Arty-farties and film fanatics alike beware, for a new festival has just hit the town. After its heat-packed introduction in 2014, New Wave returned to Broadway on a semi-bright and definitely-early Saturday morning, alongside 8 unique titles for your pleasure. And I can report back with a solidarity on par with Nigel Farage’s ego that this 2-hour culmination of movie-magic was the highest quality set of shorts I’ve seen in a looong time.
Now let me also preface this review by stating my utter lack of knowledge surrounding the short-film industry. My experiences don’t range far from the Pixar animations before Monsters Inc and Up – though I am partial to the odd local film night at the Contemporary when I’m feeling extra snazzy. But my inexperience just made this event even more enticing, in a blissfully-ignorant sort of way. On display was the devilish work of Evrim Ersoy; the Horton Brothers’ explosion of childhood wonder; and Jennifer Reeder’s exploration of female friendship’s using emoticons and text abbreviations – u c m8?
A particular feature that spanned these works was their heightened attention to cinematography in comparison to most of the blockbusters of today. The suave nature of each film made even the duller stories amongst them enticing. A notable example was Jamie Simm’s Bus Stop, featuring a set of very intense headshots, providing a very natural documentary feel. This was similar in Ersoy’s Abdullah, which used a hood-mounted camera to capture the lacklustre life of an all-night taxi driver on his daily rounds. However, if Google is still a reliable source for streaming, I’d particularly recommend attending the eye-catching housewarming in locally-produced Stew & Punch too. This film (by Simon Ellis) featured a broth of Nottingham’s TV Workshop faces, as well as a cup of what felt like improvised dialogue which really wrapped you up in its story.
And when you’re done with that, if you’re not too opposed to big-budget dazzle, you should also leave room on your cranial voicemail for Mat Kirkby’s Oscar-winning The Phonecall. Then tweet me at the very moment Jim Broadbent’s beautiful distress drives you to tears and a box of Kleenex. Oh, and if you need something to cheer you up once you’ve eventually run out of tissues, go find the hilarious and wacky world of 365 as a little pick me up. This McLeod Brothers animation leads you through a single year second-by-second, and it proves to be an entire reverie of ideas and visions!
So, as you probably guessed from that last careening, out-of-control paragraph, I can’t recommend the short film circuit enough. It’s a genre which can only be categorized by its attention to detail and exciting premises – because the actual stories are completely free to be whatever they want to be. And how exciting is that? I mean obviously, as with everything, you’re bound to stumble upon some sour krauts, but I urge you to give these budding filmmakers a trial. And when New Wave comes back round, you’d better make sure to get your tickets.