Short Film Review #59

Toilets from Gabriel Bisset-Smith on Vimeo.
Gabriel Bisset-Smith’s Toilets is a great twist on your average rom-com, focusing on the people that just pop into your life every now and again but leaving such lasting impressions that one always wonders what if… For George, it is the American Fee who is his recurring theme, always appearing when he’s in the middle of something with his almost-out lesbian friend Link, and these fleeting moments are brilliantly conceived. Centring these encounters around conveniences is a neat way of linking them and the common threads of sex, drugs and dance music add an entertaining edge to this almost-love story.

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Short Film Review #57

 

Roger Allam as an ageing rocker called Quentin with stagefright? Yes please. Danny Stack’s Trading Licks sees him at a particular low point as unable to play, there’s no money coming into the house and his wife has just had to call the plumber to fix a broken toilet. The issue of payment, in kind as it turns out, sets Quentin off on the route to potential salvation but it being Allam, there’s much surliness in the old rocker which means it isn’t quite that easy – an entertaining bit of fun, not least with Justin Edwards’ cheeky plumber in support.


Web Sitcom Pilot Review: Queers

“Come to think of it, I’ve never actually played bingo”

 A teaser of what might be to come, this five minute pilot is an entry into the Raindance Dailymotion Web Series Pilot Competition, in which the winning short will receive a full series. Queers is created, written, directed and produced by Guido Lippe, it features the fortunes of an ailing gay bar – for which WestFive Bar in Ealing stands in excellently – as its owners look for ways to perk up business. The main point of interest for me was familiar faces Adam Lilley (The King’s Speech) and Simon Wegrzyn (Grimm’s Tales) as the squabbling couple at odds over what lengths they should go to save the bar and sure enough they make an endearing pair. Lippe’s writing has its funny moments and it would be interesting to see how it would develop without the constraints and pressures of the competitive pilot environment so have a watch of it below and just like with Scottish independence (or otherwise) if you like it, vote for it! 


 

Review: Grimm’s Tales – Shoreditch Town Hall, London

“If my mother tells me not to leave the path again, then that’s what I’ll do”

A shoebrush becomes a baby hedgehog, a repurposed umbrella a mournful songbird, a coil of rope Rapunzel’s long tresses. For the eight people roaming the nooks and crannies beneath Shoreditch Town Hall, anything they find can be co-opted into their storytelling, as they give us their versions of Grimm’s fairy tales, although some will be more familiar than others. And it is not strictly their version, as Philip Wilson’s production uses Philip Pullman’s adaptation of the stories to weave a subtle kind of magic.

The show describes itself as immersive, but it is a gentler kind of immersion than most, probably better described as site-responsive. For the audience are split into two groups and taken on a journey from room to room, through five performances which draw us into their orbit, yet ask little of us but our attention (in case the notion of interaction causes any anxiety). And it is hard not to be enchanted as the company weave their spell through the darker stretches of the imagination – happily ever after doesn’t always seem guaranteed in this world. Continue reading “Review: Grimm’s Tales – Shoreditch Town Hall, London”