WADJDA TOPS SOUTH WEST VIEWING
Nearly 80 delegates from 24 Societies and Clubs braved the much-heralded storm to travel to the Blandford School, some coming from as far away as Looe in Cornwall and Ventnor in the Isle of Wight. They were rewarded by a diverse line-up of features and shorts which appeared to have had something for everyone.
Blandford Forum Film Society last hosted a SW Viewing back in 1989 when Mike Leigh’s High Hopes topped the bill. With the refurbishment of their venue in the school’s Main Hall, the Society invited the Group back for a return visit to enjoy the new facilities including the Dining Hall (left) where the school’s catering team served an excellent lunch.
Of the six new titles previewed, the crowd-pleasing Wadjda (right) topped the reactions but there were good showings for The Reluctant Fundamentalist, rescued from a very limited release back in the summer, and A Hijacking providing another take on Somali piracy, ahead of Peter Greengrass’s Captain Phillips. The other titles attracted a high proportion of As and Bs – What Maisie Knew, the involving up-dating of a Henry James novel with great ensemble performances, The Great Beauty, which was admired for its stunning photography, and The Fairy a whimsical Tati-esque comedy.
The six shorts shown during the Session highlighted the BFFS buy-to-screen-to-keep deal on the Award winners from the 2012 Encounters Short Film Festival, held at the Bristol Watershed, and were well received. In particular, one of the bonus 90-second Depict prize winners also on the disk. What’s Virgin Mean, had a record score of 96%.
Note that the pages of programme notes, from the brochure expertly compiled by Barbara Hoffbauer of Swindon Film Society, are available on the SW Group website as single A4 pdfs (with the Viewing Session footer removed) which could be easily re-printed on one side with a society-specific newsletter on the reverse side; see Programme Notes.
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