I went to the MMU Contemporary Film and Video showcase tonight at 20-22 Dale Street on the outskirts of the Northern Quarter in Manchester tonight. There was eight films to watch at this event and a bar that was adequately supplied with Vedett bottled beer.
A friend of mine (Kieran Izquierdo) was starring in one of the films called Solace that was filmed by CFV graduate, Liam Healy. As I was privy to information about this film and knew the actor on a personal basis, I was quite interested and tentative to see the final outcome.
His film was the sixth to be played and this created a sense of fervour, somewhat. The films in themselves where on the social drama side of things with some being quite sugary. Two in particular which was called Heavenly Hands and Grandpa's Girl had the subject of loss playing heavily within their contexts but for me the best of the bunch was a film based on the last moments of Bette Davis, directed by Nagwa Rahman.
Of course I enjoyed my friend's called was was named Solace. This film centred on the protaganist who had problems with self-image. It was a very moody affair and with just one line of dialogue that read 'it doesn't get any better'. This dialogue happened within the last moments of the film and gave me goosebumps. There are references to the myth of Narcisuss within the context and I may need to watch it again.
Back to the Bette Davis film, this was the only film that had a surreal and abstract feel to it. As said previously, all the other films had a social drama and realistic edge to them. This film felt like what it would be like to be on the cusp of death..a sort of liminal time. That feeling when you have been held within the grasps of a fever and have an out of body experience. I found this film quite personal, more personal than the films about loss of somebody close. This is because it centres, to me, on the loss of identity.
The other notable film was the last of the buch and was called Hunter, dirested by Mike J Scott. This was rightly left for the ending as it was a quite dark and brooding novella about the breakdown of a schoolboy who witnesses the sudden death of his quite obnoxious but influential father. His father dies in a bath by a strangely placed electric radio beside him.
For some reason, the schoolboy takes his father's rifle and shoots his friend whom he lured to the woods and the final scene is him murdering his mother by suffocating her with clingfilm. This film was well-shot and with Solace, the only two that has the capacity to become feature length of any worth.
I'm not poo-pooing the other films and GreyHound was quite an interesting affair but my favourites of the night was the Bette Davis, Solace and Hunter.
Bette Davis | Nagwa Rahman
Solace | Liam Healy
Hunter | Mike J Scott