Earlier this month, a clutch of avid filmgoers experienced their own cinematic moment: Amidst the rocky shoreline of Yao Noi, Thailand, the group was delivered by boat to a auditorium floating in the middle of a quiet lagoon. The event was organized by Film on the Rocks Yao Noi, a new film festival, which commissioned the architect Ole Scheeren to build what he came to call the Archipelago Cinema, a large raft built out of recycled materials.
Poking around the dozen or so abandoned structures which still stand on North Brother Island, the storied quarantine facility in the East River of New York City, one never knows what one will come across. I was amazed when I first came across the auditorium in the school building; this is the view of the seats from the stage. The first several rows - now exposed to the elements for 50+ years - have almost disintegrated into nothingness, and the back rows aren’t doing too great either. In another 50 years, it’s unlikely that much of the building itself will remain - it’s starting to crumble under the weight of time and the ravages of water.