Keswick Film Club - Reviews - Bait

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Reviews - Bait


Reviewed By Roger Gook

On Sunday the Keswick Film Club showed "BAIT". Set in Cornwall, it's the story of a clash between a local fisherman and outsiders who have bought his old family home and changed it into a holiday let. This is a universal story of communities feeling threatened by incomers and feel their traditional way of life slipping away. The drama comes from the tension of whether fishing is still a viable industry or should tourism be pragmatically accepted.

The director Mark Jenkin is Cornish and had being mulling over ways of making a film which looked beyond the common tourist views of Cornwall and addressed the real life and problems of the area.

As a film maker, he had become disillusioned by the direction films were taking – overly slick, bland and commercial - and realised that his true love was actually the process of film making.

He acquired a 50 year old clockwork camera, with film spools lasting only 2 minutes, and set about making the film. This gave him only one take of each shot and, because he decided to develop all the film by hand, it became a huge undertaking. For the viewer this gives a strangely textured picture, complete with scratches and dust. At one point the screen is covered with sparkling dots which he realised later was pollen which had blown in through the open window of his studio as he was drying some of the film. The dialogue and all the sound had to be added later and this gives a further layer of strangeness – likened to watching a foreign film dubbed into English. This underlines what the film is about - how people talk to each other but don't hear each other. Bait is a haunting, unique and almost visceral film.

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

Since then, the club has won Film Society Of The Year and awards for Best Programme four times and Best Website twice.

We have also received numerous Distinctions and Commendations in categories including marketing, programming and website.

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