Experimenta at Brighton Film Festival

THE TRAGIC TALE OF TIM GRIM (Gammidge, 9 mins) gets full marks for explicating a simple and touching story of family drama (a story which might even be true) and then immediately throws all those points away by indulging in lo–fi stop motion bollocks.

THE GOLDEN AGE (Tatum, 6mins) uses taxidermic tableaux to highlight the static, dream–like existence of three women filling in their time with essentially sterile cultural endeavours, to a haunting musical accompaniment by one of the actors, Abi Fry. Is culture a distraction from death? Is an aimless attachment to culture a form of living death? Are other people’s dreams ineffably dull?

A deep concern for the effect of dress, of the skins we chose to wear over our skins informs THE DESCENT OF ORPHEUS (Fortin, 6 mins). Here Orpheus seems to inhabit and be inhabited by his Eurydice (who also sings) in a costume which combines an 18th century richness with a disturbingly biological finish. He turns away from her at the moment of truth and fades away into the darkness of the underworld. Photographed with great clarity, using harsh but appropriate chiaroscuro, this is an odd but effective little film.

I realised that I couldn’t recall anything about QUEEN MEDITATION (Kjaer) by the time I came to write this review. So I watched it again on the web just now. And I still can’t recall anything about it.

In ALL THAT MIGHTY HEART (Wilson, 10mins) the stately reciprocations and rotations of large Victorian steam–machines are contrasted with our ugly, frenetic push–button world and eventually provide a welcome, restful respite from it. Machines can be beautiful. Fred Dibnah would be proud.

The eponymous items in BINOCULARS (Foster Prior, 20 mins) provide an Edinburgh bookseller with a peek into the life of his doppelganger, who seems to be repeating his past mistakes. The cycle of failure seems set to repeat ad infinitum, each observer observing themselves and so changing themselves for the worse, only to pass on–or back–the tool of observation and of corruption. Existential horror at its calm best.

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