

What was your childhood dream?
My best friend and I had this grand plan of opening a dog kennel because we were both obsessed with anything to do with dogs. We had everything planned down to the smallest detail from the location to what we would feed them, as well as 8-year-old architectural interpretations.

What has been your greatest achievement?
I packed myself up and moved to England. I have travelled a portion of the world alone and I dove the Silfra in Iceland in the middle of winter. I guess I should also mention Cinema Obscura – getting that off the ground is a pretty big deal.

What is success to you?
Being able to make a living from doing what you love. I get to spend a large portion of my time watching movies, and can still pay my rent, which makes me very happy and I guess that is the essence of success.

What are your words of wisdom?
Less talk and more action.  You can talk until the cows come home, but until you book that venue, or plan that meeting, or make that gesture, nothing is going to happen. Hurry up and jump; you’ll be alright.

Only a local would know that …
The State Library screens free films on Sundays.



Perk up Cup Coffee
Relax   In my veggie garden
Dine …   Pablo
Indulge … A bottle of Hendricks
Shop …  Optiko
Catch-up … The Joynt
Be inspired …  GOMA Cinematheque


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