Billie Walker

IndieFlicks’ March Screening

British independent cinema definitively showed its true colours at IndieFlicks’ march screening. At previous screenings the British shorts shown have failed to stand out from the crowd. However last month the three great shorts chosen showed the variety and unique humour of independent cinema in the United Kingdom.

The night opened on the first stand out British entry Cautionary Tales. Chris Barrett & Luke Taylor’s short is a literal representation of the folklore warnings parents pass down to small kids. Focusing on the life of the boy who pulled a face – if the wind changes your face will stay like that – who goes to an AA-style meeting where he is surrounded by others who have been physically affected by their childhood misdemeanours. This witty and endearing short warmed the hearts of the audience as memories of upbringing where brought to the forefront of adult life. With the exquisite touch of illustrations of each character in the credits which call to memory the dark works of Edward Gorey. Chris Barrett & Luke Taylor have a talent for creating conceptual cinematography, definitely a pair to keep an eye on.

This month’s shorts may still be dealing with heavy subjects but compared to last month they have taken comedic approaches to them. The South African entry directed by Ian Morgan, Good Mourning, a deadpan comedy focused on a professional mourner. The humour was supreme, especially when discussing the morals of the occupation. By lightening the mood Good Mourning was able to openly address the often taboo subject of death.

German entry The Patient was the only short of the night that took an entirely serious tone and unfortunately I feel like it was left in the dust by the rest of the night’s line-up. While the premise was interesting, a man who makes a therapists appointment upon request of a departed friend. Slowly he realises why this particular therapist was chosen and a dark secret is revealed. However it quickly felt predictable as it was soon easy to guess the next revelation before it was delivered.

Jack Bennett’s animated short Not the End of the World was another British entry which shined through. Whilst I didn’t find the style of animation extremely innovative it fit well with the young adolescent setting, bringing me back to those simple stick figure animations that heavily featured in my pre-teen years. Bennet created a hilariously accurate depiction of the cringe-worthy confusing nature of first crushes and the interactions between young boys and girls.

The last short of the People’s Choice selection was again a depiction of a young man’s infatuation. Not the End of the World may have been animated piece but its narrative and script felt extremely true to life. Comparatively this last short, A Place Between the Clouds, was drenched in the character’s delusions, making the viewer unsure of what was true. Luis Navarrete’s piece comically shows the treacherously thin line between hopeless romantic and pathetic creep.

The audience were split when it came to choosing their favourites of the night. Good Mourning and A Place Between the Clouds, held joint 3rd place and The Patient and Not the End of the World came in joint 2nd place. With the winner of the People’s Choice award at the Liverpool event being, the well-deserving, clear stand out of the night: Cautionary Tales.

In signature IndieFlicks fashion we were not just invited to view the team’s film selection, but were also invited to further understand the world of cinema. In the interval, Saun hosted a Q+A with IndieFlicks judge and film marketer Monica. Monica spoke about the independent Australian film Sweet Country, she was marketing for the UK release. She stated that Sweet Country hoped to bring an indigenous narrative to a mainstream Australian audience.

Closing the night was the Director’s choice, Hit & Run, directed by Hannah Pike. The short shows the harsh realities of life in impoverished Britain and deals with extremely dark topics such as suicide, depression and alcoholism. It may be harrowing, but the humour laced throughout gives an extremely black tale a necessary tinge of light. Each detail has been gone through with a fine tooth comb, even down to the choice of ringtone for the depressive male lead – S Club 7, of course. Hannah Pike’s piece seems quintessentially British in its representation of working class culture alongside other British cult-classics such as This is England and Happy-Go-Lucky.

The next Liverpool IndieFlicks screeing takes place on Monday 9th April and is one you won’t want to miss! Alongside another eclectic line-up of international film there will be not one but two Director’s Choice films at the Liverpool screening. The second, Being Keegan starring Stephen Graham, is exclusive to the Liverpool IndieFlicks event and after the screening there will be a special Q+A!!! Get your tickets here.


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