Film: Bait


Martin Ward (Edward Rowe) is a fisherman, a gloweringly aggressive man who resents the incomers and holidaymakers who have taken over his village. Fishing is in decline. Where once this industry used bait to catch fish, now the whole community and the beautiful landscape are used as bait to catch tourists. But Martin insists on still trying to be a fisherman. In his martyred way, he almost nurses the resentment involved. But then his irritation with the newcomers explodes when his ramshackle van gets clamped by the security firm for parking in the now-reserved spaces outside his former family home. This and a hundred other little slights add to his simmering rage. In ‘Bait’, Cornish film-maker Mark Jenkin has contributed one of the most arrestingly strange movies this year. It’s an adventure in zerobudget analogue cinema, a black shot with a Bolex cine-camera on 16mm film and developed in such a way as to create ghostly glitches and scratches on the print. A drama on what might be the rather hackneyed theme of tourists ruining Cornwall becomes a bizarre expressionist melodrama.
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