Panorama | Vanguard
As tourists pour into a Cornish village, evicting the locals and eroding their traditions, long-time resident Martin (Edward Rowe) conspires to live as he always has, with no mind paid to the racket caused by these pesky outsiders. But with his boat out of commission and his home now owned by a family of posh Londoners, the man has reached the end of his proverbial rope. His livelihood as a fisherman, so long the source of his sustenance, proves unsustainable under these circumstances. And soon, as his anger reaches its apex, the mackerel at the town’s pub won’t be the only thing brought to a boil…
Mark Jenkin’s wonderfully handmade debut is the kind of film anyone could have made if they had the talent, wit, and resourcefulness to pull it off - which, make no mistake, is no small feat indeed. Shot on black-and-white 16mm and making exquisite use of its wonky post-synchronized sound, Bait borrows the camera techniques and editing tricks of silent cinema to tell this seemingly modest story with the stylistic monumentality it deserves.
And even if the film can’t claim an event as remotely historic as, say, the Odessa steps sequence in Battleship Potemkin, Jenkin still won’t let that stop him from rendering Martin’s plight in the largest terms imaginable. For him, the quivers in this one man’s soul are a veritably seismic event.
"For a film that draws on so much, Bait ultimately feels as unique as a found object, defying classification. It’s a creeping, original British work that feels pounded into existence by hand, or possibly belched up by the angry sea." - Ian Mantagni, Sight & Sound