Some screening highlights
Beyond all the mobile cinemas, bunker installations and shadow shows, there are of course plenty of old-fashioned movie screenings at Flatpack. Here's a quick run-down of some of the features we're really looking forward to this year...
GRAVITY WAS EVERYWHERE BACK THEN
Dir: Brent Green, USA 2010
Showing at the Electric, 8.30pm on Friday 25th March
Brent Green lives in a barn in Kentucky, and did a lot of the construction labour for this film himself. (More details in this Vice interview) There's a live version of Gravity which we'd LOVE to put on - involving accompaniment by Jim White, Howe Gelb & others - but just the film by itself is pretty beguiling stuff.
A USEFUL LIFE
Dir: Federico Veiroj, Uruguay 2010
Showing at the Electric, 2.30pm on Saturday 26th March
One of those unassuming movies which it would be easy to miss, A Useful Life is a real gem. It's particularly spot-on if you've spent any time in an arthouse cinema, but this isn't just one for the film-buffs. (Federico Veiroj interview)
IN THE SHADOWS
Dir: Thomas Arslan, Germany 2010
Showing at mac, 8.30pm on Saturday 26th March
Wonderful stripped-down heist thriller which nearly had me in palpitations when I saw it (although that may have been partly the coffee). Thomas Arslan is a really interesting filmmaker of the 'Berlin School' (see also Christian Petzold, Angela Schanelec), and will be present at the screening to talk about how he went about making noir fresh again.
Dir: Gillian Wearing, UK 2010
Showing at mac, 6pm on Sunday 27th March
Debut feature from the Turner Prize winning artist, who grew up in Birmingham and is best known for her images of people on the street holding up hand-written cards (eg, 'I'm desperate'). Self Made is painfully raw at times but also very moving, and the acting coach who steered the whole process will be here to discuss how the film came together.
Dir: Liu Jian, China 2009
Showing at Ikon Eastside, 6pm on Sunday 27th March
Although it's easy to treat Chinese independent film as fascinating contraband, Piercing I is also a great piece of animation in its own right. The style is not slick - almost Beavis-like at times - but it's a potent snapshot of one young man running up a blind alley. (Liu Jian interview)
That's not forgetting Meek's Cutoff, Le Quattro Volte, Rubber, Mutant Girls Squad and many others. If you're likely to catch a few things over the festival, keep in mind that a bundle of four full-price screenings only costs £21, saving you a whole five pounds.