Google is using this month to celebrate some of the best of British cinema. To do that, the Californian firm will use its Google Maps technology to create a treasure hunt across a map of the United Kingdom – with a total of 40 British blockbusters and indie favourites to find. If you manage to decode the clues and find the movies on the map, Google will hand over a code to rent the title for free from the Google Play Store.
Think of it as an Easter egg hunt, but the eggs are cherished movies like Skyfall and Shaun of the Dead. And it’s not even close to Easter.
Dubbed “Google Pixel Presents Mobile Cinema,” the virtual hunt will be taking place throughout this month, Google says. The online event is designed to promote the Pixel 5, which was announced back in September. The new handset, which starts from £599, includes a dramatically upgraded camera, high refresh-rate display, and support for speedy 5G mobile data downloads.
If you uncover one of the movies on the map, you’ll be able to stream over 5G, which regularly clocks-up download speeds faster than the average UK home broadband speed, which sits around 64Mbps this year. Of course, if you don’t have a 5G-enabled device, you can rent the movie at home using your Wi-Fi connection or 4G connection (if you’ve got time to wait for the download to finish).
To decide which 40 movies were included in the hunt, Google teamed up with the British Film Institute (BFI) to help people re-discover “the magic of British cinema and access cinematic moments of the past,” with a selection of 40 of the most “rewatchable” movies of the last 50 years. The BFI has worked hard to ensure that its picks span a number of different genres, from laugh out loud comedy to armrest-gripping horrors and heartwarming romances.
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“These movies are embedded with sensory memories of when we first watched them and whom we watched them with, which are key triggers of nostalgia. We can take the opportunity during the lockdown to create more positive memories with people in our social bubble for future recollection,” says Dr Wing Yee Cheung, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and researcher on nostalgia at University of Winchester.
Movies that made the cut include Four Lions, Sightseers, endlessly quotable ITV 2 favourite Shaun Of The Dead, Atonement, Phantom Thread, Pride, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Daniel Craig-fronted Bond movie Skyfall, A Clockwork Orange, Children of Men, Under the Skin, 24 Hour Party People, Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and The Favourite, to name a few. The full list can be found here.