This week’s collection of decidedly dark short films in the back room of Cafe 1001 had me jumping out of my seat more times than I care to mention. The theme, SEIZE THE NIGHT, comes hot the the tail of such SOT evenings as ROAD TO PERDITION (‘a carousel of lost souls is awaiting you in 7 short films celebrating darkness at its essence’ – help?) and the not too distant PSYCHO: AN EVENING OF MADNESS screened on the anniversary of Hitchcock’s classic. What with Halloween poking its evil green eye just around the corner, this was the perfect screening to get our horror juices flowing. But all the same…. my jeans got covered in rum. It’s dark back there.
On the menu on Thursday evening and sticking out in my traumatised mind – although it didn’t personally do the traumatising – was NIGHTHAWKS, proceeded with an insightful Q&A session with Falak Shawwa (producer) and Jun Bung Lee (director). The film sought to break free from the prescribed ‘London’ look that is either gritty or grossly abundant (think Guy Ritchie or Working Title) and wove together three unique characters crossing paths in unusual, allegedly coincidental ways. The result was engaging, unexpected and sophisticatedly shot.
Another shocker was YELLOW: an unbearably tense conglomeration of THE CONVERSATION and 1 HOUR PHOTO that was a mediation on beautiful photography more than anything else. This was a delicious blend of Carpenter-like sequences and sexualised body horror that left you nervously looking from side to side for the man in the leather mask… I’ll say no more lest you spill your own rum.
And well worth a mention – not least because it was made by SOT veteran and organiser Michele Fiascaris – was BLUFF. Short n sweet n perfectly executed, this micro-short involving two men and a ginormous bag of cocaine induced a ripple of laughter around the room that was much needed as a bit of comic relief from an intense evening of darkness.
Make sure you come to the next Shorts On Tap event WOMEN IN REVOLT: PERPETUAL CYCLE, which will focus on the theme of pattern, repetition, routine and liberation from it. Harbouring a distinctly less dark, but no less serious, tone, the WOMEN IN REVOLT recurrent is a celebration of female filmmaking. Tickets and info HERE.