Poster credit: Tara Hill
On March 8th a number of Nottingham’s film clubs are bringing to Worksop the Pleas Fest, a day-long film festival centred on genre icon Donald Pleasence. Impact spoke to one of the minds behind Pleas Fest, Kino Klubb’s Joey Bell, to find out more…
What is Kino Klubb?
Kino Klubb is myself & Tara Hill. We are a Nottingham-based film club which started in 2011 after a conversation about all the films we wished we could have seen at the cinema but hadn’t had the chance to. We hope to bring extraordinary cinema to our audience and create a unique environment to enhance the experience.
What is the Pleas Fest?
Pleas Fest is a celebration of the work and life of Donald Pleasence, one of the world’s finest character actors.
Where did the idea come from?
We are huge fans of his work; he kept popping up in some of our favourite films such as Halloween, Wake in Fright and Escape from New York. We always talked about screening a film that he starred in but could never decide on which, he’s been in so many great films. We researched his background and realised he was a local lad as he was born in Worksop. It’s important to us that his talents get recognised and that hopefully the people of Nottinghamshire can take him to their hearts and feel proud of him. We have joined forces with Kneel Before Zod and Watergate Cinematek to create a great lineup of films which showcase his amazing talents. And we received funding from BFI Film Hub Central East to put the festival together.
Why is Pleasance so notable/important to you?
Pleasence was an intense multi-faceted actor who brought something unique to each of his performances. He is always watchable and usually the most interesting actor on screen. It may also be a sense of nostalgia, as it feels like Pleasence was such an important part of growing up for us.
Have you got any future events in the pipeline?
On March 22nd we will screen a brand new 4K print of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Tales of Hoffmann based upon Jacques Offenbach’s opera. It’s a visually stunning film and has some amazing surreal and horrifying imagery. And it helped to inspire both Martin Scorsese’s and George A. Romero’s work.
The Films of Pleas Fest
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Donald Pleasence plays perhaps the most recognisable of James Bond villains, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (a direct influence on Dr. Evil from Austin Powers) – it’s the only Bond script written by Roald Dahl and features an amazing Ken Adams set built inside a volcano that cost £1 million to build, which must have been a fortune in 1967.
Cul-De-Sac is a curious black comedy from Roman Polanski. It’s paranoid, claustrophobic and beautifully shot. Pleasence’s performance is probably one of his best in this film.
THX 1138 (1971)
George Lucas’s first foray into sci-fi, THX 1138 is a dystopian masterpiece and has long been a long favourite of ours.
I think after Wake in Fright this is our favourite Pleasence performance. He stars as a no-nonsense detective who encounters cannibals living on the London underground. Despite its age this film still has the power to disturb and is the perfect grisly end to our festival.
Find out more about Kino Klubb at their site
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