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Bait (15)*SOLD OUT
Wed 18 September, 2019 @ 8:00 pm£7 – £10
Bait (15) – 2019, UK, 89 mins
Director: Mark Jenkin
BAIT is a brilliantly original and visually daring feature film from the writer/director Mark Jenkin. Set within the community of a present- day Cornish fishing village, it is a beautifully crafted new film with a vintage feel that tackles contemporary issues amongst different social classes and different generations with heart and humour.
“Martin Ward (played by comedian Edward Rowe) is a generational fisherman without a boat. His brother Steven (Giles King) has moved on from tradition and re-purposed their father’s boat as a tripper for the London bourgeoisie. The family home is gone too; sold to the Leigh family who use the harbour front cottage as a quaint getaway from life in the city and a small revenue earner to tourists wanting to stay in their skipper’s loft… Displaced from everything he has known and simmering with undisguised rage at the injustices he feels, Martin struggles to adapt to the changes tourism is wreaking on his small-town traditions. With beady eyes and a perpetual cigarette hanging from his mouth, Martin sees suspicion everywhere: his former home, the local pub and even in his fellow residents who have moved on with new careers to cater to seasonal tourism. It’s fear and loathing in Cornwall and Martin wants none of it.
It’s a microcosm where locals are finding their voices less and less and ‘interloping’ Londoners are desperate for inclusivity in their part-time community. It’s the inevitability of change; residents old and new trying to find a way to coexist as traditional approaches slowly find themselves replaced with modern expectations.
While the storyline is simple enough, it’s the film form that will impress you most. Tightly framed to almost jarring proportions, Bait is shot in 16mm B&W stock on an old, hand-cranked Bolex camera with a single lens, minimalist lighting and a scant crew of fourteen. Jenkin’s trust in the simple process of filmmaking has achieved a simply stunning result. Not only did he hand process the film before having it digitised for editing (which he also did by the way), but he also dubbed the non-diegetic sound and dialogue in post.
The sounds of ocean fishing seen and heard at the beginning and end of the film is a soothing reminder of the ocean’s ebb and flow and in turn, the inevitability of returning seasonal visitors to this coastal village. It is Martin who needs to come to terms with the inevitability of change and do so quickly before it is too late.
Overall, this grainy, choppy piece of filmmaking is surprisingly perfect with all its imperfections. An Art-house piece so unique that it will certainly find popularity on the film festival merry-go-round. Definitely one to watch if you find the opportunity” Sasha Hall, June 2019, THN
Doors open for drinks at 7:00pm. Film at 8:00pm.