Date: Wednesday 19 September
Films: 3 – Now is Good; Looking East; Frank
Beverages: 1 cappuccino, 2 teas, 1 coke, 1 peppermint tea
Verdict: Not as many films as I would have liked – I sadly missed the opening film in the Francesco Rosi season – but Take One reviewing duties took precedence (which is fine; I’ll be seeing at least one of the Rosi films later on in the festival). Now is Good was a serviceable weepie aimed squarely at the teen market: not particularly well written or performed, but slickly made and it pushes the right buttons along the way. Destined to become a big dvd hit among 14-year-old girls everywhere.
Looking East forms part of the regular strand of archive programming at the Arts Picturehouse, digging up ancient treasures from the East Anglian Film Archive among others. There was some brilliant footage of work outings and sporting events, stretching from the turn of the century to the 1970s – including the opening ceremony of the Lion Yard shopping centre in Cambridge.
Finally, Frank was a low-budget but strikingly shot UK drama about a man coping with mental illness in a rundown seaside town in the North East. Dark, and darkly imaginative, it features a terrific central performance from Darren Beaumont as the damaged Frank, who spends his time collecting anything and everything in his squalid flat – even two dead bodies he finds washed up on the shore. Not the easiest watch and it doesn’t completely work, but a memorable experience nonetheless.