Day 2 and we kick off with our first film in the loosely titled “Britain under the Jackboot” strand (to be continued with Went the Day Well? And Resistance) Small Back Room, sponsored by Bridport Old Books, because, they have a Small Back Room. Anwar Brett, author of Dorset in Film, introduces and we settle back for 106 minutes of alcoholic bomb disposal – never a good mix. As Kazuo Ishiguro, last year’s guest had warned us ”best bomb dismantling scene ever” and all filmed 10 minutes down the road on our own Chesil Beach.
Then we hear word that there is A DOG at the screening of Red Dog at The Palace - great excitement all round. Dogs are normally not allowed in, but as it’s owner says, he’s never been to the movies before, and what better film to begin with?!
I can’t help but remember the old joke – never more appropriate than for this festival of adaptation - a man and his dog have just watched a film. A fellow audience member jokingly asks the man what his dog made of the movie. The man replies: “He thought the characterization was strong, the story impeccably told and the atmosphere spot on.” “How remarkable!” says the fellow audience member. “I know,” says the man. “Especially since he loved the book.” We haven’t heard the dog’s views yet, but hopefully he filled out one of our surveys.
We sustain ourselves with a few dog shaped biscuits….
Singing along and loud chortles at Ten Things I Hate about you at 4.30, the second in our Shakespeare undercover strand – introduced by Francine and attended by a hardy audience of Heath Ledger fans.
Our second night brings The Woman in Black with director James Watkins and Francine Stock. Our first full house at The Palace and it’s brilliant to hear the filmy gossipy buzz. The woman in black herself makes an appearance and busts the projector (or perhaps it’s karma for my practical joke on Nic earlier…) but James and Francine take to the floor to discuss the film while it is fixed.
And then – lights down and nerves sharpened to a sizzle – actual screams reverberate around the cinema. I think this is our first horror at FPTS and the atmosphere is truly electric. There’s nothing like terror to bond an audience.
Post film, it’s off to the Bull Hotel to calm our nerves with several large drinks.