Newest Reviews
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Devil to Pay, The
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Salon Kitty
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
  Bait Cornish Patsies
Year: 2019
Director: Mark Jenkin
Stars: Edward Rowe, Sarah Woodvine, Simon Shepherd, Giles King, Chloe Endean, Isaac Woodvine, Georgia Ellery, Jowan Jacobs, Stacey Guthrie, Tristan Sturrock, Martin Ellis, Morgan Val Baker, Janet Thirlaway
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Martin Ward (Edward Rowe) is a fisherman in Cornwall, but times are growing increasingly tough now that the boat he owned with his brother Steven (Giles King) has been taken away from him: Steven now uses it for the many tourists to the area, to take out on the sea for pleasure cruises to scrape by his own living. This has resulted in some resentment between the siblings, and worse than that, Martin has been forced from the family home into a smaller abode while Steven uses his old house as a bed and breakfast for those tourists. It appears that as time goes by and Steven fails to adjust, there will be a reckoning for both of them...

Writer and director Mark Jenkin was working with minimal means himself when he shot Bait on a 16mm Bolex camera - one he had to wind up to get it to work - which did not have any sound on it. The dialogue, music and effects were placed on the soundtrack later, in post-production, after he had developed the film alone in his darkroom, so you either react to that information in one of two ways: you think, how wonderful, an actual artisan movie, almost literally handcrafted and assembled like the cinematic equivalent of a folk song, or you think, bloody hell, is there nothing else that the artisan community cannot conjure up, they're even making films now?

Despite the reservations of many, Jenkin was completely sincere in his methods, and if that came across as somewhat "pretentious, moi?" in the style of keeping it real with the fishing community in his native Cornwall, then so be it. The trouble with this sort of thing was, of course, that he was preaching to the choir, and anyone who harboured (so to speak) a deep-seated suspicion of the motives of the artier end of British filmmaking, or any nation's filmmaking for that matter, was not going to have their Road to Damascus moment while watching this. In fact, that kind of reaction was likely to be the reason most left efforts like this to the critics and aesthetes.

Not that aesthetes don't deserve entertainment and stimulation as much as anyone seeking post-pub diversions over their pizza, the film world is a broad church, it's more that every time something as involved and obscure as Bait began to gather traction, it felt like cultural battle lines were being drawn, and that could make you feel very weary indeed. As this stood, it was neither a masterpiece nor a disaster best relegated to the snobs, it looked like what it was, more or less a one-man show (the acting aside) in the vein of many of the more resourceful British directors who for whatever motive were left to operate on a budget that would cover the catering on many a blockbuster. For some, that was a badge of honour, for others, it was always going to be a turn-off and a barrier for them.

There was a social and political aspect here that was knitted into the plot, the complaints about the tourist industry being the only thing propping up picturesque areas of Britain now the industries they had previously existed on for centuries had been wound down or neglected, all of which was perfectly valid and worth discussing. Whether it was worth discussing in the context of a somewhat forced tragedy delivered by performances that would look a lot more amateurish had they not had the boost of Jenkin's obscuring techniques was another question, and you worry the people this would most apply to and most get through to would never consider picking it up because it was trapped in an art movie ghetto. Actually, if Jenkin had filmed it more conventionally, he would have reached more of the audience he should have been appealing towards, but then if he had, he would probably not have enjoyed the critical acclaim. Maybe it's not fair to land these concerns on a small project such as Bait, but this was the landscape it arrived in.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 521 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Paul Smith
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: