UNITED KINGDOM | 2018 | B&W | 87 MIN. | ENGLISH
Mark Jenkin’s indefinable film announces itself early on as a work of singular imagination. Shot on a vintage hand-cranked Bolex on hand-processed 16mm film, Bait’s high contrast cinematography crackles with grit and grain. It’s a tribute to celluloid, fragile and ageless. The use of sound is no less uncanny, featuring a post-dubbed adr dialogue track that feels at once otherworldly and somehow grounded in the domestic. Bait’s narrative is deceptively simple – a family of bourgeois tourists descends on a declining Cornish fishing village, bringing with them the threat and disregard of modernity. The politics are subtle but clear – this is, after all, cinema in the age of Brexit. In short, this is a thrillingly odd, mercurial film. For all its mannered, studied artifice, Bait is expressive, unbeholden to dogma and suggestive of a fearless future cinema. It’s an extraordinary achievement.
Review by: Jim Kolmar
Mark Jenkin | Cornwall | England 1976
He began making films at the age of 15 and attended Bournemouth University from 1995 to 1998. Jenkin became known when he won the Frank Copplestone First Time Director Award at the Celtic Film & Television Festival for his debut film Golden Burn (2002). The recognition was extended with numerous award-winning documentaries, short films and low-budget feature films, including The Man Who Needed a Traffic Light (2003), The Rabbit (2004) and The Lobsterman (2001), a documentary about the life of Cornwall playwright Nick Darke.