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Lost City

Bang! Short film festival

13 August 05 words: Lucy Butler
A back-to-back screening of cutting-edge short films, the diversity of which allowed for an enjoyable evening no matter what you're into

Bang Short Film Festival

The Bang Short Film Festival was a back-to-back screening of cutting-edge short films; the diversity of which allowed for an enjoyable evening no matter what you're into.

The “no genre restrictions” attitude of the festival provided a great variety of material ranging from innovative avant-garde pieces to truly original animations, much from film makers who were new to the festival.

The evening kicked off with the somewhat self-explanatory Attack of the 50 foot f***kers by Mark Estell, which followed three arrogant, bigoted and generally weird robots as they “attack” an unsuspecting civilian area and eventually destroy each other too. At first the animation seemed a bit of an eye-sore, but once I was accustomed to it, the visuals, content and overall film was original, clever, and satirically very comic.

Woulda Coulda Shoulda by Jes Hill was the only piece of poetry that evening. The action on screen was simple, showing frequently changing settings in impoverished areas. The speaker delivered the lines of the poem with an effortlessness that somehow emphasised the meaning of what was being said, rather then how. This was an emotive and thoughtful piece.

Porn of the Dead by Mark Winthrope provided some well-needed comic relief. This satirical take on two completely unrelated genres had the audience cringe and laugh at the same time.

Andrew Johnson provided a delightful cow-based animation with The Stalking. This was a great piece of animation which skilfully made its audience feel amused, disturbed, and fearful in the space of a short time. With a quaint moral undertone, this film was highly praised by a lot of people who had seen it the previous day at the young filmmaker’s matinee.

Best band ever by Matthew Tregoning was an entertaining piece about band’s turmoil when trying to find a new drummer. In utter sincerity the film explored the ins and outs of showbiz and the obviously inevitable path all bands must follow, with hilarious consequences.

Pipped to the Post by BritFilms/ Wellington Films/ Televisions Workshop- directed by Chris Roebuck was an excellent original take on the rat-race of the nine to fivers. Those of us unfortunate enough to know the dread of a mundane nine to five job will love this short film, as the two main characters create an alternative way to make the day worth waking up that little bit early for!

Insides by Dan Gitsham introduced a completely contrasting genre. Incredibly atmospheric, I was unsure of what to expect as the lone man wondered around his empty, cluttered house. At the discovery of an oddly placed video cassette inside an stuffed toy under a floor-board – having been a reluctant viewer of ‘The Ring’ - I knew it was time to hide. With masterful tension-building, the film quickly escalated into a terrific chamber piece of horror and was a great introduction for the newcomers to the festival.

3mans 9ladies by Kamal Joory and Juliet line explored the dived between the countryside and the city, taking an original approach to the subject as a group of lads go wandering in the countryside with a camcorder. The person behind the camera puts forward interesting questions to the people they encounter on their travels, giving the film a more significant documentary feel.

The Night We Killed a Fox by Sarmad Musud was a subtle and comic drama about three guy’s random quest to kill a fox. The absurd interaction between the three men as they track their quarry created an excellent comic effect and the first-rate acting supported the excellent attention to detail of the film. This was a superb and thoughtful new piece from the director of Indian Restaurant. It starred Tim Murphy and Dean Palo (aka Nottingham rapper Scorzayzee).

Although the shortest of the films shown that night, the gripping Snap Shot by Luke Blair was one of the most memorable for me. The film revolved around one woman, the photos in her hand, and some fantastic editing. In the space of a few seconds the paranoia that most of us have felt about being followed, watched, and monitored was brought to life before us.

Gift by Chris Palmer was about a young man called Anthony as he returned from a psychiatric hospital into the care of his sister. Tension and unease grew as he struggled to control his inner demons. As Anthony’s kind hearted attempt to buy his sister a present turned into a complete nightmare, I and others were left feeling generally unappreciative for the simple things which many of us take for granted.

Zoo by Mike Kraus was bizarre. My initial scepticism was quickly overcome as I sat back and enjoyed an utterly wacky minute of mouthing off, and found myself increasing amused as the screen was filled the multiplying numbers of chanting mouths.

Street life by Paul Fraser was collaboration between Creative Room/West Area/Paul Fraser (24/7) Dean Rogers/Richard Graham, and the young people from the Kennington Road, Notts. Although a fairly subjective view, this piece tells the story of a youth’s toil to stay out of trouble, but the complications that come with being 16 prove this a difficult task. The first-time actors gave a courageous and convincing performance, although they did not do themselves any favours on the evening.

No other documentary got so many ‘awwws’ as Freya by Simon Ellis. The camera followed Freya as she kicked a ball and answered questions. She lit up the screen with her charm and smile and even drew words of praise from the group at the back, who up until that point had only blessed us all with their inarticulate and impolite running commentaries of “dis rubbeesh” in maddening loud voices.

Hosted and supported by Broadway Cinema and BritFilms the Bang! Short Film Festival was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a fantastic channel for new upcoming talents.

The Bang! Short film festival took place at Broadway Cinema on 30-31 July 2005

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