Sunday, 28 January 2018

The Man who made Shane and Giant

Those of you browsing the Festival website might have wondered about the choice of Woman of the Year and Shane. The common factor is of course, Director George Stevens, one of Hollywood’s greats who also made Giant, A Place in the Sun and The Diary of Anne Frank

Neil Sinyard, an old friend of KFF – he was a guest at our very first event in 2000 - will be presenting a talk on the great man on Sunday 25th February. The talk, which will be illustrated with film extracts, will explore some recurrent preoccupations and characteristics of Stevens’ work: the yearnings of the social outsider; his hatred of class prejudice and racial intolerance; a commanding visual style where his signature slow dissolve is used to unite and inspire thoughts and ideas as well as signal transitions of time and place.

Colonel George C Stevens was part of the force that liberated Dachau at the end of World War ll and Neil will explore how his wartime service had a transformational impact on his film-making style. 

For those of us with an interest in the history of cinema, Neil’s talk will undoubtedly prove fascinating.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

More Guests Coming To Keswick

The Festival Programme is now complete and there are a few new highlights to tell you about.

Our family film this year is A Monster Calls, chosen by pupils from Keswick School. We are thrilled that Lewis MacDougall, who stars in the film alongside Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver, is coming to Keswick to introduce the film and host a Q&A afterwards.

We have told you about That Good Night, John Hurt’s last lead movie role. What is new is that Anwen Hurt will be travelling north to join us and to introduce the film on Saturday night.

Another guest coming to Keswick is Lisi Tribble. Lisi was married to Ken Russell and she was able to find a copy of Clouds of Glory, Ken's film about Wordsworth and Coleridge, originally commissioned by Melvyn Bragg for Granada TV. This will be a rare opportunity, so it's not one to miss. The search for Clouds of Glory was prompted by David Banning's talk, Cumbria on Film, based on his book An A-Z of Cumbria and the Lake District on Film. Friday evening in the Studio is going to be fascinating so book early!

Finally, at least for now, our friends at Rheged are putting on an additional screening of Human Flow on Sunday at 2.00pm. It is hoped that both screenings will be followed by a discussion about the issues raised in Ai Weiwei's remarkable film.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Guests at the Festival

Our Guests add so much to the experience and we are thrilled to be able to say that Simon Hunter, Neil Sinyard, David Banning and Patrick Glen will be at the Festival. Others may yet follow their example!

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter made his first film, Spaceman, at seven years old, starring his parents and his dog. After 50 more films whilst growing up in Dumfriesshire, he embarked on a more traditional film school education and his career to date has been littered with awards.

In 2016 Simon completed his third feature film, his passion project, Edie which tells the tale of an old lady (Sheila Hancock) who heads to Scotland to climb a mountain. The movie which opens KFF on Thursday 22nd, was an official selection in the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2016. 

Neil Sinyard

We are pleased to welcome Neil back to Keswick. Neil, Emeritus Professor of Film Studies at the University of Hull, was a guest at the very first KFF in 2000, where he spoke about Shakespeare in Film.

This time around he is telling the story of George Stevens, one of the legendary Directors from Hollywood’s golden age. Starting out on Laurel and Hardy Movies he went on to make films such as Giant, A Place in the Sun and The Diary of Anne Frank. To complement his talk we are screening Woman of the Year (the first pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) and arguably the best western ever, Shane.

David Banning

David is the author of ‘An A-Z of Cumbria & the Lake District on Film’ published by Hayloft in late 2016, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Lakeland Book of the Year. After studying History of Art and later, Lake District Landscape Studies, his passions combined when researching the films and pieces of social history that were spliced together throughout the A-Z.

In looking for a companion piece for David’s talk we have, thanks to Lisi Tribble, been able to find a rare copy of Clouds of Glory, Ken Russell’s film on the lives of Coleridge and Wordsworth.

Dr Patrick Glen

Patrick Glen is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working at UCL History on the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project 'Remembering 1960s British Cinema-going'. Extensive interviews with cinema-goers from the period reveal much about the importance of film on social attitudes and behaviours at a time when smoking in the Odeon was the norm.

He is the ideal person to set the scene for our screening of Night of the Living Dead with his talk on Saturday night, Scared Stiff in the 60s.