|Indigo for an incubus.|
in a stunning evening gown
Jubilee Hall Wed 25 Sept
Congratulations to the Chagford Film Festival Committee. Elizabeth-Jane Baldry, Don Badger, Stephen Saunders, et al have come up with the goods once again.
The ball's in your court!
|Countdown to convivial entertainment.|
Oscars, cinema memorabilia & films
- all in the Chagford Globe Cinema
Comedian and Author, Tony Hawks, was in Chagford for the screening of his film 'Playing the Moldovans at Tennis', which came out in 2012.
The setting was intimate. Upstairs, the Globe has a very surprising feature. A small cinema (with bar!) seats up to 100 for a cosy evening of movie entertainment. After the film, Tony took questions from the floor, and was on hand until late in the evening to discuss his work.
Live harp music at Jubilee Hall
Historic Endecott House was the setting for the big-screen classic 'The King and I' on Thursday afternoon, While on Wednesday night Jubilee Hall was home to a sell-out spectacular, 'Nosferatu'. This silent movie from 1922 was shown with live accompaniment by professional movie accompanist and composer Elizabeth-Jane Baldry.
Elizabeth-Jane herself gave the introductions. This extraordinary film was the only movie by German production company 'Prana Films'. Their buddhist-inspired logo was seen briefly on German bill-boards in 1922 before the film was withdrawn and the company declared bankrupt to avoid legal action by Bram Stoker's family for infringement of copyright.
|Max Schrek is Count Orlok|
Florence Stoker rightly claimed that the story is a thinly disguised reworking of Bram's novel 'Dracula'. If she had had her way, all copies of the film would have been destroyed. Luckily one print had already been distributed and copies have been preserved by enthusiasts ever since.
There is more to this than a regular vampire story. 'Nosferatu' implies not only the undead, but also the unclean (νόσου φορέα = disease carrier). Count Orlok (the equivalent of Stoker's Dracula) comes to Germany in a coffin which is accompanied by five other coffins - all filled with soil from his 'unhallowed' grave.
|Salzspeicher warehouses in Lübeck|
The soil is infested with rats which infect the crew of the cargo ship Demeter with plague. By demonic power the ship still docks in Germany and the plague spreads. Orlok moves into his unlikely looking 'house' (an abandoned salt warehouse in Lübeck) and leers through the windows each night at his neighbour Ellen Hutter, whose blood he hopes to consume.
In 1918, three years before the film was made, Germany had suffered an epidemic of 'Spanish 'Flu' (the same H1N1 strain which caused 17,000 deaths from 'swine flu' in 2009). In 1918 influenza killed 20% of people infected - and half the fatalities were in young adults. Although the infection originated in New England it easily crossed the battle lines of the Western Front and, during the last two months of the war, killed more people in Germany than all the military actions of the war itself. (2.6M vs 2M).
|A terrible discovery|
Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim)
stumbles upon Count Orlok
in a casket of infectious earth
|Nosferatu is no more . . .|
A natural choice for any professional accompanist, this was Elizabeth-Jane's inspiration for this year's film festival. Working, as always, scene by scene, Elizabeth had created a harp accompaniment which matched the mood of the story, complementing the atmospheric imagery. In addition, the distinctive sound of her harp Oberon followed the action faithfully while making seemless links between the successive scenes.
|Reincarnation Street - Cert 18|
After a late night of film fun, Lucy Moore and Stephen Saunders started Thursday with a very productive screenwriting workshop attended by several aspiring authors - and two more established film experts - Jackie Juno and Elizabeth Jane Baldry.
|'Cockneys vs Zombies'|
Producer: James Harris
Credits just rolling:
|'The Moo Man'|
Producer and Star
& Stephen Hook
Meanwhile in Jubilee Hall, Andy Heathcote had
|James Mann helps Ian Wellens|
divvy up the delicious cheeses
|Jonathan Richards is on hand|
with a variety of vintages
|Festival Chairman Don Badger|
chairs a lively discussion with
Andy Heathcote & Stephen Hook
introduced to the mode of production - in film. 'The Moo Man' is a very moving documentary of one man's efforts to produce a natural product at a realistic price. Afterwards Stephen was more than happy to answer questions about his work and the problems he still faces. The question and answer session went on long after the Zombie fans had dispersed. Some even came to Jubilee Hall to see what the big discussion was all about.
Both movies were sell-outs, but even those without tickets didn't feel left out - in 'Cult Corner' at the Globe another vintage horror was showing - Godzilla!
|Ron Saunders - a documentary|
|Ron Saunders - in person|
Ron worked at Pathé for nearly ten years and his storehouse of knowledge about the methods of preservation - and the content of the archive itself - is endlessly fascinating. This year's presentation started with an impressive video documentary featuring Ron and his colleagues explaining restoration and storage techniques. Then Ron arrived in person and kept everyone entertained for an hour with clips of entertainers throughout the twentieth century. Singers, dancers, comedians, acrobats - a cavalcade of talented artists from past decades.
|Joseph Späh - Don't look down!|
|When acrobatic skill is at a premium|
It appeared from one angle that a passenger jumps out of the burning ship. That may have been Joseph Späh. He was making a film himself from the forward passenger section of the Hindenburg when he saw the light of the flames reflected from the hangar roof. As the stern crashed to the ground Joseph avoided being thrown backwards by clinging to a handrail.
|The Adagio Dancers|
Alexis & Dorrano
in 'Danse Apache'
Connections of this kind came up repeatedly during Ron's exposition - later events or stage acts prefigured in film.
|'Danse Apache' - by Mik|
The dance has always intrigued and amused audiences with its extreme violence (inspired by 'Les Apaches', a Parisian street gang). Buster Keaton made a fabulous spoof version in 1930. (He was the dame!) Copenhagen artist Henning Dahl Mikkelsen was clearly influenced by the act forty years later when he created this cartoon strip (above) for US readers.
Many thanks to Ron Saunders for once again providing this extra special feature for the Festival.
|In the star-chamber|
(Globe Inn lounge bar)
meets the director of
After the film the revelry continued with the now familiar Chagford Award Ceremony, and there was a special guest - Ryan Gage, who will play Jackson's neo-Tolkein character, Alfrid, in the Hobbit sequels.
Having gone out with a bang, Chagford Film Festival will bounce back with even more fun and surprises for 2014. We can keep in touch by subscribing to their website and facebook page. Meanwhile Elizabeth-Jane Baldry continues her work with Chagford Filmmaking Group as their latest film 'Tam Lin' goes to post-production. Keep up with all the details on the fairytalefilms website.
Looking forward to more film in 2014!