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Showing posts with label Cambridge Film Festival 2013. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cambridge Film Festival 2013. Show all posts

Friday, 23 June 2017

Thirty-two years on, My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

22 June

Daniel Day-Lewis (Johnny) and Gordon Warnecke (Omar)

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Friday, 13 December 2013

It's a matter of conscience

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
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9 December (completed 13 December)

* Full of spoilers - only read if you know the film *

Marius (2013) is a superbly compiled piece of cinema, and, from a second viewing, well worthy (with Fanny (2013)) to be in the top five of selections from Cambridge Film Festival 2013 (@camfilmfest).

The first thing that we see from Marius' point of view is out to sea from the harbour bar, which he helps - when he does not just disappear* - his father César run. Then, when we see him, he looks as though he is in prison (which, metaphorically, he is), because the window is barred. He tries to make Fanny believe, when she appears, that he was looking at her, and there the dichotomy is stated in one.

In his beautiful score, Alexandre Desplat has a muted trumpet theme, which is full of longing, and could be longing for a woman or - as it turns out to be - for the sea. A little later, he has a second main theme that is full of piping, and which comes into its own at the end.

Marius likes to believe that he has rationalized his feelings, telling both César and Fanny that he 'cannot marry', and representing to the former (who believes that it is on account of a mistress) that she - really, the sea - might kill herself, if he ended it. As in so many places in this film, the scene gains its strength, because of dramatic irony, in that we know what is really on Marius' mind. How Marius behaves towards Panisse, when Fanny and he are trying to have a quiet drink in the corner of the bar, shows that he has not rationalized things - even though, at the dance at Cascade, Fanny had tried to tell Marius that she is thinking of accepting Panisse's proposal.

When Fanny takes Marius' advice literally, he tries to back out of it, and then ends up revealing to her the draw of the sea, which - if a rap at the door had had a different message - could have taken him away at a moment's notice. In telling her what he had learnt from the crew of the vessel that came from The Leeward Islands, we hear (in Desplat's music that there is) real poetry, intoxication, love... However, Fanny - characterizing it later as an irrational fascination for the land of the green monkeys - must have misconceived, by believing that his love for her would be stronger and overcome.

Having, feeling as he did, hitherto behaved properly towards Fanny, he allows himself to kiss her and presumably also to believe that he can overcome his inclinations, although he had been on the verge of joining a crew, if he had been needed, that very night.

Weeks later, thinking that he has been deceiving his father (whereas César has told his card-laying friends that he knows his ploy of climbing back inside and locking his door from the inside), he slips out to meet Fanny, and, when she overhears her relationship described as 'a matter of conscience' to the captain who wants Marius to serve, she takes the chance to assure the captain that he will go, because she knows that Marius does not love her, and she cannot bear to hear that he will cry himself to sleep, if he does not go (she believes what is said, for the simple reason that the captain must have known others who had been drawn to the sea, but did not go, and has no expectation that she will persuade Marius to go, as she claims).

When Fanny realizes, from what she has heard Marius say, that he is not in love with her, she has as much reason to want him to go to sea (so that she can 'cover her shame' and marry Panisse), but she probably cannot contrive that her mother Honorine (played impassionedly by Marie-Anne Chazel) gets a lift back from her sister's with M. Amourdedieu** so that the lovers are discovered, and Honorine puts pressure on César, who puts it on Marius.

All of these factors come into play when Fanny urges Marius to go to sea : as she is saying that she will look to his matter of conscience, he will not be forced into marriage, if he goes, and he does want to go. She also wants him to go, because she is ashamed of being deceived by him until she hears him speak to the captain. Here, the actual piping, which had been in Desplat's score, evokes the latter by association, with all its resonance. So Fanny covers for him, occupying César, whilst the ship gets ready for sea, and sails.

Panisse, who could have had a message from Marius for his father, instead just has incoherence after Marius has clumsily knocked some crates over, but still goes to try to alert his former schoolmate César to what is happening at the dock - only he is too busy with Fanny's deception, intended to let Marius go. Whatever Pagnol's screen adaptation of his own stage trilogy might have been, it is scarcely possible to conceive Auteuil's version being any less crisp, with scene seamlessly following scene in just 93 minutes.


* He tries to leave Fanny in charge when he runs off for a meeting with the captain at the brothel, and she, presumably not knowing why he has gone there (when she follows), ends up crying on her bed.

** Pagnol keeps the names of his trio of linked characters simple (and also that of Panisse), whereas César's circle of friends have some outlandish ones, such as Escartefigue and Frisepoulet (unless that is Auteuil's deviltry !).

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

A fairy tale within a fairy tale

A rating and review of For Those in Peril (2013)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
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20 October

91 = S : 15 / A : 16 / C : 16 / M : 15 / P : 14 / F : 15

A rating and review of For Those in Peril (2013)

S = script
A = acting
C = cinematography
M = music
P = pacing
F = feel

Mid-point of scale (all scores out of 17) = 9

For Those in Peril (2013) is a very powerful, intense drama, set on the southern Aberdeenshire coast, and both very well acted by George MacKay (Aaron) and Kate Dickie (Cathy), and carefully brought to life by Paul Wright (in his first feature). It is not the sort of film that some might choose to see, and perhaps one could liken it to an Amour in what it demands of us, for no one will stay the course without accepting its emotional pull.

The story that, towards the end of the film, Aaron asks his mother Cathy to tell him (we do not know his age, but MacKay is 21), about the devil, the sea and the people*, is one that we have heard – snatches of – throughout. She declines to tell it, saying that she does not remember, but then, without saying more, just starts – and maybe finds the words in the telling, itself a sort of metaphor in the whole piece.

That story, because we finally hear the ending (which Aaron may have actually forgotten, and so is asking for the story) takes us to the surprising closing shots - and suddenly brings home how it is more than that Aaron identifies it with this place where he lives, but that the story somehow is about these people and this place. Aaron, his mother and his brother Michael, lost (with four others) the first time that Aaron goes out to sea, feel that they might be better not living here, and that Cathy could have had enough to keep them going in some less exacting community, but then there would be no story – the story that ambiguously resolves with the film serves to keep them there.

Younger brothers of a similar age, problems with those living around, but the conception is quite different : there are some interesting elements in Blackbird, but they in no way coalesce, and remain jutting out, whereas here song, the story, Aaron’s mental life, and the Peter-Grimes-like gossip and hostility of the community are a whole, and brought to us by mixing in a whole variety of home-filmed footages and images to represent their past, their history.

On another level, with one film one can ponder long and hard what might have happened to Michael and to Aaron (resented as the only survivor), but there is really nothing to reflect on in the other, save (as done in this review) what diagnosis might fit Ruadhan’s behaviour – which is actually the last thing that one wants to do with Aaron, so careful is the film (as, we were told, Wright intended) to look at his experience in it social context.

Nonetheless, the film is about where mental health resides, and the ambiguities help us meditate on the nature of loss, guilt, blame and separation, both for Cathy and for Aaron, as well as for Jane (?) (Nichola Burley), Michael’s fiancée, and the tentative support that Aaron and she find in each other. Watch this film, but heed the words of this year’s Cambridge Film Festival programme :

[A]n engaging plurality of filmmaking styles [serve] to emphasise the growing disjunction between Aaron’s reality and his subconscious


* Another Scottish tradition has a tale of wolves descending on a town, but they are really less wolves than Viking raiders.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Monday, 14 October 2013

Handmaid in China

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15 October

I have posted this short Young Critics review on my schedule of Festival events, with links to the blog, because it says almost everything that I want to say about Unmade in China (2012).

I shall just add :

* We had a lovely Q&A with Kofman via Skype. In my question, I asked whether he had always known, by repute, of the sorts of problems that he experienced, or when he had realized, to which he answered that when he was first there he contacted his friend Tanner to come and start filming what was happening

* One of the members of the audience in Screen 3 was actually from Xiamen city and had allayed my fears that the film might have been perceived as anti-Chinese by saying that she really liked Kofman's film (this one, not Case Sensitive, the film being 'unmade')

* Things that Kofman had to face included turning his script into gibberish, having to take the Communist Party officials to dinner, with much drinking, to get them on side, and at least two cinematographers getting fired, or other persons hired without his approval (or even knowledge)

* He came home for a miserly amount of time allowed for his daughter's graduation, and, to everyone's surprise, went back and got stuck in

* The film, as reviewed, is truly a joy - Kofman is such a natural wit and a prankster that he makes sly comments, expressions, gestures in front of everyone's noses

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Get George HERE !

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

15 October

My good friends at @CamPicturehouse now have a confirmation that George MacKay is expected to attend a Q&A after a special screening (in Screen 2*) of For Those in Peril (2013), which screened at @CamFilmfest, recently finished.

It will be at 2.30 on Saturday 19 October (booking information is now posted on the web-site here) - the film is also showing, without the special guest, on the day before and in the week after this screening

Click here for various resources about the film, including a synopsis and a video interview from Cannes. You can also read the reviews written by two of the participants (aged 16 to 19) in the Young Critics scheme, which was run at this year's Festival to promote writing about cinema.

I have not had a chance to see the film, but I understand that it is a challenging drama, and involves elements of Scottish folklore, the stuff of the sea, and a portrayal of mental-health issues...


* I am told now that it will be in Screen 3.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Monday, 7 October 2013

Eyes full of tears

This is a Festival review of Eyes on the Sky (Mirant al Cel) (2008)

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7 October

This is a Festival review of Eyes on the Sky (Mirant al Cel) (2008)

Eyes on the Sky (Mirant al Cel) (2008) is not an overtly flashy film, but deservedly it does make big claims on our attention, and on our hearts. As can be seen, it is being shown not because it was made in the last year, but it is a UK premiere, part of the Catalan strand, again curated by Ramon Lamarca after a successful first appearance at the Festival last year, which made many friends.

I have written elsewhere about another Catalan film at the Festival (also a UK premiere), The Redemption of the Fish, which I watched twice, and I would if possible gladly have done the same with this film, but it is quality that the films have in common, not their subject-matter.

This one concerns the Spanish Civil War and the power of memory what is best forgotten about when Italian air forces bombed Barcelona, and what should never be forgotten. One review that I have read (maybe this one) challenges how the film is put together, and its story and pace, but, for me, these are what most attracted me to it, for it uses acted scenes, documentary, and faux-documentary, e.g. to introduce the men who were in the anti-aircraft batteries that ringed the city on a number of eminences.

We see men and women, down in the shelters and tunnels that also served to wait out air-raids, interviewed by the same woman who challenges a visiting professor, apparently a Dante scholar and visiting for a conference, and pesters to get to speak to him what some mistake for the monotonous course of this film is actually provoking us to ask ourselves (if we have not just read up all about it beforehand*) what is real, what is not, and what remembered, what feigned forgetfulness.

In this, we are as much in a confused state as the main characters (Maria (Gabriela Flores) and Mario (Paolo Ferrari), played with great conviction), who think that they know what is right, and not preconception, until life throws them up in each other’s way. After all that we have seen and heard, the closing scenes, and the beautiful reading that the professor gives from the opening of the Inferno, are painfully touching, speaking for all who have been lost.

For the second time this Festival, I was moved to tears just by that simplicity.


* My approach to a film is that it should, for good or ill, stand for itself : if I need to have read the book or play on which it is based, it has failed in its own terms, and, if it cannot speak for itself, it is just images.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Taking over the asylum ?

This is a Festival review of Sieniawka (2013)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
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6 October

This is a Festival review of Sieniawka (2013)

What can I say about Sieniawka (2013) that is not inherent in watching it, in sticking with it ? Put another way, anything that I say will be reductive or interpretative (or both)

I believe that I cannot review this film (this was its UK premiere) in any traditional way, even with a ‘spoiler’ warning, but that I just have to say what I know, consistent with not saying too much :

1. Just as Fulbourn Hospital is named after a village near Cambridge, so Sieniawka is a psychiatric unit named after its neighbouring town, and we see another place nearby, damaged by flooding, at the end of the film.

2. Director Marcin Malaszczak and I talked extensively during gaps in my schedule, when not simply socializing at the end of the day (and once some reviews had been written). Those who do not just read film reviews on this blog will know about an experience of working in mental-health advocacy.

3. Marcin’s film (I cannot call him by his surname) falls into three sections, of which the longest is filmed in Sieniawka and its grounds. I have already mentioned the last section, and Marcin seems to think that we need not see it as chronologically the final one, although how it is set up suggests that it may be.

4. In the Q&A, I referred to Mr Endon in Murphy and to other writings of Samuel Beckettt. In particular, in Watt there is a journey to Mr Knott’s house, a two-part stay there, and a departure, but the narrative is framed by Watt and Sam meeting and doing their best to converse in different ‘pavilions’ of some sort of establishment. Apparently, the likeness had been seen before, but had not informed the making of the film.

5. Some of the questioners wanted to declare what the figures seen in the first part of the film, or their actions, meant.

6. However, it had a clear provisionality to it, which, at best (and knowing that one was doing so), one could interpret. From the end (or earlier), then, one might make an inference about whose body is delivered where at the opening, but never be sure.

7. It does not follow from the agreement of the staff for filming to take place, or from gaining the trust of the residents, that filming them does not exploit them.

8. I am not saying that it does, but comments from some of the others were that witnessing the repetitive behaviour disturbed them, or that they did not see the need to continue watching the footage.

9. When Marcin and I talked about such institutions (the food being set out, and a watery soup ladled into bowls, did not look very inviting), he agreed that his film would be seen differently by someone as familiar with them as I, and that I probably ‘knew too much’.

10. The impression that I know that he intended to give was of a sort of microcosm, where the smoking room – and people’s efforts to ask others, who receive tobacco beyond a ration, to give them some – is a hub of activity.

11. I cannot endorse such a view when, here as at Fulbourn in recent history, there have been people there for 20 or 30 years : they are alive, but they do not have their own space or life, and how some of the staff were heard talking about restraining a ‘bastard’ who got violent was shockingly self centred.

12. We see some residents playing volleyball or handball, but with no ball. Maybe they are more clever than Marcin imagines, and are ironically putting on a show for the camera. At any rate, when someone serves, he has – as I asked at the Q&A – added in the noise of the ball being hit.

13. Apparently, the mosaic at the end of the film gives hope, whereas one viewer had found hope lacking (see paragraph 11, above).

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Whiter than White Star

This is a Festival review of White Star (1983)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
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6 October

This is a Festival review of White Star (1983)

You could not call it a Roland Klick* retrospective as such (Cambridge Film Festival did not), because (so I gather) many of his films had not been released in the UK. Not wishing to do a Jos Stelling, I decided on White Star (1983), and then, depending on how it went, maybe Supermarkt (1974).

However, I had, of course, not reckoned on making a mistake (going into Screen 3, rather than Screen 2), so missing the beginning of Leviathan (2013), and ending up with dubbed Klickery in Deadlock (1970), a film not on my list.

A desert, a guy who finds a dressed-up other guy, then takes more interest in his case and its contents, but hesitates – rock held high – to ensure that he does not survive, as if leaving him for dead were better. Second thoughts, going back, but the suited guy is gone, and holds him up. They drive off, arrive somewhere, only for the man with the upper hand to be easily overpowered. A mysterious woman. And so on, but all dubbed.

Did it seem bizarre, as the Festival write-up tells me that some had thought it ? No, not least because the word is overused, but really because it seemed arbitrarily wafer thin (to the point where I sneaked out, having stayed too long – until just after the title, because I had bizarrely thought it to be a preceding short that I had overlooked) who was in control. Hence ‘Deadlock’ ? Maybe, but the dubbing was killing me (even if subtitles were not then the norm) for its way of sucking the life (any of the film’s and mine)…

So Star, with its stark title, no longer seemed such a good choice, but there would be a Q&A with Klick. It, too, was supposed to be strange, but it seemed amazingly one dimensional in the way that Deadlock had threatened to be :

The opening scene is, I think, of Dennis Hopper (as producer Kenneth Barlow) trying to persuade Terrance Robay (as star Moody) to appear on stage in a club full of restless punks – either that, or of him, with his stooge Frank (David Hess), setting up for the latter to smash windows (which will later look as if there has been a riot), and arranging the foment of said punks. Oh, and, in arguing with the club’s owner, Barlow reveals that Moody is his sister’s boy. Nothing else do we need to know, and nothing else of significance emerges save from this starting-point.

Do we know why Moody trusts Barlow to be his producer, or why he goes along with this ‘White Star’ branding (with all its connotations of white supremacy, apart from those of space and of a burst of creation : it certainly is not Moody’s choice, though it is the best that the pair have to offer, even when Moody seeks to collaborate with a female vocalist (Sandra ?? Mascha ??)) ? Quite simply, other than probably having no other hope, no – since the conceit of the film is that Moody lives in Berlin**, the club would have been notorious, and he would never have agreed to try to play his synthesizer there.

The same objection is not dependent on being a denizen of Berlin. Since nothing in the film suggests that Moody is trusting (or, at any rate, trusts Barlow – except disastrously to take unspecified tablets in the back of a dangerously driven car when also ordered to change into his white suit), it hardly seems likely that he would not have objected to the choice of opening gig long before being there.

The only way in which this film works is if it is just a vehicle for a Hoppermonster, and we watch him barge through life like a giant game of PAC-MAN. Klick may not have hired him with that intention, and what he said about Hopper in the Q&A suggested that both that the man whom he had met before he arrived in Berlin, and what other people had said about working with him, had not prepared him for the reality :

Klick told the Festival audience (apparently, a story that he has told before), a coke story about Hopper, that, when he arrived in Berlin, the first thing that he wanted was cocaine, and Klick had to arrange something such that a man arrived with a briefcase every week with Hopper’s fix. The story went on : that Hopper was too high to act for the first part of the day, and too tired later on, but Klick had a clear two hours to get what he wanted from him (and, moreover, Hopper is scarcely off the screen).

Maybe, then, with the roles reversed, the film is a paradigm for making the film itself, with Hopper as the maverick star whom the director struggles to control, versus Hopper as the hell-bent producer, using all means and any to promote ‘White Star’ and ‘The Future’. A model of capitalism gone crazy in search of selling goods, but one that has really very little to say about why Moody goes along with it all and, say, sells the fittings of his studio (and shafts his black colleague) for Barlow to sell them for a song.

Glengarry Glenn Ross (1992), O Lucky Man ! (1973), The Color of Money (1986) – maybe (I don’t know) some of these films could have learnt something from Klick, and it is a helluva show from Hopper, but the ‘terrifying, unhinged performance’ (Festival write-up) is not enough, and Lindsay Anderson is careful to throw Malcolm McDowell into relief.


* What sort of name is that ? I knew the phrase Das klickt nicht and the like, but still – perhaps he could develop and print a film for me…

** As we learn later, even if it may be a poor translation, since he is staying in a hotel.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 14 September 2013

High-class cinema comes to Childerley

This is a Festival review of Edward Scissorhands (1990)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
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14 September (14 April and 22 July 2015, Tweets added)

This is a Festival review of Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Agents on location, watching the cinema from afar...

The Long Barn at Childerley Hall, which (apart from yesterday, when I went on the wrong day) I had last seen when the pairing of Northumbrian piper and fiddler Kathryn Tickell and the trio The Side rocked the place, to-night had the treat of bespoke cinema, courtesy of Tony Jones, the director of Cambridge Film festival, and his dedicated team.

This was not just any projector and a screen plus sound-system in a wonderfully atmospheric space with beams, decorative chairs, an extensive bar, and even very tasteful fairy-lights - the image was sharp, beautiful, warm and magic, so that the resolution of the long-shots almost took one by surprise, and one could hear every detail of the soundtrack. I should have expected nothing less from people with these credentials, but I loved them for it.

First up, unexpected I will warrant by many, was something to preface the billed film, Edward Scissorhands (1990) - another Tim Burton number in Frankenweenie (1984). Yes, the original, not the one released in 2012.

So a proper, old-fashioned programme, but with links :

* Winona Ryder is Edward's Kim*, and is the voice of Elsa Van Hesling in the 2012 Frankenw.

* Both works deal with, address or feature the situation of the outsider who can only be loved, if at all,  by people being more than skin deep

* Who else to bring such an outsider from, or back from, another realm than Ben (Barret Oliver), a member of the Frankenstein family, and a Vincent Price at around 79, just a few years before the end of his life, and looking nothing like it ?

* Nosy neighbours, to whom young Frankenstein feels obliged to account for his behaviour, and for whom Edward's arrival in an unnecessary bright yellow automobile is an instant source of fascination, intrigue, and fear

* One in pure monochrome, the other with two almost distinct colour-worlds, one being the washed-out one of Price as The Inventor on his eminence and Johnny Depp as the named work of creation**, the other a Dogville sort of a place, but with the distinction of largely pastel colours pushed to make Tobermory look drab, with hues so garish as almost to be fluorescent

A good night's viewing, with a nice role for a much younger-looking Alan Arkin, but perhaps one for Dianne Wiest that did not leave her much room to move - what was given to, and made of, by Depp, Ryder, Shelley Duvall, and Daniel Stern.


* Nearly put Kim in Edward, but that did not feel right...

 ** Edward (even though we are shown how) is left in an explicably parlous state - more important to impart etiquette and poetry than the opposable thumb ? - unless one remembers the origins in Der Struwwelpeter, and what such thinking gave rise to in Haneke's The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band) (2009)

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

I counted them all out...

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
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29 August

Sadly, I do not have the skills of a Brian Hanrahan, but, going through the Festival's Main Features (that link takes one to where the PDF brochure can be downloaded), I made it twenty documentaries*, and there may be others (there and elsewhere) - in former times, which was not necessarily better save from a bean-counting perspective, they were listed in a separate section from the feature films per se, but now they mingle.

I think that I spotted a score of the DOC logos. I was looking, because, in one of our chats the other day, Festival Director Tony Jones said that emphasis is needed on how many one can see - over the 11 days, however exactly they may be spread, that is around two per day, after all, so one can see his point. (I always like to make space for three or four in the course of my Festival viewing, but, as with the whole Festival juggling cum three-dimensional crossword, compromise is inevitable.)

Tony is a nice, level-headed guy, and always makes time to talk to me. A few weeks back now, he and I chatted as we negotiated Parker's Piece in Cambridge**, and I learnt for the first time that Hawking was coming to the Festival, and about negotiations for getting Hawking people over from the States for it.

This most recent time, it was the documentaries, and also exactly what hard work for Festival stalwarts from the Arts Picturehouse and from his family (and from his son's circle) it had been to put on twinned screenings on Grantchester Meadows***. As I said to Tony, not wishing to diminish that effort and to remind him of his great enthusiasm for outdoor screenings, he wouldn't do it, if he didn't enjoy it.

The previous time, a little word that - whatever it may be, and I do not think that I am being indiscreet - Surprise Film 1**** is a World Premiere. Famously, no one knows (though @JimGRoss always guesses) what the film is / films are except Tony, and the projectionist only gets it / them just in time to do the necessary...

And I remember, last of all, coming out of Cell 211 (2009), and Tony wondering, even though he was pleased that I thought that it was a powerful screening, how it would stand for getting distributed. (If you follow that link, you will see (on IMDb) that the film, after all, did pretty well for itself.)


* Sadly, I am an idiot, and failed to appreciate the music-documentary nature of the 33 1/3 strand, which makes the sum around thirty !

** For those who do not know it, click on this link, book yourselves some films, and get over to Cambridge to see this square of land, criss-crossed by paths, bicycles and foreign language students, and home to cricket- and football-pitches and the like on your own scenic walk from the station...

*** A real place, known to many by virtue of Fink Ployed.

**** Last year, there were two (for the first time ?), and the first of this year's is on Saturday 28 September.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Cambridge Film Festival : Friday Films at The Red Lion, Whittlesford

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26 August

<i>If you haven't seen Woody Allen's classic take on a rom-com, we cannot recommend this highly enough ! Consistently voted a top comedy, it has inspired TV & film ever since.

Friday 6 September - doors open at 6.00 - films at dusk</i>

Except that :

1. The word 'rhombus' does not rhyme with the word 'comedy', so the term is a nonsense.

2. Anyway, a real romantic comedy, such as Allen's The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), keeps you waiting until the end to find out.

3. Maybe, for all Allen's and Keaton's quips, it is not even a comedy.

4. In any case, although he is never properly given credit for it, Marshall Brickman co-wrote the film with Allen.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)