Rob Parry

Small Cinema Film Jam Review

I felt bad that this was the first time I’d heard about Liverpool Small Cinema, because I’m a fool for places like it – small, cheap cinemas rigged up in repurposed buildings. By my third stab at finding it, however, I felt a little more justified in my ignorance. The cinema’s out of the way, right down the library end of Victoria Street, hidden in an old magistrate’s court. If you go, which I would recommend, you’d do well to double-check where it is. A (very patient) security guard from the student halls down from it had to point me right to the door; it was pretty rough.

The cinema was celebrating its first anniversary by showing a selection of short films. They had an impressive selection, drawing from a wide range of countries and mediums. There were some duds – the fact that Oedipe was somehow directed by a monkey (I still don’t really understand the logistics of that) is perhaps inevitably more interesting than the actual film, and Tory Stories choppy editing of found footage gave it this carsick feel that wasn’t helped by the sub-Runescape synthesised bugle or whatever all over its soundtrack – but these were outliers. For the most part, the quality was high. I don’t know whether this reflects on my attention span or what, but it’s generally the shorter ones that have stuck with me – the rotoscoped art and muted colours of Baby I’m Yours, a music video by Irina Dakeva, complemented its song excellently, and Adam Scovell’s The Coastal Path stripped a ghost story down to little more than some panning shots, and – in spite of a forced ending – it still had me shitting. It was an excellent introduction, both to twelve new directors (counting the monkey) and a new cinema with a wonderful atmosphere and the cheapest beer I’ve ever seen in one, though maybe I’m not looking hard enough. Just make sure you know where you’re going:

Small Cinema Map With Door.jpg

Learn more about Liverpool Small Cinema here.

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