a reflection on simplicity.
Written by Gunn
Bait is a stand alone solitary film, set on the southwestern tip of England, we follow the humble protagonist Martin leading the front line battle for local fishing against the newly reigned tourists. Critics and audiences has welcomed the film with jazz hands and Mark Jenkin's acuity of film making has opened many director's eyes into their own creativity. Despite Mark's outstanding cinematic commodifications, with an unsettling pandemic spreading from country to country, I want to draw upon the messages Bait conveys to a world relying heavily on erratic pleasures, to question how we view our own simplicity in our day to day lives.
I can openly admit it, I'm yet to burrow myself into a marathon of classical films. However, I understood the uniqueness of making a feature film on a grainy clockwork camera, breaking away from the all to familiar contemporary form of 21st-century cinema. The comparative themes between new and old give the ideal juxtaposition, unveiling a hilariously entertaining story in a modest town. Edward Rowe worked exceptionally as Martin being the crowning balance of aggression and tenderness needed to drive the narrative. In modern-day films, we rarely get to see the camera focus so regularly on nature, especially British nature, without having the actor in shot admiring the retrospective views around them. Instead, Mark draws us deep into the alluring scenery, when he moves the camera in on the fish's eyes or captures the breaking waves at sea, giving us a glimpse of the surroundings. While so many of us siting inside counting the days of imprisonment, the films reminds us not to bypass these moments with nature, but to appreciate what we see and do with patience and contentment.
There is an array of techniques the director uses to slow the pace of the film, creating simplicity for the viewer. He steers away from the overdramatic edits, the powering sound efforts, and panning camera explosions to give the audience deliberate slow shots of intensity. In his Q & A session with Film Critic Mark Kermode, the director mentions how he would try and break down the shots less and less from 8 shots down to 7. From his experimental techniques used, it made me question our own fast-paced society, and why we have such adversities in facing simplicity. Initially engaging in the film, having immersed myself with upcoming SFX's movies in recent weeks, it took me a moment to moderate, step back and view this film for its artistry charm. As we now face restraints by the government on leaving our owns homes due to this devastating epidemic, we are once again challenged to look at life in its simplest forms. With references like Martin collecting cash in his tin, or scenes with the characters catching fish along the beach for dinner, Mark helps us realise that life can still be relished in these uncertain times by slowing down routines and appreciating what we have right in front of us.
“...The issues are all the same, which in some ways is quite depressing, but its quite invigorating and uplifting, that we are all exactly the same, we might talk a bit different we all have our own needs, fears, and dreams...there is a universality to it which has probably been the most rewarding thing to this film,” Mark Jenkins, Director of Bait.
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