Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Shorts Selection

Journey’s End (2017), as I’ve mentioned in another blog, first opened as a play in 1928. It was directed in the theatre by James Whale. It ran for two years in London and, concurrently, one year on Broadway. Whale continued to direct Journey’s End in New York and, subsequently, directed the movie version in 1930. The following year he gave Frankenstein (1931) to posterity. James Whale was a gay man from Dudley.

Whale’s final days were fictionalised in the bio-pic Gods and Monsters (1998) starring Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser and Lynn Redgrave. Lynn Redgrave died of breast cancer, aged 67, in 2010. This month Brendan Fraser gave the most revealing celebrity interview by any movie star for many years. The toll that his acting roles have taken on his health is interesting enough. Then he explains how #metoo includes men too. Please check out Zach Baron’s interview with Brendan Fraser in GQ magazine.

Ian McKellen is in one of the shorts being shown – free of charge, gratis and for nothing - by Borderlines 2018 tomorrow at 2.30pm, Wednesday 28 February.

He is the narrator of Edmund the Magnificent (2017, 14 minutes) which stars David Bradley, Rebecca Front and Mark Bonnar. It was written and directed by Ben Ockrent. The comedy, set in a picture-book version of the countryside, concerns a country show, a farmer and his pig. The pig is having problems in the bedroom. Here’s the trailer:
Edmund The Magnificent - Trailer from HAUS Pictures on Vimeo.

The Full Story (2017, 8 minutes) was written by Daisy Jacobs and directed by Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Wilder. Her previous animation, and her graduation film, The Bigger Picture (2015), won a BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Animated Short Film. In The Full Story (not a title made for search engines) a man, selling his childhood home, recalls its tense history. It is animated using various techniques. The film is in English but it was made in France, a major centre in animation. Here’s the trailer:

Submissions ÉCU 2015 - The Bigger Picture TRAILER from ecufilmfestival on Vimeo.

Remora (2016, 19 minutes) was written and directed by David Schofield. Filmed in Rhyl and Towyn on the North Wales coast, in November 2015, the story begins with a loan shark, his debt collectors and those vulnerable people, addicts and the mentally ill, who provide their bread and butter. Events happen. Here’s the trailer:

Remora Trailer from David Schofield on Vimeo.

And here’s the soundtrack, written by William Morris and performed by William Morris and The Didsbury String Quartet:
This is the film’s own website.

Ramona and The Chair (2016, 12 minutes) was written and directed by Dominique Lecchi. Ramona talks to her therapist but – don’t ask me how because I haven’t seen any of these – an empty chair in the room gets involved. You may recognise the empty chair from its work alongside Clint Eastwood.

I could not find a clip. The director discusses her film here:
The short has its own website.

Lecchi’s previous, and debut, short Balsa Wood (2014, 10 minutes) in its entirety:

Balsa Wood from Dominique Lecchi on Vimeo.

Fifth and finally, the comedy Some Sweet Oblivious Antidote (2017, 15 minutes). The title comes from ‘the Scottish play’, Act 5 Scene 3:

Cure her of that.

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,

Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,

Raze out the written troubles of the brain

And with some sweet oblivious antidote

Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff

Which weighs upon the heart?

“Official synopsis: Exasperated by her daughter Ivie’s refusal to converse in anything other than Shakespearean verse, Esosa resorts to psychoanalysis for a cure. The psychiatrist and her therapist struggle for a solution until a full-on Shakespearean quote-off on a theatre stage uncovers the reason for Ivie’s affliction.” Source.

Another article.

It was written by Moya O’Shea, directed by Christiana Ebohon, has “a largely female crew” and a mostly British/Nigerian cast. Wunmi Mosaku is Esosa, Fatima Koroma is Ivie and Sir Lenworth George Henry, CBE plays the therapist.

Hence, three of these five shorts get a F-Rating and two of them are triple F-rated.

Ebohon has directed 96 (ninety-six) episodes of the beloved BBC1 dinner-time serial Doctors and a couple of the international smash-hit Father Brown as well as instalments of Emmerdale, Eastenders and Hollyoaks. Mark Williams, who plays the title role of Father Brown, was born in Bromsgrove.

I used to plough through scores of short films 15 years ago and, a few stand-outs aside, the quality of film-making and standard of story is far higher these days. Believe me.
Thirsting for more? Go mad.

Lenny “Lenny Lenny Len, Lenny Lenny Len, Lenny Henry Show” Henry is a Shakespearean actor from Dudley. As Stan Laurel didn’t say: All roads lead to Dudley but a pencil must be led. And we’re done. Enjoy the flicks.

Robin Clarke

No comments: