Keswick Film Festival

Sounding Good

Films and music go together in Keswick like fells and lakes and a highlight of the festival this year is the screening of two historic documentary masterpieces by Tony Palmer; his epic biography of Richard Wagner and the long lost story of Leonard Cohen's 1972 world tour. We are delighted to welcome Tony as our guest in Keswick to talk about his long career and introduce his films.

There is also a welcome return by the Lancaster Millennium Choir (remember their Frankenstein Sings last year!).

Also sounding good in Keswick this year are Alma Cogan, the inspiration for the nostalgic opening gala film by Tony Britten and Dolly Parton who features in a coming of age debut from Canadian director Tara Jones.

Featuring

Thursday 23rd February 7:30 PM - Theatre By The Lake
In Love with Alma Cogan
Tony Britten (2011) UK TBC

This gentle romantic comedy tells the story of Norman, the manager of the theatre on the pier at a once grand East Coast holiday resort. Norman has worked at the theatre all his life and despite the efforts of Sandra, his long- serving and suffering assistant, he will not accept that the local council, which owns the theatre may be serious about putting it into the hands of commercial management. As the plot unfolds, Norman realises that it may be time to move on and put behind him the ghost of the fifties and sixties singing star Alma Cogan.

Starring Roger Lloyd-Pack and Niamh Cusack with John Hurt in a cameo role and with original music by Tony Britten this new film will resonate with Keswickians. The potential closure of the theatre in the film resonating with the threat to the cinema in Keswick, and the role of the RNLI in the film with our Mountain Rescue. A gentle introduction to more music to come.



Thanks to Anwen Rees and Tony Britten

Saturday 25th February 4:30 PM - Theatre By The Lake
The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom
Tara Johns (2011) Canada 95 mins

UK Premiere

Montreal writer/director Tara Johns, in her feature debut, takes us back to the ’70s, the dreadful fashions and interior decor drenched in a dewy nostalgic haze, to tell the simple story of 11-year-old Elizabeth, who longs to get her first period so she can be like her friends. When Elizabeth discovers she is adopted it sparks a bout of preteen rebellion and confusion. If her mom isn’t her real mom, then maybe her idol is; he’s determined to get to a Dolly Parton concert to find out. This leads to a cathartic cross-country trek by a mother searching for a daughter searching for a mother - both of them really searching for themselves. Parton’s participation, allowing a few of her songs to be re-recorded by Canadian artists and providing a voiceover finale, add much to the film’s appeal.

Thanks to Palomar Films

Saturday 25th February 10:00 PM - Alhambra
Bird On A Wire
Tony Palmer (1974) UK 120 mins

Bird On A Wire is Tony Palmer’s film about Leonard Cohen’s 1972 European Tour (from Dublin to Jerusalem). Having gone missing soon after completion, the film is only now receiving its first official release almost 40 years later. This version has been re-constructed by Palmer from the original soundtracks and around 3000 fragments of film cut 294 from cans of rushes discovered in Hollywood in 2009. The film interweaves live concert footage with backstage encounters. It follows a mostly bewildered band and management as they deal with exploding speakers, backstage groupies and the vagaries of an artist with an extremely delicate temperament. Tony Palmer has commented on Cohen’s power over an audience simply by his presence; “authority doesn’t really describe it; transparent goodness is probably closer, and a profound belief that it is the poet’s responsibility to address the political problems of the world.”

The film will be introduced by Tony Palmer

Sunday 26th February 9:30 AM - Studio
Wagner
Tony Palmer (1983) UK/Austria/Hungary 466 mins TBC

Tony Palmer's epic film was made in 1982/3 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wagner's death. Filmed in 200 locations throughout Europe, many where the actual historical events took place, it is only now released on DVD as Palmer wishes it to be viewed. The film portrays Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 Revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by King Ludwig II of Bavaria to the final triumph at Bayreuth, and sets his radical musical and political ideas in the context of his life and times. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir George Solti with singers including Dame Gwyneth Jones and Peter Hofmann performs the music, which is illustrated with images by cameramen Vittorio Storaro and Nic Knowland. The stellar cast includes Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave and László Gállfi.

The film will be screened in two parts with a one hour interval and introduced by Tony Palmer

Thanks to Tony Palmer

Sunday 26th February 2:30 PM - Studio
Wagner
Tony Palmer (1983) UK/Austria/Hungary 466 mins TBC

Tony Palmer's epic film was made in 1982/3 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wagner's death. Filmed in 200 locations throughout Europe, many where the actual historical events took place, it is only now released on DVD as Palmer wishes it to be viewed. The film portrays Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 Revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by King Ludwig II of Bavaria to the final triumph at Bayreuth, and sets his radical musical and political ideas in the context of his life and times. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir George Solti with singers including Dame Gwyneth Jones and Peter Hofmann performs the music, which is illustrated with images by cameramen Vittorio Storaro and Nic Knowland. The stellar cast includes Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave and László Gállfi.

The film will be screened in two parts with a one hour interval and introduced by Tony Palmer

Thanks to Tony Palmer



Supported by Film Hub North, led by Showroom Workstation. Proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network

Film Hub North BFI Film Audience Network