Fond farewell from Electric Sheep
Well, a week has passed since I was dashing between the Custard Factory and Floodgate Kino and, like a gap year student returning from six months in Thailand, I’ve been boring anyone who will listen about my Midlands adventures.
On the final day of the festival, after four days of intensive film-watching, I decided to re-focus my eyes and hang out at Flatpack HQ to soak up some of the atmospehere. As I got chatting to people over art installations and favourite screenings, I was struck by the lovely, inclusive atmosphere of Flatpack – a refreshing change from other, more industry-focused festivals. And between lots of tea-drinking and cake-eating at the Kino, I managed to catch two final Birmingham-themed screenings. Alpha Film Productions presented a series of short films made by a group of local boys in the 1950s and Peter Watkins’ Privilege, a 60s’ satire on the machinations of the pop industry, opened with a parade down the city centre and performance in the Town Hall by pop messiah, Steven Shorter (played by Steven Jones of Manfred Mann). A nice reminder of my very first festival screening at the Town Hall – although, it has to be said, Curzonara had fewer screaming teenagers and no psychedelic rendition of Jerusalem.
So, it was with a combination of sadness and exhilaration that I caught the last train back to London on Sunday night. Flatpack not only showed me a new side to Birmingham beyond the Bullring; it also provided much inspiration through its thoughtful range of films and filmmakers’ talks. In my final post, I want to thank Pip and Ian for inviting Electric Sheep to get involved – everyone at the magazine thinks the festival is really special and we’re very proud to be involved with such a unique programme. I, for one, will definitely be making Flatpack an annual fixture in my calendar... As Pip said on the closing night, this is not goodbye, this is adieu. Over and out for now!