Whitley Bay Film Festival – happy 10th birthday!
Whitley Bay Film festival is ten this year! This fabulous eclectic summer film festival pairs classic films with quirky original venues and on occasion, even fish and chips! Very Eccentric England. This week we went along to an outdoor screening of Edward Scissorhands at Seaton Delaval Hall. The National Trust is restoring this fabulous building to its former glory. Even the statues are getting in on the project helping out by wearing high vis vests!
The gardens of the hall are glorious and feature examples of topiary of which Edward would heartily approve!
There was a small bar with Pimms and lemonade and treats, and we settled down with our brollies and blankets for the show. The met office had given the evening a 5% chance of rain – well it was more like 100% I would say for most of the film! However we plucky Northerners are hardy types. We braved the weather and were entranced by the tale of the lost Frankenstein boy who was never quite finished.
Whitley bay film festival – an evening with Edward Scissorhands
A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being – the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp.) He dies before he can complete him leaving him with an alarming appearance and only blades for hands. Do-gooder suburban housewife Peg (Diane West) discovers him in his isolated Gothic castle home while trying to scout for new Avon clients. She takes him home where he falls for her daughter Kim, played by Winona Ryder.
Edward becomes the talk of the neighbourhood with his topiary and hair cutting skills. But things are about to go horribly wrong…
I’d forgotten what a good film this is. Tim Burton is at his least self indulgent and most effective. Johnny Depp is prevented from overacting (see Pirates of the Caribbean) by not really having any lines. He looked good though.
Whitley Bay Film festival – a local gem
I loved the contrast between the dark Gothic world Edward comes from and the candy coloured provincial suburb he is propelled into. The cinematography is delicious with pastel coloured cars, houses and costumes providing a stark contrast to the strange and dark Edward.
Themes explored include that of the outsider and the fickle favour of society. Love, tragedy and redemption are all in the mix. It is a real modern day fairy story.
In a town without a cinema, a plucky band of film lovers set up the festival in 2010, with a mission to stage something extraordinary in this North East seaside destination.
From the humble origins of organising a screening of Jaws on the local beach, the Festival has gone from strength-to-strength and now delivers an annual programme of seminal films in unique settings with a imaginative twist.
The Patron of the film festival is super successful film and screen writer Ian La Frenais, a local lad. He is most famous for penning The Likely Lads, Porridge and Auf Weidersehen Pet. Over the decade, the festival team have shown The Fog in St Mary’s Lighthouse, The Dawn of the Dead at the shopping centre, used the Spanish City Dome as a pop up cinema and even welcomed Roger Daltry to the town for a special 40th anniversary screening of Tommy.
This is a great local festival which is always a joy to visit! Check out the 2019 programme at the Whitley Bay Film Festival website.