Bait, 2019, Mark Jenkin


Director: Mark Jenkin; Screenplay: Mark Jenkin; Cinematography: Mark Jenkin; Editing: Mark Jenkin; Music: Mark Jenkin; Cast: Edward Rowe, Mary Woodvine, Simon Shepherd, Giles King, Chloe Endean. United Kingdom, 2019, DCP (from 16mm), bw, 88 min. English

Winner of the BAFTA for Outstanding British Debut, Bait has amassed prizes, audience appreciation and critical acclaim since premiering at the Berlinale's Forum last February. A wonder of old-school monochrome analog film, shot on 16mm and hand-developed by writer-director-cinematographer-editor Jenkin, it makes David Eggers' similarly retro The Lighthouse look positively cutting-edge. And the focus here is likewise nautical, exploring socio-economic realities of modern-day Cornwall via the story of a taciturn fisherman struggling to adapt to his area's creeping gentrification. Anchored by a superb central performance – compelling, imposing, dryly hilarious – from big-screen newcomer Edward Rowe, previously best known as a stand-up comedian, this is an electrifyingly original dispatch from the geographical and economic margins of a country in dramatic flux. (Neil Young)

With Christine Dollhofer in attendance

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