'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Big Wednesday

It's about to happen: six months of planning and suddenly the Keswick Film Festival is 24 hours away. Big Wednesday: huge conflicted skies over the Solway, squalls of rain on the hills and columns of steam rising in shafts of light from the conifers on Lord's Seat. To Cockermouth to pick up banners from valued sponsor. Then Keswick, looking as if it's blissfully unaware of what's about to hit it. Install state-of-the-art £19.99 DVD player in hotel-room of major guest so that he can view entries in our young Cumbrian film-makers competition. There's no TV in the room. And I've forgotten the remote. Deliver banners to Official Worrier. They'll do nicely. Buy myself a sandwich & walk down to Lakeside where I sit for 15 minutes of serenity watching the light change over Catbells. Theatre Box Office say they've sold 130 weekend passes. Result! We've exceeded last year's sales & the Festival doesn't start for 24 hours. Home and start phoning local media to persuade them to come to our opening gala tomorrow. Border TV want to do a (second) story about us. Frantic calls to local sponsor find him on a platform at Manchester Piccadilly. Yes, he'll be delighted to talk us up on TV. Local paper wants to photograph Saturday morning animation workshop. Parental permission to be sought. Spend afternoon printing & collating last-minute press packs. Blizzard of emails from Festival Director about animation workshops. Valued sponsor calls: Yes, he is looking forward to opening gala very much. Breath out for what seems like first time in weeks. Pile Young Short Cumbrian DVDs, press packs, self & itinerary for Thursday into car & drive to Keswick. Arrive at Skiddaw Hotel to rendez-vous with star guest of opening gala, director Reza Bagher. Phone rings at reception. Festival Director's car has broken down, stranding her in Greystoke. Retire to bar & order stiff drink. Reza Bagher arrives. We sit down to dinner sadly short of a Director. Reza insists on ordering local delicacy from menu. Explain to him the truth about black pudding. Says he's looking forward to Cumberland Sausage at breakfast. Discover that TV & DVD in Reza's room don't actually work. Brief technical interlude establishes that we do actually know how to connect a DVD to a TV and make them work. Reflect that it's just as well I'm not employed as a projectionist. Club Chairman turns up. Outline plan for Thursday: realise that in 24 hours the Theatre By The Lake will be full of festival guests and film-goers and it really will all be happening. It's on!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do tell if Kiss Kiss Bang Bang passes your muster

28/2/06 5:23 am  
Blogger Nick said...

Phred (phor I belive this Anon must be you). KKBB was one of the few films I actually got to see myself over the w/e. I thought it wonderfully sharp, graced by two towering performances (I'm in love, in a very manly heterosexual sort of way you understand, with Robert Downey Jr) & packed full of enough references to Chandler etc to make well worth re-re-viewing.
Sample dialogue:
"You see that girl - she's had more men than hot meals."
"Yeah, I heard it was neck & neck for years - then one day she decided to skip lunch."
Don't know what happened to the release in the States (Downey's probably still considered too 'risky' a sell, which is a shame as if he's put his troubles behind him then we've got a lot of great performances to look forward to) but go find the DVD & enjoy it.

28/2/06 8:38 pm  

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