Review: Future shorts film festival @ The Kazimier
Last night Ropewalks’ much-loved venue Kazimier hosted a Small Cinema event ‘Future Shorts’, showcasing cutting edge short films from international film-makers.
In recent years music has been one of the main preserves of the venue, however the interior style of The Kazimier is quite like an art deco Old Cinema. Last night the venue encouraged this still further by draping curtains around the screen and selling pop-corn from an old style booth. It made for a refreshing break from the intimidating and sometimes irritatingly ultra-modern Odeon, and although the films were shorts, the standard was in parts almost up to scratch with that of the Odeon’s screened blockbusters- and the content was certainly better.
Six films were played, of about 10 minutes each and all of them were strong. The films varied in style, with some animated, some realist, and some a combination. A highlight was Michael Please’s BAFTA winning animation ‘The Eagleman Stag’, arguably the main attraction. I am sure this short brought many people to the event and being able to see this screened in a public venue for just £3 is something our city should be proud of. Please is the perfect example of how animation allows the film-maker a license of authority above all other art forms.
Similarly, David O’Reilly’s ‘The External World’, was comparable to animated satires such as ‘Modern Toss’, (because of its exterior of supposed randomness and shallow humour). This helped the masking of a deeper thought and comment. This screening of ‘The External World ’ had the audience laughing at the random violence and perversion within the film, but O’Reilly screened his film at Liverpool’s Irish Film festival last year and the audience was silent. After the first screening the film-maker spoke, commenting that the cartoon is supposed to make people laugh but that his intention is to provoke awareness to how the guise of animation distracts from the horror at what has actually caused the humour. The audience at the Kazimier were generally younger and so less traditional- the ‘itchy and scratchy’ effect has us able to see the humour in the animation rather than the horror of the plot. There were, amongst the comic violence, moments of sensitivity- and at times the laugh of the audience came just a moment before the realisation of horror, and so the film worked for me.
To find a common theme amongst the films would be the simultaneously defeatist and liberating – we cannot change the world, but we can change the way we live, which the romance of the Argentinean Juan Pablo Zaramella’s ‘Lumimnation’ expresses perfectly, and is well worth a watch.
Words: Suzanne Morris
Editor: Chris Gibson