Just back from a great weekend at the Overnight Film Festival in Eastbourne, ATP but for films, basically. Very small and intimate capacity (I’d say 150 people max) with all screenings and events taking place in the grand Queens hotel on the seafront. Guests stay there too although I missed out on accommodation tickets so had to stay in a hotel round the corner.
The screenings were all in a ballroom, which I can only assume is usually filled with the blue rinse brigade for dances and suchlike if the rest of Eastbourne is anything to go by. It being a makeshift cinema, the chairs used weren’t ideal for the back but better than plastic school assembly chairs that I had feared. They had 35mm projection too which was awesome even if the very small room meant we could hear it and boy old projectors are noisy.
There was a pub quiz ( which went a bit sour when the quiz master conducted a “name the sex pest” round, which didn’t go down well. The organisers later apologised.) and other social things like a seafront tour and karaoke. A lot of the people seemed to know each other from the london film business bubble which made it feel a bit difficult to mingle and get chatting to people but everyone was very lovely.
Anyway - the films. Friday night was THE VELVET VAMPIRE which was great fun, a schlocky b-movie horror from 1971 and pretty ridiculous. All you want from a Friday night festival opener really.
Saturday morning was the 1983 doc SEVENTEEN which was banned from airing on US TV for daring to show inter racial relationships. It was great, very raw and honest as well as being very funny. I have since discovered its on YouTube and I highly recommend checking it out
Then it was VELVET GOLDMINE which I hadn’t seen for about 15 years and didn’t remember liking it very much. My view hasn’t changed massively but the lovely 35mm print and big screen experience did make it quite an enjoyable ride. It is an utter mess of a film though and i burst old laughing when ‘ol Brian Moldova did his cameo. What a silly man.
BOUND was the Saturday night film and again I remembered being lukewarm to it when I saw it in TV. How wrong I was, Jennifer Tilly is SO GOOD in that film.
Sunday was a more mellow affair with THE END OF THE WORLD, from director Pedro Pinho whose new film The Nothing Factory is out at the moment and meant to be great. Was fine but obviously a debut and outstayed its welcome even at 65 minutes.
My last feature was NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS which I had convinced myself was a documentary so was surprised to see “based on true events” flash up. Didn’t buy into the latter melodrama aspects but it was a good insight into censorship and just trying to be who you are in Iran.
Claire Denis’ 35 SHOTS OF RUM was the closing film but I was too knackered to hang around (I’ve seen it before anyway).
Overall it was a really fun weekend and truly put any idea that I was a film nerd into perspective as that quiz was FUCKING HARD.
Speaking of which if you’ve made it this far, why not guess the picture round from the quiz. These are all film stars and directors when they were younger.
And finally here are some photos of Eastbourne about an hour apart. Faded seaside glamour has never been so sexy. I am also pictured, wearing my lovely bobble hat.