Saturday, April 23, 2016

Flatpack Film Festival 10: Blind Cinema + Shortcuts

One thing I love about Birmingham is that there is always something going on. I'd just bought a copy of Parquet Courts new LP (from Milque and Mulhle in Digbeth) when the shop owner asked me if I had checked out any of the events happening at the Flatpack film festival. I hadn't so I picked up a guide and went to a showing of 'Blind Cinema' in the Electric Cinema. The film began with a short introduction from the director (an artist called Britt Hatzius) and a white circle that moved around the screen which made me think that James Bond was going to appear any moment and fire his gun at me. Once the screen went completely white we were all asked to put on the blind folds that we had been provided with. This was the first and (presumably) only screening of the film, which up to that point had only been seen by it's creator and was to been seen by the school children whose job it was to narrate it for us for the first time. A child was stood behind me (a boy, I think), who had to narrate and explain the events happening on screen for me. It was difficult enough for the boy to describe the utterly bizarre events on screen, but even harder for me to imagine them and try to follow every word to understand what was happening on the screen. From what I gathered, it started with a boy in  a room sitting on a chair and reading some books. Then there was something about a projector and a guy smashing eggs on his head sand eating them. Later on  there was 'fireworks everywhere', a guy shining a torch while walking around in the dark. An egg flying around (eggs were a reoccurring theme) and much more surrealism. This was a much more engaging and social trip to the cinema, and while utterly bizarre, it was nice to be involved.
After that I went to the 'Action Space' for a 45 minute selection of short movies. The Action Space was a colourful little tube with massive bean bags to lie on. The films included a series of incredibly boring yet also endearingly awkward shorts from the Ronald Regan presidential archives. There was an incredibly black humoured satire Action Man: Battlefield Casualties (with voice work from Matt Berry), another gory funny short named 'Croissant'. There were some trippy cartoons -including one that hilariously showed the perils of smartphone addiction- and documentaries. One was about a local photographer, and another 'Bob Spells Backwards' about a man who could do just tha

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