You must remember this scene from Casablanca.. ? no? It was 8pm, Sunday evening in Harrogate. Daren, aka @paint_Monkey defined the moment by taking the Cuban bit by the teeth and declaring one of the few smoking cinemas left in England, was open for business. Casablanca was playing on the temporary outdoor cinerma, perhaps less inflectionally known as ‘Movies on Montpellier’. The weekend activities (of which there were a few) were enhanced by the option of the free (and easy) outdoor walk in moviedrome.
The something for everyone film policy could have oh so easily gone for a strictly mainstream super safe approach the selectors, I think, got it spot on. Toy Story 3 was their opening gambit which we attended – on a stunning afternoon – and this was one of the kick-off (read awareness) events of the Harrogate International Festival – proper. The Talented Mr Ripley headlined Sunday with Sherlock Holmes and Moulin Rouge! being the Saturday night showreels. I tweeted and foursquared during the event – seemed like quite a buzz about town for this event. We made the most of it and I rustled up a cracking picnic, washed down with cider on ice. Happy atmosphere, loads of space and thankfully the quality sound and picture were more than acceptable. The surreal bit was watching a terrific thunderstorm, whilst sat outside on a red hot and sunny July lunch time.
The only slight erk was that the virtual brochure (see link above) claimed that it would be showing “an array of feature [tick], family friendly [tick] and art-house films [hmm..?] as well as a showcasing talented young filmmakers in the region [insert Family Fortunes big cross noise here]”. Is this last years copy? Were they featured but not billed, or are there no talented young filmmakers in the region?
If I may reiterate the emphasis on ‘slight’ erk though – my main regret from the whole package was that we didn’t get enjoy more of it. Our weekend was jam packed. A Pub Quiz night at Grove Road School, a 4 year olds princess party, a huge win by fixing the fridge in our land ship as well as a bunch of other uber practical activities topped off with a lovely dinner and hang out with super fine wine and sunshine at the gorgeous abode of some lovely friends. Quite a special weekend all round. Here’s looking at you kid!