It's a round-up!
Marketing Volunteer supremos Tiff, Rebekah and Paul chat Birmingham 68 highlights and Flatpack 12 flatpicks...
I really enjoyed working over Brimingham 68 weekend but my overall highlight was undoubtedly The Double Zero Event. Having not even passed my car driving test, going to an event about a motorcycle café seemed like something I’d feel distanced from. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Guest speaker Reverend David Collyer, who transformed the St. Basil’s Church in Digbeth into a biker coffee bar in 1968, was engaging and the members of the Double Zero biker group were lively to say the least (stories of their youth were even livelier). There was a real community feeling to the event. Seeing film footage from the time set the scene, featuring both black and white and colour film, and hearing first hand stories from people who used the café was amazing for people who hadn’t attended, and nostalgic for those who had.
Looking forward to the rest of Flatpack 12, I am most looking forward to Film Camp. As someone who has a keen interest in programming, I’ve had my eye on Film Camp from the moment it was announced! If you have any kind of interest in the workings behind the cinema experience, there’s something for you at Film Camp, from sessions on Programming for Young Audiences, building a brand, and visualising data, to a talk from the French travelling cinema company Ciné Soup. Including lunch with drop-in surgery sessions, it’s a fun and informative way to learn about programming and film exhibition! I’m particularly excited for the session with Ciné Soup and meeting some great people!
Last weekend, I attended the Hair Do Party event which was somewhat melancholy after the death of the film’s director Miloš Forman a day prior to the event, but arguably it was even more important that one of his most respected films was shown as part of the festival. This event also showcased the music from the 1968 era with soul and rock music presented by DJ’s Sugarfoot Stomp ladies setting the soundtrack of the evening with vinyl’s from the period being played.
One of the unique things that Flatpack Film Festival did during the 68 Weekend was show older films on a big screen which they definitely deserve. For example, I have previously seen If… on a small screen but the fact that this film which still presents topical themes of student uprising is being shown to a different audience is amazing and highlights the heritage of British film. I have also visited some of the art exhibits that Flatpack are partnering with this year for example Ghost Streets of Balsall Heath at the Ort Gallery which shows what Birmingham looked like, often through the eyes of children in 1968.
My highlights for the rest of this week include Variety which will include a screening of the silent 1920’s film, alongside a performance from the RoguePlay Theatre and is certain to put a different and immersive spin to the classic film. Also I recommend catching some of the short animation events throughout the festival including The Eyeslicer and Is This Some Kind Of Joke?
The opening weekend of Flatpack left me with some serious generation envy. While the swinging sixties have always been hailed as a hedonistic free-for-all, it was great to see the social and political motives behind the revolutionary era. Watching films, In the Intense Now and Youth 68 gave me a real insight into the personal stories of those making waves at the time.
Mothers and Double Zero Revisited introduced me first-hand to some local ruckus rockers and riders. Bringing my family along to Mothers, it was great to see them relive some of their hazy memories and share stories that are hard to believe came out of a pokey club above a furniture store in Erdington. The weekend certainly unearthed my inner hippie and by the time next year’s festival rolls around, you’ll probably see me sporting waist length, luscious ginger locks, outlandish flower power shirts and riding in on a Harley.
Looking ahead into the rest of the week, my top pick is Solar Walk on Saturday. Continuing on my new age path I look forward to embarking on a cosmic exploration with other worldly aminations and 17-piece jazz band providing an interstellar live score, it an adventure too good to miss.