Staff Picks: Morten
The first of our 2013 Staff Picks comes from Morten, our Programme Assistant.
Any film lovers familiar with holiday camps will no doubt share my memories of the moments of nervous anticipation when you first step into the caravan to see the tiny television in the corner and a stack of questionable videos underneath. What would we be subjected to when the inevitable rainy day reared its ugly head? Would my family suffer as I forced them to endure another viewing of Space Jam or would I be confused by yet more vague reasons as to why I was not allowed to watch Con Air at my age? Sol Cinema, however, promises to be a much more enjoyable mash-up of cinema and mobile accommodation, with archive gems and joyous shorts screening in the world’s smallest solar-powered cinema.
Le Voyage dans la Lune. Cupid Angling. The Jazz Singer. All of these are recognised as significant moments in the history of cinema and The Adventures of Prince Achmed deserves it place among them. Widely considered as the first animated feature length film, its influence has been both broad and long-lasting, look no further than 2011’s Tales of the Night for proof of that. This is no mere screening though, the vibrant colours and deep blacks on screen will be accompanied by a live score including the intriguingly named instrument ‘Fluid Dulcimer’, finding out what this mysterious invention is secretly forms a major part of why I’m so looking forward to this event.
I can’t actually ride a bike, so don’t expect to see me attempting Bike Polo as part of Cyclomania, but even I realise that the Race Across America is the kind of event that would send Lance Armstrong scurrying away to the nearest medicine cabinet. Stephen Auerbach’s Bicycle Dreams documents the epic 3000 mile race providing a visually charming glimpse at every possible landscape the US can offer and an in-depth insight into the riders as they are forced to confront the entire range of human emotion as they strive to reach the finish line. While it would of course be ridiculous for me to even think of attempting this race, Auerbach’s film might at least persuade me to ditch the stabilisers.
A twisted tale of love acted out as a scientist explores the labyrinthine mind of a comatose woman? Vanishing Waves had me at hello. With a plot that is set to make Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind feel like Coronation Street and the kind of mind-melting visuals that the word “trippy” was invented for, this low-budget Lithuanian sci-fi really punches above its weight to deliver a spectacular oddity that I expect to be one of the highlights of this year’s festival.
This is increasingly becoming a way for me to indulge my increasing need to recapture my childhood and for that I apologise, however, when I was younger every breakfast would be brought to me via a spoon emblazoned with a certain bear from darkest Peru. While this animation, from the people who brought us A Town Called Panic, might not feature my beloved Paddington there is another bear in a long blue coat and Ernest & Celestine is just as charming. Set in a world populated by bears and mice that do not get along, Ernest, a bear, and Celestine, a mouse, strike up an unlikely friendship. Whether it’s a Sunday afternoon outing with the family or simply a way to occupy your inner child while your adult head deals with the hangover from the previous night’s 3D party, this is the perfect way to spend an hour or so on the last day of this year’s festival.