If you need a break from all the recent doom and gloom in the news, then I can definitely recommend a good look through the BFI’s excellent Britain on Film website. It really is a veritable treasure trove of 1000’s of wonderful films relaying all sorts of different characters and stories from the last 120 years. None more so than the one’s featuring films made in Cumbria, which you can mainly watch for free. Highlights range from newlyweds on their honeymoon, short travelogues, a celebration of the Lake Poets (Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey no less), a real-life Postman Pat (on a 25-mile daily route) or the difficulties faced with building a stretch of the M6 motorway through the Lune Valley. More recent additions include an opportunity to watch Ben Wheatley’s delightfully disturbing 2012 film Sightseers, the kind of dark comedy that claimed to put the gore into Gore-tex!
Fantastic artwork on a German film poster by Heike Jörss
The main characters – Tina and Chris (played superbly by the comedic duo Alice Lowe and Steve Oram) end up embarking on a murderous journey through parts of Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Cumbria. Taking in a handful of excellent tourist attractions en route. These include Tina’s trip to the magnificent Pencil Museum at Keswick in the North Lakes. It is here she tries to write Chris a conciliatory letter as the homicidal antics threaten their relationship.
“There are some things that as an actor scare you, and if you can capture that fear on screen, it will be interesting.”
Sightseers is one of many films to feature in a forthcoming book ‘An A-Z of Films Made in Cumbria & the Lake District’ set to be published by Hayloft Publishing Ltd over the next few months. Only the last few text corrections remain, along with a cover spine design before it can be put into print.If all goes to plan, it will be made available at selected book shops and online, around the same time as the much anticipated new film adaptation of Swallows and Amazons – towards the end of August…