The Underwire Festival is a showcase of short films by women, playing at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, including an event by Tom Jupiter favourite LOCO.
Highlights from this year’s festival include The Art of Science, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust – a programme of weird and wonderful biomedical shorts, made by women, followed by a discussion and drinks with scientists; LOCO presents Live Wire, a night of live and filmed comedy, featuring up and coming talents Lady Garden, Hils Barker and Lou Sanders?; Carol Morley (Dreams of a Life) and guests look forward to a time when the question “How does it feel to be a woman filmmaker?” is never asked again in Why Women Can’t Make Features, and Underwire and Sight & Sound launch their exciting new competition for women film journalists.
This was the first year of the Loco festival, but there was a really strong line-up of films and events. Alas, due to work commitments, I could only make it to one night of the festival – the Discovery Screening – in which a brand new short and feature are presented to an audience. And may I say, the future of UK comedy looks bright!
All Consuming Love (Man In A Cat)
A short film from Dice Productions which is, as all good shorts ought to be, properly weird. A woman believes that she has mice, so buys a cat. Inside the cat’s hollow, squishy head lives a tiny man in a jumper. Such a wonderful little existence is created. The animation and voice acting is great, and it’s very funny indeed. Check out the trailer below. Seeing this did raise the question of how difficult it is for short films to be seen in a proper cinematic environment, though, which is a real shame.
The Thompsons are a couple that have been together for many years, but have reached a point of simply existing. There is no joy in their marriage any longer, and most of their life is being lived through their daughters who have moved out. Whilst out walking the dog, Boy, Tom Thompson (Chris Langham) meets Blake (Colin Hurley). Blake seems a little simple, or innocent, but pleasant enough, so goes back for tea. This small act goes on to change the lives of all involved, and results in a death and a divorce.
The outcome is given away early, but it is the details and the character development that provide the interest. The relationships between the Thompsons and their friends are realistic to watch and the is the main strength of the film. The only character which doesn’t work quite as well is Eric Sacks (Simon Amstell). His scenes felt very different from the rest of the film, and the character much less real, which jarred with the family.
Chris Langham and Colin Hurley really stood out for me, with Langham managing to squeeze every drop of humour from his role.
Although being shown at a comedy festival, there are no jokes in BLACK POND. It is, however, extremely funny. The humour comes mainly from the characters and their relationships, and is very dark in places.