Monday 28 March 2011

"You all look like you're from the Ku Klux Klan"

Jo Brand's appearance at the Borderlines Film Festival saw a chunk of the festival population migrate east to the small town of Ledbury where Francine Stock interviewed her at the quaint Market Theatre.
It was an old and grey audience, in fact Jo was probably younger than most. But the comedian did not hold back and despite the desert island film formula carrying the evening Jo discussed racism, politics, and language and then questioned her own sensibility in discussing her left political leanings, suggesting most of the audience looked like they were from the Ku Klux Klan..... her sails were not down as she proceeded with another anecdote involving a 'cunt' of a manager. But Ledbury's lot lapped it up, there was constant chuckling the occasional impulsive clap and a general warm reception. She certainly commanded the audiences' devoted attention which was down to more than middle class manners.

Among her desert island films were Twin Town, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Riff Raff. There was a strong British representation including Bill Douglas and Ken Loach.

Otherwise at headquarters Courtyard the big guns are staking or breaking claims for the audience award. The 1st sold out serving of Black Swan had positive reviews, but there was a contingent of unhappy oldies who did not get the Hansel and Gretel ballet film they craved. With almost 1000 tickets sold Black Swan has reeled in Hereford's film audience by a margin. Released at a similar date at the turn of the year, 127 hours had a fairly equal footing during the heady weeks of awards season hysteria but lacked the knockout punch (like Natalie Portman's performance) that would have secured an Oscar and an increased box office. The surprise seller from this man's shoes has been My Afternoons with Margueritte, but targeted at the right audience a film like this, (and  Mike Leigh's Another Year), clearly has genuine Borderliners approval.

As there was little to choose between Black Swan and 127 Hours, children's film Megamind has been making a solid claim through the audience feedback. Could Megamind possibly win the audience award, and will the King's Speech be screened in Hereford for the 200th time. We pray and hope for different things.

Luke Owen

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