Monday 30 March 2009

Feeling the festival vibe

Adieu, my name is Jolene Archer, first year film maker over at Hereford College of Arts, fresh back from my first day of soaking up the Borderlines vibe like some strange blogging sponge. Since I've spent most of today rocketting back and forth between screenings I thought I'd post a little about the festival itself.

The atmosphere at Borderlines is surreal, in the best possible way. Mooching about the lobby of The Courtyard theatre, one feels a slight pang of resonance for the great wildlife film makers, who after patiently waiting for weeks on end finally get thier money shot - when one recognises the eager look of a fellow film buff, the anxious twist of ticket in hand, the awkward avoidance of eye contact when one realises they've entered the wrong screen - these moments are the snow leopards of Attenborough films, although thankfully, film goers are not near extinction, and have only rarely been known to maul.

I'm an early bird, so it is in my nature to arrive at a screening with enough time to politely hassle the staff as to the time doors will be opened. This habit of mine meant that I was one of the first to enter the screening of Badlands this afternoon. As I settle myself into my seat, more people start to enter and watching my fellow movie-goers arrive is something to behold. Once the doors are opened a flood of people emerge, presumably from some portal or pre-film panic room, as it is impossible for me to recall seeing half of them in my twenty minute wait in the lobby before hand. Yet, here they are all tentatively creeping into the screen, peering around the corners of doors with an air of apprehension which I suspect to be aided by the ominous red glow of the pre-film screen.

Once we are seated, the variety of the audience is interesting to note. Couples, singles, and families, young and old, all of us united by a love of cinema, and the universal need to tread on at least one other person's feet before we reach our designated seat - the polite mutterings of 'ever so sorry!' the well known cry of the rarely spotted Hereford Cinephile. For a few moments all of us are engaged in our own pre-film entertainment, magazines of all kinds are drawn out of handbags, backpacks, briefcases and flicked through with idle impatients - the diversity of the crowd reflected in their choice of reading material, of pre-trailer snacks.

From my lofty perch I spy what appears to be a copy of Sight and Sound magazine in the hands of a young woman, whilst further down somebody else is diligently scanning a text book (I commend your work ethic, whomever you were!). From werthers originals to walkers crisps, everyone's bought their own rations to keep them going - I begin to notice something which smells suspiciously like mint chocolate, but before I can investigate further the lights dim and the crowd is quite. Curtain up, roll film.

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