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Hardie Writes: Cinema Rediscovered 2022: Day 1

Still from Lost Highway, part of Cinema Rediscovered

Welcome to Rife Magazine’s  Day 1 coverage of the hotly anticipated film festival Cinema Rediscovered!

My name is Nathan aka “HardieWrites” and it has been only four months since my first article about The Godfather’s 50th Anniversary was published, making it just over a year since I chose to seriously pursue my creative endeavours. Therefore, to have been invited to watch so many great films and lectures over these five days is still a very surreal feeling, placing me in a reflective mood about my journey.

Discussing her own journey in the official opening event was Writer and Broadcaster Samira Ahmed. Introduced by Bristol Ideas’ Andrew Kelly, Ahmed passionately discussed the films that moulded her childhood through to how she shares these pictures with her own children. I was pleasantly surprised at the significant influences of James Bond & The Carry On series which had been introduced to me by my mum as a child too, proving that despite their many flaws these movies are a British institution that have stood the test of time. The significant issue linking the two is how women are portrayed in cinema, something Ahmed eloquently weaves in whilst bouncing from film to film. With the aid of a slide show, she proved how well 90’s Disney characters such as Pocahontas, Mulan & Esmeralda convey emotion through expression alone as well as their important role featuring themes of abuse and harassment appropriately. These stories are the subject in some of her favourite films set in the workplace too, such as Dolly Parton’s Straight Talk and Working Girl starring Sigourney Weaver. Throughout the hour-long lecture, she also provided anecdotes of her past interviews and a heart-warming encounter with film critic Philip French as well as impressively squeezing in a quotes quiz and Q&A.

Image of Samira Ahmed

Altogether, a fascinating insight into an inspirational journalist adding many films onto my watchlist – the lecture can be found here.

Still from Lost Highway, part of Cinema Rediscovered

Just as I thought I had a grasp on the situation, another twist comes my way

Fortunately, I can now remove one movie from my watchlist and that’s David Lynch’s Lost Highway. Restored after being released over 25 years ago, the audience was treated to a special introduction from the legendary director himself, building on an already special event. Starring Bill Pullman as saxophonist Fred Madison and Patricia Arquette as his always glamorous wife Renee, the story starts with the couple discovering a video tape containing footage of their L.A apartment. Vulnerable from the invasion of privacy, they call the police but there’s no sign of break-in or anything missing. After another tape turns up, the narrative flips on its head and I was suddenly transported to the lost highway. Just as I thought I had a grasp on the situation, another twist comes my way. Like many of Lynch’s other works, this journey is more metaphorical whilst successfully breaking story structure and bending genres from erotic thriller to supernatural horror. There’s an incredible performance by Robert Loggia that strides the line of hilarious and downright insane. The whole movie is accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack composed by Angelo Badalamenti to provide a helping hand on how to feel when you’re still figuring out what’s going on.

Still from Lost Highway, part of Cinema Rediscovered

Still figuring out what’s going on brings me back to my own journey. Whilst I’m certainly not comparing my path to a David Lynch film, I share that same feeling of wondering how on earth I got here. Yet, by the end of the movie, everything seemed to click and I was able to make some sense of the action that had unfolded. I look forward to when my journey finally clicks and I can share it as deftly as Samira Ahmed does, but for now I will just try to enjoy the ride.

Did you get a chance to visit Cinema Rediscovered? Let us know on our socials!

Please note: This event finished in July 2022