Seaside Special

March 19 Members’ Choice 8:40pm

German-born director Jens Meurer moved to South Africa at the age of 12, going on to study at the University of Oxford as well as in Paris and New York. Meurer decided to represent traditional English seaside culture in all its glorious eccentricity by following preparations in 2019 (against the backdrop of Brexit) for the end-of-pier show in Cromer, North Norfolk.

The film was a huge hit in Germany. Meurer feels that it – and particularly one of its most respected characters, fisherman John Lee – helped Germans “understand how you can be pro-European but anti-EU”. He has commented that the film “sparked a great deal of animated conversation and released a lot of emotions in people … for a German or Belgian audience to really enjoy something so British is a bit of a relief from everything being ‘politically charged’.

In Munich audiences were treated to magic tricks from Olly Day, the entertainer featured in the film, and offered the chance to win tickets and holiday packages to the Cromer end-of-pier show. Germany’s most watched TV channel visited North Norfolk to report on a screening at Wells Maltings, a community cinema near Cromer. Seaside Special is just as well-loved in Norfolk – it has been screened many times there since release.

A German/Belgian co-production, Seaside Special was filmed in 16mm (hence the grainy, elegiac look) and is dedicated to Paul Eastwood, the show’s compere, who died after filming.

Vivid and richly affectionate anglophile documentary … the tone of his film isn’t condescending or derogatory” Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

This documentary is a simple treat.” Edward Porter, Sunday Times


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Film Information
Release year: 2023
Running time:   93 mins
Directed by: Jens Meurer
Language: English
Country: Germany
Classification: 12A
Genre: Documentary
Starring: Olly Day,
Polly Duniam,
Natasha Lamb,
Matthew Pomeroy
More info:

IMDb
Rotten Tomatoes
WFC Audience Score:  90%

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