Norwich Film Festival 2012: Day One
The first night of the Norwich Film Festival opened at Hollywood Cinemas with a programme appropriately described in the introduction as ‘the cream of the crop of the hundreds of films that were submitted’. Certainly not an ordinary programme, the festival threw nearly three hours of fantastic films at the audience, with an interval half way through, which gave us the chance to catch a breath.
Somewhat daunting at the outset, the films appeared one after the other, collated into no discernable order or theme – most genres and methods of film making were represented, all varying in length and production quality. But this is where the strength of the programme lay. Simply by the fact that every film is so watchable, different from the last and individual, the programme worked; much a like a great mix tape, where each song sounds like a classic.
For this reason, it’s very hard to pull out the highlights. Opening with the 1-minute movie (deservedly the winner in that prize category), CANDY CRIME, which takes Godard’s quote of “All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun” to new extremes by portraying, with dark humour, street thugs swapping their gun for a girl’s lollipop. MISHANDLED (Morgann Runacre-Temple and Jessica Wright) is undoubtedly one of the most inventive shorts at this festival, or any other for that matter. A large, commanding hand terrorises two people; harking back to the great silent films, and with playful and poetic, fluid yet surreal movements of body and form that is mesmerising from the first frame.
REVOLUTION NOW (Smita Bhide) is just as absorbing, but in a more clunky and heartfelt story of how two lovers meet at a demonstration, asking questions of whether change is possible, on a grand and political scale, but answering their own question with the transformation caused by the love that takes hold of them both. Again in high contrast, the macabre animation, GRUB (Annalise Wimmer), grotesquely tells the tale of how a mother insect mistakes a grub for her dead child; followed by the tight action thriller, split-screen DUAL (The Brothers Lynch), terrifyingly following a mother giving birth during a terrorist attack in the heart of London.
Leafing through the festival programme, the evening felt like a drop in the ocean compared to the many, many other films that are to come in the next two weekends. As festival director Kellen Playford correctly puts it, ‘The average length of these films is only ten minutes, but those ten minutes are more than enough to make you cry, laugh, or even just think’.
- Watersprite: The Cambridge International Student Film Festival by Mike Boyd (Editor-at-large)
- Candy Crime at Norwich Film Festival by Rosy Hunt (Editor-in-Chief)
- Norwich Film Festival 2012: Day Two by Eve Stebbing