Flatpack Projects
Film, and then some

Helen

Saturday 14th March, 2009

| 21:00

Joy was last seen a few days ago, walking across the park towards the woods in a yellow coat. One of her class-mates at college, Helen, is asked to play the role of Joy in a police reconstruction. As time goes on she develops a strong...

Dir. Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor

UK 2008, 74 mins

Feat. Annie Townsend; Sandie Malia; Dennis Jobling; Sonia Saville

Joy was last seen a few days ago, walking across the park towards the woods in a yellow coat. One of her class-mates at college, Helen, is asked to play the role of Joy in a police reconstruction. As time goes on she develops a strong attachment to the missing girl; wearing the yellow coat, visiting Joy’s distraught parents for dinner, and tracking down her estate agent boyfriend.

Directing duo Molloy and Lawlor, also known as Desperate Optimists, made their name with a series of shorts which combined community filmmaking with a sweeping Panavision aesthetic. They’ve made the jump into features by piecing together a number of different commissions - including one from Birmingham City Council - into Helen, and it’s a confident leap. As with the Civic Life shorts colours and framing are used with great care (kudos to cinematographer Ole Birkeland), and at the heart of the film is a terrific, low-key performance by Newcastle teenager Annie Townsend.

At Flatpack Helen will be preceded by its companion short Joy, filmed in Handsworth Park and winner of the Prix UIP at Rotterdam Film Festival last year. We’ll also be screening Nine Nights for Negroes, a short by Birmingham filmmaker Steven McLean who was mentored by Molloy and Lawlor during the production.

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