Weston Longville Film festival marathon will celebrate westerns

Organiser Phil Hardy prepares for a festival of Western films which is taking place in Weston Longvi

Organiser Phil Hardy prepares for a festival of Western films which is taking place in Weston Longville.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Yee-ha! Fans of westerns will be in for a treat next month when a five-film movie marathon dedicated to the genre rides into a village near Norwich.

The one-day festival – called Anxiety, Violence and Lost Dreams – is at Weston Longville's Hall For All on Saturday, March 2.

It is the idea of author and local resident Phil Hardy who will curate the event and has selected five western films from the 1950s for the occasion.

'We've got a lively film club at the Hall for All and great facilities so we came up with the idea of a one-day film fest combined with a feast,' said Mr Hardy, who received a British Film Institute Book Award for his Encyclopedia of the Western.

The films that will be shown are Bend of the River, Rancho Notorious, Johnny Guitar, Forty Guns and The Searchers.

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Mr Hardy said: 'I chose the programme because I felt that it chimed with the present state of society. Up until this period in Westerns everything was pretty clear cut, the good guys wore white hats and were to be trusted; the bad guys wore black and couldn't.

'Women were mainly either pretty heiresses or ladies of the night and the frontier was there to be tamed. In these five films the heroes are troubled, tortured souls, often with unsavoury pasts while the women are assertive.

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'Violence is everywhere and the values espoused during the drive to open the frontier are being seriously challenged.'

Mr Hardy, whose partner is Oscar-winning set designer Stephenie McMillan who worked on the Harry Potter films, said the festival was a chance for fans of westerns to enjoy watching films with fellow enthusiasts.

He said he hoped to organise other themed film festivals in the future. The festival is being supported by Broadland District Council and Creative Arts East, and all money raised will go towards the hall.

The festival on Saturday, March 2 is 10.30am-7.30pm. Tickets in advance cost £30 (£25 for students and over 60s), and include a light lunch at the Parson Woodforde pub and a booklet of essays about the films. Tickets on the door cost £35.

For tickets and more information contact Phil Hardy on 01603 882002 or phil@hardy77.com or Ruth Goodall on 01603 880000 or ruthgoodall@btinternet.com.

Visit www.hallforall.co.uk

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