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Festival News: Borderlines Film Festival 2013

The Borderlines Film Festival returns for its second decade in March, bringing the best in recent international cinema to 39 venues spread throughout Herefordshire and Shropshire.

The festival’s new film programmer David Sin, of the Independent Cinema Office, has gathered together more than 80 titles which will screen alongside preview showings and other special events. Full details can be found via the Borderlines website. Below we’ve highlighted some of the major one-offs taking place through the month…

Chris Menges in Conversation with Francine Stock

Double Academy Award winning cinematographer and director Chris Menges talks to The Film Programme’s Francine Stock about a life dedicated to cinema.

Born in Kington, Herefordshire, Chris embarked on his career at the tender age of 16 as an apprentice on documentaries and, as a young man, travelled as a cameraman to South Africa, Angola, Zanzibar, Cyprus, Vietnam and Tibet, often in perilous circumstances.

As director of photography on feature films his list of credits is astounding: Kes, Local Hero, Angel, Michael Collins, The Reader, Notes on a Scandal, to name but a few. As well as a long and fruitful collaboration with Ken Loach he has worked, among others, with Stephen Frears, Roland Joffé (winning Oscars for Cinematography on The Killing Fields and The Mission), Neil Jordan, Bill Forsyth and Stephen Daldry as well as directing five feature films himself.

Modest and unassuming, Menges nevertheless has a wealth of unrivalled cinematic expertise to share, and a host of amazing stories to tell. To accompany this event we will showing four of the films he has worked on: Kes (1969), The Killing Fields (1984), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (1996) and A World Apart (1988), which he directed.

Friday 1st March, The Courtyard Hereford, 8.15pm

Hitchcock Silents

Alongside the brand new Hitchcock biopic and Psycho, the film at its heart, we are delighted to be showcasing two out of Alfred Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films, essential to an understanding of the director’s later work. These films have recently undergone the biggest and most complex restoration project ever undertaken by the BFI National Archive. Decades of damage and wear have been removed; the sharpness of the image improved; new shots discovered and intertitles and tinting restored. We are fortunate to have Bryony Dixon, one of the supervisors of the Hitchcock Silents project, to introduce The Lodger and talk about the restoration process as well as Stephen Horne to provide live accompaniment to Blackmail.

Sunday 3 March & Wednesday 6 March, The Courtyard Hereford, 6.45pm

Shadowlands Walk

Walk near Symonds Yat taking in locations for the film 'Shadowlands'. Guided by British Mountaineering Council qualified Mountain Walking Leader, Nic Howes.

It is 20 years since the release of Shadowlands in which Herefordshire’s ‘Golden Valley’ features significantly as a “view of heaven” even though the Wye was actually chosen as a location rather than the River Dore. Alongside a screening of the film the walk celebrates this anniversary. It takes in two key shots used in the film and passes a barn (since turned into a home) that figures in a key scene.

The walk is only about 2.5 miles on the map and includes some spectacular views from the rim of the Wye Gorge. It descends about 400 feet steeply to the riverside (and climbs back up again on a zig-zag path). It also takes in the remains of the early Nineteenth Century “Coldwell Walks”, laid out in the picturesque manner by Edward Machen, who oversaw the enclosure of areas of the Forest of Dean and the planting of millions of trees therein. (Muddy conditions underfoot are a certainty, so please come suitably attired.)

Saturday 9 March, Symonds Yat Rock, 10.30am

Sir Derek Jacobi On Stage On Screen with Francine Stock

Born, like Alfred Hitchcock, in Leytonstone, Sir Derek’s early theatrical career was established at the National Theatre during the 1960s. His defining role on TV came with his wonderfully underplayed portrayal of the Emperor in I, Claudius (1976) and he also took the lead in the popular series Cadfael, set in Shrewsbury. His film credits include collaborations with Kenneth Branagh on Henry V, Dead Again, Hamlet as well as Little Dorrit, Gladiator and Gosford Park. Sir Derek is currently in the limelight for the romantic drama Last Tango in Halifax on BBC1, with sitcom Vicious, in which he co-stars with Ian McKellen as two ageing gay men who co-habit, coming up on ITV in the spring.

As a fundraiser for The Courtyard this audience with Sir Derek, hosted by Festival Patron, novelist and broadcaster Francine Stock, explores the renowned British actor’s varied and distinguished film and TV career. We will also be screening Love is the Devil, which features his acclaimed and edgy portrayal of the artist Francis Bacon, at the Festival.

Sunday 10 March, The Courtyard Hereford, 7.00pm

English Premiere: Byzantium

Neil Jordan returns to the Gothic hinterland of Interview with a Vampire and The Company of Wolves with this contemporary vampire film starring Gemma Arterton. Byzantium unpicks the mysterious pact between a pair of young women, ostensibly sisters, who arrive in a down-at-heel seaside town on the run from a sinister stranger. Expect stupendous visuals and a finely nuanced portrayal by Saoirse Ronan as the younger of the pair.

The film replaces the screening of Starbuck on Tuesday 12 March, 6.00pm at The Courtyard and also look out for an additional screening date in the luxurious surroundings of Hay's Booth's Bookshop Cinema.

Roll Out the Barrel

From the BFI, this intoxicating selection of archive shorts is an essential history of the British boozer on film - and plays aptly enough at one of Britain’s surviving parlour pubs. From Arnold Miller’s swinging Under the Table You Must Go, Philip Trevelyan’s beautifully expressionistic The Ship Hotel - Tyne Main to the local quirks and characters of Richard Massingham’s wartime Down at the Local, and Michael Palin and Terry Jones humorous trade film Henry Cleans Up, this programme is brimful of the sights and sounds of the great British pub, exploring its role as a place of communal gathering, game playing and opinion debating. (Limited capacity – book in advance to secure your place.) Our review of Roll Out the Barrel can be found here.

Wednesday 13 March, The Sun Inn Leintwardine, 7.30pm

The Borderlines Film Festival runs from March 1st through to March 17th.

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