Saturday. Sea, Sand, Sunset… Shark!


Have you ever watched a film where the audience applauds, not once… but twice? Hmm!… but, have you ever watched, aforementioned  film, sat on an old fashioned stripey, deck chair, with sand beneath your feet, the sea crashing yards away, trying hard not to drop your popcorn while a 35 foot great white shark gets the scarlet munchies on the big screen in front of you? If the answer to this is still Yes!…Then you were probably one of the very lucky 180 or so, people who managed to beg, borrow or blag tickets to the opening night of Whitley Bay Film Festival’s screening of JAWS on the beach.

Here at TNL, as hardened underdog supporters, we secured a week-long  pass, to report and support on this fledgling festival, (staged incidentally, in a town without it’s own cinema.) Not that this particular event needed much support. It sold itself and could have easily sold out twice over, as the public completely bought into this unique cinematic opportunity.

Anyhoo… Great weather and a good natured crowd turned up, who didn’t mind a short wait on the beach at sunset, stocking up on ice cream and pop corn, listening to a cellist, playing the famous “durrr-dur” theme tune, whilst the techies apparently put right some saggy blackout curtains.

Very atmospheric  watching  a film on the beach. An 8.30 start meant we could see, hear and smell the sea a few hundred yards  away through the open end of the marquee, which was especially effective during the onboard Orca scenes, where we could hear the waves crashing in. Highlight for most of us would have been the big finale. The tension’s rising as the Orca’s sinking , Quint has already met his grissly, blood soaked, fate, Chief Brody has thrown a CO2 canister into the beasts gob and has clambered up to the highest point of the sinking mast with his rifle to take aim… and …Blam the shark gets it… and simultaneously an explosion was detonated, which nearly blew the audience out of their deckchairs.  Woah!!! Cue applause… fantastic effect!

As you probably know that’s pretty much the end of the film, and as the end credits rolled there was more rapturous and well deserved applause, for a unique and memorable night out.  Thank you Mr Spielberg and massive congratulations to Primate Productions for pulling off a stunning opener to the first Whitley Bay Film Festival.

By Dave on August 23, 2010

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