Andrew Abbott's Blog

Monday, 1 July 2013

Hopelessly devoted to cinema.

The Lincoln Film Festival.

Grease at Lincoln Cornhill.

There’s Cannes and Venice, now there’s a Lincoln Film Festival. Whether it just extends to a one off feature or becomes a yearly fixture would, one supposes, depend on the numbers who attended this year’s festival, to celebrate 60 years of Lincoln Film Society.

Judging by the reaction of the society to the numbers attending “The Third Man” at the LPAC, which was another film I attended earlier as part of the season of the classic and the quirky, something Lincoln Film Society can be relied on to supply and the fact that there must have been a couple of hundred at last night’s open air spectacular in Lincoln City Centre maybe there’s a chance this might become another festival alongside the long established Music offering and the eagerly awaited Comedy extravaganza, not to mention the many other events put on in what is fast becoming one of the most buzzing small cities in the country.

Naturally it was a totally different audience for Grease than that in attendance at the Orson Welles classic film noir and therein lies the appeal of this festival, something for everyone. Judging by the ages of some of those singing along in a devoted fashion they must have seen the musical at a later stage as it is now 35 years since John Travolta and Olivia Newton John first regaled us with a somewhat flimsy tale of “teenage” school romance and over heated testosterone. Inverted commas there because these must have been some of the most elderly school kids you ever did see. Still the film was a smash hit at the time, as were some of the songs and clearly the movie commands a following even now.

What can’t be denied is the Lincoln Film Society’s generosity in providing this very novel (and brave) cinematic offering, given the iffy nature of our summers lately. There were workshops held during the day and the product of them provided the support films for the main event and very good they were too. Not only was the showing, a first for Lincoln (being open to the elements, a sort of walk in as opposed to a drive in) completely free but free ice creams were also offered from the nearby Mc Donalds. Whether that was a sponsorship deal or just because they were so close I’m not sure.

Mercifully the performance took place on a reasonably balmy and dry night, although it was certainly wise to pack a jumper and all in all the large audience thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of it all and of course those catchy songs, a Summer Night that will stay long in the memory. How many movies have you attended where the performance receives a round of applause at the end?

Definitely a round of applause for the Lincoln Film Society, lets hope this festival was everything they had hoped it would be and maybe this might become something more than a half forgotten holiday romance.

Photo courtesy of Stewart McLuckie.