It was an amazing From Page to Screen 2013 and a big thank you to everyone involved. Conversations at the after-party were already turning to film suggestions for next year (Cabaret with cabaret at the Electric Palace anyone? How about James Bond?). In the meantime, here are some highlights from this year:
Joe Dunthorne (FPtS curator): “My first highlight was The Shining in the Burton Cliff hotel. With the light fading outside, Lloyd the barman, a red bathroom, a scary caretaker, a young man on a tricycle (see photo) and a huge soundsystem, the film was terrifying.
My second highlight was The American Friend. It was such a strange, surprising film, with two mesmerising central performances. Dennis Hopper has a tendency to always play deranged characters and when I saw this, I understood why.”
Chris Pike (Festival Committee) “I just love the openness of Bridport festival audiences. The willingness to try something new or unusual and to welcome their own critical response. Personal favourite films: Byzantium, a ‘seaside grunge vampire’ treat and Ghost World for its heartfelt celebration of the quirky individual.”
Jill (BAC Box Office Manager): “Ghost World. It was a film I wouldn’t normally have gone to see but it was recommended to me by a teenager. It was brilliant and I wanted Enid Coleslaw’s wardrobe! I went out the next day and bought the book.”
Penny (Festival Committee/blogger): “Tea with Jan Harlan (Kubrick’s right-hand man) at the Bull Hotel where he sang tunes from The Shining and gave Paul and I the lowdown on Eyes Wide Shut – ‘We are all experts at sexual fantasy!’ It Always Rains on Sunday, one of the best films I have ever seen – beautifully shot, great script and funny incidental details. The whole film smouldered with emotion. The haunting soundtrack to Wild at Heart. Stephen Woolley’s generous and engaging BAFTA Masterclass and learning that he is a feminist filmmaker. Psycho Poetica made me cry.”
Nic Jeune (Festival Committee): “My highest highlight was the buzz during the festival. Next was the Shining screening and the excitement of the audience. And finally, 3 film producers in 24 hours bringing their films and sharing great insights at the Q&A sessions.”
Paul (Festival Committee): “The buzz, red painted toilet and delicious cocktails (thank you Lloyd!) at the Burton Cliff Hotel for The Shining. It Always Rains on Sunday, a 1940′s British movie from an earlier age of austerity (the young woman sitting next to me said it changed her life?!). 2013 Curator Joe Dunthorne introducing himself and the festival to a packed house at the Electric Palace screening of Life of Pi. People coming up to me in the street to tell me how much they enjoyed the festival. Joe and fellow poets rounding off the festival with Psycho Poetica.”
Ines (Festival Committee): “Seeing my 10 year old edge-of-her-seat captivated by Life of Pi. She talked about it non-stop and then read the book in 3 days – an interesting reversal of expectations for the viewing-reading relationship. Having started to absorb a complex moral story she wanted to ‘hear’ it again (and again). For a young viewer, film can act a bit like the illustrations in picture books…
The thrill of the cliff-top hotel screening of The Shining – a great way to re-visit an iconic film and a nice nod to adaptation that West Dorset could find a location utterly different from Kubrick’s yet equally matched for dramatic beauty and isolation…
The vicarious bitter-sweet taste of adolescence (Submarine, Ghost World, Clueless). The inspiring and generous journey through a rich career in film-producing from Stephen Woolley. Getting re-aquainted with Hitchcock from so many angles (Strangers on a Train, Hitchcock and Psycho Poetica). Trying each of Lloyd’s 3 Mojitos in the Venner Bar!”
Philiy (Organiser of The Shining event): “My highlight would be meeting Jan Harlan, the producer of The Shining and then getting home and finding out that my goddaughter had got snowed in at the actual Shining hotel! Spooky!”
Baldwin Li (Producer of The Voorman Problem): “Being able to meet and speak with more experienced (and so many) producers was enormously beneficial. Thanks to everyone I met in Bridport, including all the festival staff, volunteers and members of the audience, who were all warm and welcoming.”
Margie (BAC Programme Manager): “Great festival – brilliant to have actual filmmakers here (James & Joe) and loved watching their Vimeos. Also their tech expertise got me out of hole when sending MPG files so they proved multi talented! Also, I am going to re-read Emma and read England Made Me and Our Cancer Year – so the festival has a legacy!”
James (FPtS resident ‘Vimeo-a-go-go’ filmmaker): “I absolutely loved Byzantium and thought it was amazing we saw it at least a month before its general release! I also loved meeting Joe Dunthorne, he was really cool, and Jan (Harlan) was pretty crazy. It was also fascinating to meet Stephen Woolley and see how down to earth he was.”
Joe (FPtS resident filmmaker): “I never thought that watching films would get me back into reading books. A fantastic festival for people of all ages and a great event to be a part of.”
Our resident film crew took time out from their busy FPtS schedule to make a film… about themselves.
“A touching love story with cinematography to rival Broadchurch.” (Hot off the Fest)
So we threw out the goldfish at the beginning of From Page to Screen and used the bowl for raffle tickets instead…
Today we drew the raffle and the lucky winners will share the following prizes:
DVDs and Blu-rays of films screened during the festival
2 x Curzon Cinema passes (4 films each)
A variety of items kindly donated by local shops and businesses that include: 2 x Animal wallets from Steptoes; Palestinian Za’atar herb mix from Fruits of the Earth for Ottolenghi fans; hankerchiefs from T.Snook; Indonesian notebook from Malabar Trading; Hemingway’s Boat by Paul Hendrickson from Waterstones; £10 gift voucher from Jaxson’s Deli; Movie Magic: Epics and Westerns CD from Bridport Music.
Winners will be contacted shortly.
Psycho poet Simon Barraclough loves Dorset so much he wrote a poem about it, which he has kindly allowed us to share. In return we have sent him some Dorset Knobs.
The house had grown too small for us and so
we spent that final summer in a tent.
At first we interlocked our sleeping bags,
each row of teeth zipped into place like cogs,
our limbs and fingers nightly interlaced.
But due to condensation and the dew,
the zips began to snark and twist apart
and you unhooked them, torch between your teeth,
and bundled up your bones in a cocoon
and shifted inches, light years, out of reach.
Your tongue became a pebble, smooth and mute,
mine frayed, a salty beach towel on the strand.
You found an adder’s egg by Durdle Door
and hatched it in your polyester nest
while in the gloom I rode to Casterbridge,
the pages greenly lit by your turned back,
that glowed a weedy hue right through
the segments of your gently humming sac.
I didn’t wait to see what you’d become
but turned my eyes to hard-baked Dorset Knobs.
You scissored your way out. I felt the draught
of autumn winds and newly minted wings.
My heart froze like a goldfinch in its cage
and Chesil Beach began to feel its age.
Jurassic Coast is from the collection Bonjour Tetris (Penned in the Margins, 2010)