‘This is the first short film night I’ve been to that shows proper cinema.’
Cornerhouse’s North West filmmaker’s night Filmed Up returned for the second time last night.
The ten films of myriad themes and budgets shown were chosen by the Cornerhouse audience and the only constraints being the film must have been made by filmmakers based in the North West and under 20 minutes running time.
Before each of the films, the filmmakers introduced their work and at the end of the evening a winner was voted for by the audience.
Ged Hunter, the Liverpool-based Director of Leonard (see below for description), said after the event: “I feel invigorated, it was really refreshing seeing so many visually driven and artistic films.
“I had no idea that the North West was producing anything this good, because I usually hate British films for being so mundane, if it isn’t a gangster film or a rom-com then you don’t get a look in.
“This is the first short film night I’ve been to that is showing proper cinema.”
Last night’s selection, in screening order, were:
Itch, directed by Salford University student Daniel Kenyon.
Shot predominantly in close-ups and mid-shots, Itch is an intimate portrayal of a ten-year-old boy who suffers from eczema and is ostracised by his peers for his incessant scratching. Ignored by his teenage sister, he admires her long-haired ‘emo’ boyfriend, who touchingly provides him with the solace that ‘cool’ people are afflicted with the skin problem too.
Port, directed by Blackpool native Tom Harrison for an MA application.
A reflective, downbeat piece with little dialogue amidst the cold shoreline landscape, Port explores feelings of emotional distance and isolation through blue-toned grading, blurred focus and long-shots.
WINNER: Racing Time, directed by internationally-exhibited Manchester-based artist Adele Myers and Ra Page of Manchester’s Comma Press.
A visual tale of a 70-year-old man’s quest to conquer the elements and fell run snow-covered Kinder Scout, with the gruff voiceover narration of a relevant poem by Chris Woods.
The Tea Machine, by Manchester native, BAFTA nominated director and trade union activist John Crumpton.
A workplace drama shot on grainy 16mm in 1983 in a working factory, it tells the story of industrial unrest when a Manchester case-making plant puts up the prices of its vending machine.
A Short Film About Poo, directed by award-winning Manchester-based animation duo Emily & Anne.
Created for an international initiative to remind people to wash their hands, it is a quaint and comedic musical animation replete with talking germs and catchy tune.
Sonotoki, directed by documentary artist Amanda Belantara.
A sparingly edited, static camera and monochrome look at life in snow-coated Aomori City in northern Japan, about which the director’s mission statement says: “Momentary glimpses reveal eternal encounters.”
I Married a Cult Figure from Salford, the second film of the night by John Crumpton.
An affectionate and funny parody of John Cooper Clarke’s ‘I Married a Monster from Outer Space’, through the poetry of a woman replying to the slanderous accusations of the song. Alongside this, it uses of archive footage of Cooper Clarke that was originally made for his stage show before his downward spiral into drug use and withdrawal from the public eye.
Leonard, by Liverpool-based director Ged Hunter.
The brutal and haunting portrayal of a homeless drug addict’s day, the vengeance he metes out on an unknown home and the bizarre violence he has done to himself. The only speech is that of a voiceover from a young boy written from the perspective of the protagonist.
Urban Jungle, directed by University of Manchester students, Jo Gewirtz, Chloe Byatt, Emma Rider and Georgia Manners.
A fictional documentary shot solely on a handheld camera which slowly becomes a tense horror about three young filmmakers who get their comeuppance when searching for the source of last year’s riots with a less than open mind about the type of people who make the trouble.
Bored Games, directed by artist and filmmaker Jo Lane.
A cleverly drawn tale of what teenagers can get up to if they are left bored, concerning mischievous boys and girls on a Manchester estate.
One of Urban Jungle’s directors, Emma Rider, told of her surprise at the calibre of the works on show: “We thought there would be a lot of other students here, but there are serious professional director’s works on show, really amazing stuff, we’re honoured to have been selected really.”