Film Reviews

NOMAD SHORT FILM FESTIVAL - Rotunda Theatre

A lovely Sunday afternoon was very well spent in the Rotunda theatre watching nine amazingly diverse and interesting short films. The audience was brought together to celebrate the talent of an array of films produced in the UK during the past two years. Each of the films were amazingly different eliciting different reactions from every member of the audience.

The films shown, in order were: "Sunday Worship", a poignant and incredibly moving tale portraying old age, love and loss with football and memories at the heart of it. The second was "Feathers", a beautifully made animation showing a mother and daughter relationship, depicting a young girl who wakes up one morning covered in feathers.The way the daughter quite literally has to flee the nest had me tearing up!

"Folkland" was the next film offering a look into the history of Langport, a small town in Somerset. The film was very scenic and had a voiceover by the filmmaker, Sean Martin who had a personal interest in the town.

Next was the award-winning "The Silent Child", which again had me crying by the end of it! This film, which was inspired by real events, centres on a deaf four-year-old girl, Libby who feels isolated and ignored by her busy family. She finds her voice through sign language through social worker Joanne, and the short sends a very important message to the education system regarding raising awareness for deaf children.

We then had a 10-minute interval to get a a drink and reflect on the films we had just watched; I returned with a coffee and an eagerness to see the next five films. The fifth was "A Boat Retold", which told the story of restored Orkney boat Broad Bay as it sets off for the Shiant Islands, showing the history of the boat over three generations. Gorgeously visual, the film portrayed Hebridean island traditions and the skills and theory behind building and sailing a boat.

"In the Making" was the shortest of all the films but that by no means detracted from lovely it was as it portrayed Jimmy Khin and his metal-crafting paying close attention to how he made his pots and his passion for this work.

"Crimson" was a very authentic-looking tale about female pirates set in 18th-century China. Vibrant and grippingly directed, it explored relationships and life-changing decisions.

The next film, "These Broken Wings" was an incredibly poignant tale of a troubled young man, recovering and moving on after an accident. It was exceptional when it came to capturing memories and moments with the person you love as well as depicting the experience of trauma.

The last film, and in my opinion the most ominous and distressing, was "Beasts", a violent story depicting one man's way of getting revenge.

So that was it! Each film was completely different to the last and offered a rollercoaster of emotions, with themes ranging from the familiar story of growing old in "Sunday Worship", to the distressing truth of a family failing to come to terms with their deaf daughter in "The Silent Child" or the aggression of a vigilante handyman in "Beasts." The varied short films shown in the atmospheric Rotunda theatre made for a diverse and entertaining Sunday afternoon.

Alice Featherstone

LATE NIGHT MOVIES - Buxton Film

The first of 4 late night movies in the Rotunda theatre was brilliant! With the film starting at 10pm and ending around midnight, it really was a late night event, but well worth it. I personally had work the next morning at 8am but for a future late night film event I think it would be nice to go out for a few drinks afterwards and make a bit of a night out of it!

The Pavilion gardens had a nice atmosphere at that time, people were going out or coming out of other shows and the film was only just beginning! The film itself was 'The Philadelphia Story', a 1940s' American romance, filled with glamour and humour. I hadn't watched many black and white films before, so this made a nice change for me, and I could tell other people in the audience really enjoyed the film too!

There are three more late night movies coming up this Fringe, including 'That Sinking Feeling', on the 10th of July, '2001: A Space Odyssey' on the 13th of July and ' The Orphanage' on the 17th of July. All films start at 10pm and tickets are £5, £3 children and £4 concessions.

If you are free to go to one of these films, I would highly recommended an evening in the lovely Rotunda Theatre on the green, and feel free to bring popcorn or maybe a cocktail in a can!

Alice Featherstone