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The Gareth and BillCast

This is the Billcast - sounds from Bill Thompson

Jul 14, 2006

Another film-packed show today, including an interview with German director Fred Kelerman, Trish Sheil discussing the education programme and Mike Figgis talking dirty - and not forgetting manga robot Tetsujin 28.

Janet Holding
over eighteen years ago

Cock and Bull, Claude.
I, and other members of the audience, would rather your film selection was interesting, rather than made to seem that way. With your criteria, CCTV footage \'is interesting in some way\'.

Oh and I\'d rather carp than offer cod.

But you are the cat\'s whiskers...

over eighteen years ago

I enjoyed the film festival immensely and saw lots of great films and some not so great, but that\'s what it\'s all about after all. Like our feline friend says even those that weren\'t so great did have interesting elements, (And yes CCTV footage can be interesting - there are whole films featuring it - Caché, Fear X etc).

We all like different films, so what? I choose not to watch horror films, because personally I don\'t like them but that doesn\'t mean they shouldn\'t be shown. I have no problem with marketing copy in the programme; every film festival and pretty much any other event does this. I\'m sorry Janet if you found nothing you liked, I find that quite sad.

I have two questions for you: why do you go at all if all you\'re going to do is complain? And why go to a film festival or even the cinema when you appear not to even like films? Might I suggest that you stick to multiplexes in future...

Skippy the canine star – you may know me from such films as The Thin Man and Bringing Up Baby.

Eve Webster
seventeen and a half years ago

Janet\'s problem seems to be that she cannot appreciate subtley. Does she need a punchline to tickle her? A joke about mothers in law perhaps? \'Its Nice Up North\' is wonderfully observed and intelligently presented. Maybe it went over Janet\'s head.

Janet Holding
over eighteen years ago

That the Graham Fellows fanclub were in attendance doesn\'t alter the fact that \'It\'s Nice up North\' is a dire film.

Claude, the Cambridge cat for peace
over eighteen years ago

A letter to Janet,

Dear Janet. I’m so sorry you’ve had a hard time finding a film to meet your specifications. Film festivals can be like that sometimes. Everything you see doesn’t quite hit the right note, whilst fellow viewers seem permanently enraptured by works you’ve just missed.


There seems to be some confusion between your concept of a review and the marketing copy in a film festival programme brochure. The brochure is written to promote the films being shown at the festival. Hence all the films being shown are made to seem interesting. Why would a film festival advertise some of its content as being crap? Naturally everything will be suitable to different tastes and to differing standards, and compared to the general standard at a multiplex every film being shown bar none is interesting in some way.

Of the examples you mention, Cock and Bull Story has been one of the highlights of the last year with near unanimous critical praise behind it. Your opinion whilst valid appears to be in the crushing minority. It’s Nice Up North seemed to sell out at this year’s festival, and yes I have found several friends who did actually enjoy it and who to my knowledge are not card carrying members of the John Shuttleworth fan club. As for Lottery of the Sea, it may have anesthetised everybody who saw it but I still want to watch it and find out how to make a nautical paella. The festival excels at showing interesting films promoting a dialogue, even of the dismissive kind going on right now.

Reviving the wise words of Julia Menzies I agree that this delightfully articulate commentator should indeed get involved with programming. Perhaps as a warm up she could organise a short film festival on environmental films sometime next year to tally her clear breadth of knowledge and passion for these films with the logistics of actually making something like this happen. As a persistent dreamer myself though, I always seem to have trouble organising things yet no trouble whatsoever concocting armchair schemes to improve the world.

In the meantime Janet, shush! Your carping is starting to irritate me. The festival is about to finish and there is too much to watch.

Yours with scratches and purrs,

Claude, the Cambridge cat for peace

Janet Holding
over eighteen years ago

I made the effort, with friends, to go to Felbrigg Hall for what we hoped would be a fun evening only to endure the worst of films in Cock and Bull Story. I took the reviews in your programme of \'Lottery of the Sea\' and \'It\'s Nice up North\' at face value, only to feel that I\'d been conned into watching two films that are just too tedious for words. I challenge you to find anyone who enjoyed them! I like Mike Figgis\' work usually so again, like an idiot, pitched up for \'Co/ma\'. I\'m left wondering if anyone actually bothers vetting the festival programme. Are there really so few good films out there, and why can\'t your reviews/reviewers be honest?
I think you should try and get Julia Menzies onto your team next year. Her programming ideas and comments (from the June 25th podcast page) suggest someone capable of giving the festival a raison d\'etre and significance which, judging by this year\'s fare, it desperately needs.