Keswick Film Festival

A Homage To John Hurt

A Selection Of Films Featuring One Of The UK's Great Actors

John Hurt is one of our most recognisable actors. From starring in the 1966 film A Man For All Seasons, being nominated for his first BAFTA in 1972, becoming famous on the stage, the radio, in film and TV, and to being listed in 11 releases in 2011 including Merlin, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier,Spy and Melancholia, he is known by adults and children alike.

We are delighted that John and his film producer wife, Anwen Rees-Myers will be joining us. We are showing a number of his films including The Naked Civil Servant, the ITV film about Quentin Crisp that perhaps brought him to the forefront as an actor. Well known for television, film, stage and voice-over he is extraordinarily prolific. Among other honours, he has received a Golden Globe Award and three BAFTA Awards, with two and six nominations respectively, as well as two Academy Award nominations. He will be introducing a number of his films and being 'In Conversation'.

John Hurt
Sunday 26th February 3:00 PM - Theatre By The Lake
John Hurt - In Conversation
An interview and Q&A with John Hurt including clips of some of his films.

"Britain's superbly eccentric import John Hurt is a perfect example of how huge, wondrous gifts can come in small, unadorned packages. His magnetic, often bedeviled portraits have touched the souls of film-goers internationally for over four decades, and there seems to be no end to the depth of this man's talent. Stretching the boundaries every which way but loose, he continues to be an acting textbook in the art of metamorphosis"

Look him up on the film database and he has 173 entries as actor with 9 in 2011 including roles as diverse as Control in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Ollivander in Harry Potter. At the English film festival in Dinard last year there were as many young people flocking around him for his autograph as remembered him from the 70s as Quentin Crisp, in Midnight Express or as The Elephant Man.

Thursday 23rd February 7:30 PM - Theatre By The Lake
In Love with Alma Cogan
Tony Britten (2011) UK 99 mins TBC

This gentle romantic comedy tells the story of Norman, the manager of the theatre on the pier at a once grand East Coast holiday resort. Norman has worked at the theatre all his life and despite the efforts of Sandra, his long- serving and suffering assistant, he will not accept that the local council, which owns the theatre may be serious about putting it into the hands of commercial management. As the plot unfolds, Norman realises that it may be time to move on and put behind him the ghost of the fifties and sixties singing star Alma Cogan.

Starring Roger Lloyd-Pack and Niamh Cusack with John Hurt in a cameo role and with original music by Tony Britten this new film will resonate with Keswickians. The potential closure of the theatre in the film resonating with the threat to the cinema in Keswick, and the role of the RNLI in the film with our Mountain Rescue. A gentle introduction to more music to come.

Thanks to Anwen Rees and Tony Britten

Saturday 25th February 1:00 PM - Theatre By The Lake
Belinda Chayko (2010) Australia 86 mins

The film takes place almost entirely on a property in the cane country of northern New South Wales, where single mother Rhea (Emily Barclay) survives by barring the door against debt collectors.To help make ends meet, she agrees to find room for Doyle (John Hurt), an old sailor with Alzheimer's disease who is the paternal grandfather of her three young daughters - an exotic figure in this setting, with his faraway eyes, English accent and sensitive, ravaged face. The oldest girl, Lou (Lily Bell-Tindley), initially resents the newcomer and the painful memories he stirs up. Doyle confuses the 11-year-old Lou with the wife who broke his heart many years ago, and Lou soon finds her own reasons to restage the past. This is a slightly dangerous coming-of-age fantasy.

This session also includes a screening of Elfar Adalsteins’ Sailcloth staring John Hurt and among the short films tipped to land an Oscar nomination.

Thanks to Matchbox Films

Saturday 25th February 1:00 PM - Theatre By The Lake
Elfar Adalsteins (2011) UK 18 mins TBC

Our screening of Lou will be preceded by Elfar Adalsteins’ Sailcloth also staring John Hurt and among the short films tipped to land an Oscar nomination.

An elderly gentleman absconds from a nursing home by setting in motion events that veil his disappearance. He heads to the local pier, where an old companion awaits him, ready for their last great journey.

Saturday 25th February 8:30 PM - Theatre By The Lake
The Naked Civil Servant
Jack Gold (1975) UK 85 mins

Quentin Crisp was born Denis Pratt on Christmas Day 1908. As an openly gay man in a much less tolerant era, he suffered constant abuse and rejection in his quest to "make them understand". He may or may not have made society understand homosexuality, but he certainly raised awareness of it, and you could argue that freedom of sexual choice would not be as accepted today were it not for his courage and determination.

Thames's television adaptation of Crisp’s autobiography The Naked Civil Servant eight years after he wrote it took Britain by storm and made Crisp an overnight celebrity. John Hurt's unforgettable performance as Crisp won him a BAFTA for Best Actor, while director Jack Gold won the Academy's highest commendation, The Desmond Davies Award, for outstanding creative contribution to television. Credit for the film's success also goes to screenwriter Philip Mackie and producer Verity Lambert. Perhaps the highest praise is Crisp's christening of John Hurt as his "representative on earth."

Thanks to Freemantle Media

Saturday 25th February 8:30 PM - Theatre By The Lake
An Englishman In New York
Richard Laxton (2009) UK 75 mins

Quentin Crisp moved to America at age seventy-two, "when people my age rocked themselves asleep in nursing home. Not me! I want my time lived!" And live his life Quentin Crisp certainly did. Setting off on the journey of a lifetime to New York City on September 13, 1981, the out-spoken Quentin Crisp was immediately embraced by New Yorkers and before long wined and dined by celebrities in every corner of the city. Mr. Crisp’s romantic view of New York and America was coloured by wartime relationships with GIs in London and by a love of Hollywood movies. The film was nominated and won prizes at a number of festivals.

Thanks to Momentum Pictures

Sunday 26th February 5:30 PM - Alhambra
Lars Von Trier (2011) Denmark 136 mins 15

The narrative revolves around two sisters during and shortly after the wedding party of one of them, while Earth is about to collide with an approaching rogue planet. The film prominently features music from Richard Wagner's prelude to his opera Tristan und Isolde. Trier's initial inspiration for the film came from a depressive episode he suffered and the insight that depressed people remain calm in stressful situations. The film was much feted at Festivals and the lead actresses gave prize-winning performances. Lars von Trier ‘ has made one of the most unforgettable, unshakably unique films of this year.’ Jim Tudor.

Supported by Film Hub North, led by Showroom Workstation. Proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network

Film Hub North BFI Film Audience Network