Filmonik Open Screening #40 - Review

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the snow looks so delightful….” Except when you have to travel anywhere in it. A Hell of a night for a relaunch - bitterly cold, blizzards bringing half the country to a standstill - but neither snow, nor hail nor nor gloom of night can keep Filmonikers from attending a screening.

No less than THIRTEEN films screened, in a variety of styles, genres, formats and approaches, and the venue was packed out to the doors all night. Such enthusiasm was truly heart-warming on such a cold, cold night, as we welcomed back some old friends and an equal number of filmmakers new to Filmonik.

Salford filmmaker Mark Ashmore debuted a rough cut of his hard-hitting study of a country in crisis, BROKEN BRITAIN, which came complete with its own official beer! Neringa Stulgyte made her Filmonik debut with THAT LIGHT, a moody experimental piece exploring the light patterns of the city roads at night. There was more experimental work, animation this time, from another Filmonik debutante, Vivien Peach, who had two films to screen - the hypnotic abstract MAGIC SPELL, and the Svankmajer-esque stop-motion, ROAST BEEF. Vivien was one of several filmmakers with more than one film. Giles Perkins of offered two Super 8 gems - BUTTONED, a wry study of a very real phobia and SATURDAYS ONLY, featuring a trip on a very special train. Our old friend Jon Kershaw of Cameras Not Cars, in true hardcore Filmonik style, shot a mini-short TREE AND BIN, that very weekend to screen at the launch. The ever-loyal Craig and Shaun from Reach for the Dream traveled all the way down from icy Barrow-in-Furness with their outrageous pitch-black horror comedy, THE BED, aimed at insomniacs everywhere. In an equally darkly-comic vein, Andy Blake showed us the ultimate April Fool’s Day prank gone wrong in GAG. Luck of the draw meant the two darkest films played back to back in the final slot, so it was lucky we had Olivier Richomme’s elegant study of a life in stasis, LA LETTRE, to chill us out and calm the nerves at the close.

All in all, thanks to our filmmakers, to all at our new host venue, the lovely Odder Bar, to mighty motor-mouthed Maria Ruban for manning the malfunctioning mics, and to our audience for making our come-back such a success. We’ll be back with another screening in April. Before that, there is, of course THE KABARET!
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