November Film Roundup
Words, Ilona Walker
November sees a number of exciting film events in Liverpool, including the launch of a new monthly indie film festival, Liverpool Film Night, Liverpool Radical Film Festival, and the premiere of short film commissions as part of Homotopia 2016, as well as numerous opportunities to engage with university academics on the subject of film.
Following the closing of the Biennial, fans of video art can head to the Bluecoat for new exhibition Adham Faramawy: Janus Collapse (the juice-box edition). Video art also features in Cécile B. Evans’ brand new exhibition Sprung a Leak, which explores the relationship between humans and machines, at Tate Liverpool.
IndieFlicks, a popular monthly film festival that has been running successfully in Manchester since 2015, arrives in Liverpool on the 2nd of November at A Small Cinema. The event promises an evening of the best short films currently on the international festival circuit as well as networking for local filmmakers. Audience members vote on their favourite film at the end of the screenings.
For local filmmakers, an amazing opportunity has arisen in the form of a Filmmaker Talent Development Programme, a free 6-month programme of workshops hosted by FACT. Deadline for applications closes on the 4th. Later in the month Liverpool Film Night, hosted by FACT on the 23rd, will showcase some of the most exciting filmmaking talent currently emerging out of Merseyside. The night will feature 11 films from local filmmakers as well as a Q&A with a film industry panel.
The nascent Liverpool Left Film Club continues with its second screening, Salt of the Earth, a previously Hollywood-blacklisted film from 1954 (not to be confused with the film of the same name from 2014) that tells the true story of a miner’s strike from a feminist perspective. The film shows on the 4th at the Caledonia Pub.
BFI Black Star Hip Hop Weekend is celebrated at Liverpool Small Cinema on the 6th with a screening of GHOST DOG: The Way of the Samurai, starring Forest Whitaker and scored by Wu Tang Clan member RZA, and a selection of hip hop videos, in an effort to highlight the influence of Samurai and Kung Fu on hip hop culture.
Metal continue with their regular completely free schedule, showing comedy Bubba Ho-Tep on the 4th and Kubrick classic Full Metal Jacket on the 18th. Meanwhile Nordic Film Liverpool, showing in Liverpool’s Nordic Church, screen Danish film En chance til (A Second Chance) on the 14th (arrive early for Scandinavian drinks and snacks). For those with a thirst for Danish cinema, Think Cinema presents Dogme 95 film Elsker Dig For Evigt (Open Hearts) on the 24th as part of their new short season featuring Danish women directors.
A highlight of the month, both in terms of local film and local heritage, is the premier of REWIND FAST FORWARD Short Film Commissions shown as part of Homotopia 2016. The premiere will show three short films from black queer filmmakers Sandi Hughes, Evan Ifekoya and Hayley Reid, each inspired by the film and photographic archive of Liverpool filmmaker Sandi Hughes. The event is part of a culmination of a year-long project to digitise and archive Sandi’s vast collection. The project will conclude in a party on the 25th.
On the 18th FACT is host to a special free screening of Battle of The Somme, courtesy of the Imperial War Museums and the First World War Centenary Partnership. Shot in 1916, this documentary was viewed by almost half the population of Britain at the time of its release, and represents the power documentary can have to inform an audience.
The city’s universities continue to deliver events – most of them free – providing the opportunity for critical discussion and engagement with film. On the 2nd, Liverpool Screen School Research Seminar hosts Professor Gillian Doyle who will present a talk entitled ‘The UK Film Council: lessons for policy from the rise and demise of an iconic screen support agency’. On the 3rd, The University of Liverpool’s Iberian and Latin American Studies (IBLAS) department continues its ‘IBLAS Talks Film’ series with Mexican sci fi Sleep Dealer at A Small Cinema with Dr Niamh Thornton, a specialist in Mexican film, literature and digital culture.
The University of Liverpool’s Continuing Education department show Hitchcock’s spy thriller North by Northwest on the 10th; tickets cost £11 and include an introductory lecture and a critical discussion. On the 21st, Liverpool Film Seminar host Professor Kriss Ravetto who will present a talk entitled ‘In Balkan: Mythopoetic cinema and the poetics of the body’, and finally, on the 23rd, the University of Liverpool presents Being Human: Modern Ghost Stories as part of the Being Human festival. The event will feature a screening of a locally produced short psychological ghost story, Holmewood, and will be followed by a discussion led by Dr David Hering from the Department of English at the University of Liverpool.
The month concludes with Liverpool Radical Film Festival from the 25th to the 27th of November. The programme includes premiers, Q&As, workshops, and shorts, on subjects such as the PKK, austerity, and Calais refugees. Keep an eye on their website for full details.