Short Fusion: Nostalgia?

In the beautiful setting of Emmanuel College, the NOSTALGIA? ‘Short Fusion’ strand dazzled the audience with five fantastic films.

HELP! I’M TRAPPED IN A MOVIE (2016) explodes with one-liners that never fall short. A man (Riley Madincea, also the director) wakes to discover he’s a hero in a movie. His life cuts bewilderingly from one location and time to another. Only when he bumps into a stunning girl (Emily Tucker) is he interested in being trapped in a romantic comedy. Jonas McQuiggin rapid editing makes Madincea’s first film a joy from start to finish.

Nothing fills the British public with greater happiness than a period drama. Isabella Wing-Davey’s THE RAIN COLLECTOR (2015) is gorgeous and well-acted. The director’s excellent script, turns the least dramatic task — studying rain water — into an engaging watch.

THE LAST LAUGH (2016) is a highly adept piece of filmmaking from writer/director Paul Hendy. It’s about three real comics: Tommy Cooper (Damian Williams), Eric Morecambe (Bob Golding) and Bob Monkhouse (Simon Cartwright). Hendy’s script bulges with jokes that, to strangle an overused term a little more, were laugh out loud funny. Actually, tear-inducingly funny. The writing quality is heightened further by the audience knowing what happens to these treasures of the British comedy scene. To play three such titans of stand up, the plaudits must go to the cast, as they bounce around the dressing room, riffing off each other and trying to outdo one another for the biggest laugh. Funny, poignant and thoroughly entertaining.

Sprinkle in a handful of Wes Anderson’s films, add a touch of Richard Ayoade’s SUBMARINE (2010) and a smidgeon of Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole and you get Ed Rigg’s outstanding CONFECTION (2016). Young actor Perry Millward effortlessly carries the film as Eli. He’s as captivating as Jason Schwartzman in RUSHMORE (1998) and as charming as Matthew Broderick in FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (1986). The film’s colouring enhances the images to a breathtaking brightness, similar to the marvellous Channel 4 series UTOPIA. Living up to its name, CONFECTION is a sweet delight.

Finally, Adam Tyler’s REFUGEE (2016) represents a sizeable shift in tone (a brilliant move by CFF’s short film curator Sarah McIntosh). This is the jewel in the NOSTALGIA? crown. Tyler and Bob Ayres’s script is of the highest excellence, displaying the story of a family impacted by some kind of war. The narrative moves back in time, sometimes hours, sometimes days, but only retreating to the recent past. Little is said by the characters: they’re not tripping over clunky exposition, which allows the audience to piece it together and work out what has happened. The final scenes are lump in your throat moments, resembling Phil Sheerin’s devastating NORTH (2014) from last year’s festival. REFUGEE will make you leave the cinema and call your family just to say hello. A powerful piece of filmmaking: it’s difficult to imagine seeing a better film at the festival.


One Response to “Short Fusion: Nostalgia?”

    This is the jewel in the NOSTALGIA? crown :

    Absolutely !

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