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May 8, 2010

UK Shorts at the Stevenson Theatre, British Museum

by Laura Jenkinson

More excellent UK shorts were being shown at the Stevenson Theatre to start off this, the last day of the Festival, at the British Museum today.

Films such as ‘Companion of Kings’, about the people who frequent the dog tracks, somewhat of a hidden British tradition, and ‘Peter in Radioland’, a mish-mash of styles overlapping to create a representation of the closing-in world of Peter, an ex-teacher retreating into the safe, non-modernised world of “analogue”, were indicative of experimental styles of documenting experience. They often used voiceovers of the subjects, played over images of them not speaking, which gave the effect that they were sending you their thoughts.

A slight sense of déjà vu as we started this afternoon’s pieces with ‘Pollphail’, a brief piece about the abandoned and never-used purpose-built Pollphail village in Scotland, built to house the army of oilrig builders that never came, their usefulness becoming moot as the industry changed while their homes were being built. An artist, Mick McCraw, was building models and creating an exhibition of disappearing photographs of the empty buildings. The village looked coincidentally like that spraypainted in style by Agents of Change at Wednesday’s Horse Hospital showing of ‘The Ghostvillage Project’, so if the landlord really was keeping the location secret, as Timid was suggesting, the secret could be out. (EDIT: It is.) It’s exciting when these visual links are made and stories overlap – the bigger picture of the UK as a whole.

Posted in: Highlights

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