The week before the festival begins, strange objects and images will be appearing in the shop-windows of Birmingham. Students and alumni of Birmingham Institute of Art and Design were asked to propose installation ideas, inspired by the festival and more generally by early cinema. A big thank you to all the participating shops, and to David Osbaldestin and John Wigley at BIAD for their enthusiasm. The trail will launch with a couple of drinks and a bit of music at Urban Outfitters in Corporation St, from 5.30pm on Thursday 5 March. If you’re not sure where things are, check out the pink flags on the map.
Urban Outfitters (5 Corporation Street, B2 4LP)
During the 1890s Rob Ring was regarded as Canada’s premier Vaudeville star, renowned for his dangerous and physical stage act. It was thought that Rob Ring had the potential to be cinema’s first great ‘star’ but unfortunately he died on the set of his first motion picture. Trying to recreate his signature stage act – standing on top of a piece of wood whilst sawing it in half from a great height – he landed awkwardly and broke his neck. This installation is simply a small tribute and epitaph to an extraordinary man who died so tragically young.
Up and Running (25/29 Temple Street, B2 5DP)
Roll up! Roll up! Spare a few moments to marvel at the oldest couple in Birmingham. For your obvious enjoyment and benefit we present the Undead, Unparalleled, City’s Sinister Sweethearts!
Awakened from the Big Sleep for one night only, it is a Spectral Spectacle not to be missed. Behold as they entertain with their Ball that’s Beyond Belief.
Witness the Magical Amalgamation of film and handcrafted elements creating a Mystical Montage world. Made in NecroVision.
A Too (9 Ethel Street, B2 4BG)
By invisible connection the telephone has the ability to unite two geographically separate places through sound. Cinema responded to this new technology visually, utilising the split screen technique. ‘Dead Air’ draws attention to this unusual internal framing; on one screen a telephone rings silently and connects muted conversation whilst on others teasingly suggestive vignettes appear. Body language and cinematography are forced into the limelight. Strange and tangled narratives emerge through sight alone.
Nostalgia & Comics (14-16 Smallbrook Queensway, B5 4EN)
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Anne Guest presents Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho. Selected narrative from the original film has been converted into sms text intertitles. Emoticons are used as emotional cues.
The resultant film is the length of the shower scene in the original film.
COW Vintage (82-85 Digbeth High Street, B5 6DY)