Thursday 16 June 2011


I've said before now that I believe that city living can be green and environmentally friendly. Watching this programme of experimental shorts, one would be forgiven for thinking I was entirely wrong in that view.

Praha Florenc is intriguingly subtitled something like thoughts on socialist realism and features 10 minutes shot from a static camera trained on one piece of socialist realist art at Florenc bus terminus in Prague and the people who passed by. It was an interesting juxtaposition between a sculpture that heroically celebrates the value of manual labour and the passers-by, most of whom seem intent on shopping (a comment on post-communist society perhaps?)

Cross Walk follows a religious procession through New York, using some interesting cinematic techniques to add interest to the walk. Some nice shots of trees too.

About Now MMX is a seeming random sequence of shots of London from different times of day (the sun sets at least twice, the moon crosses the sky several times) and in different seasons. Nice skies and the occasional tree but the city basically looked devoid of any real life, even the people shown were in such fast time lapse that their movements seemed meaningless. A comment on how life seems for many people in many cities?

Jan Villa shows the aftermath of the 2005 Mumbai Floods, demonstrating how nature is so much more powerful than human effort and giving an atmospheric portrait of the city and its people.

Achtung / Hallo 35 is a perfect three minute homage to the architecture (and pigeons) of Vienna. Very experimental, very impressionistic but perfectly judged in my opinion, not least by being so short.

I have to admit that most of these films felt as though they were being experimental for the sake of it. Whereas in Calvet, which I recently reviewed here, the experimental content (and some sequences of that film are cinematically very experimental) all felt as though it added to the narrative, mood and to understanding Calvet himself.

I had a press ticket for the first showing of this film at Edinburgh International Film Festival. The next public showing is: 15.30, 21 June in Filmhouse 2. You can buy tickets on the Edinburgh International Film festival website here.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I agree with you, I've always thought that people living supposedly environmentally friendly lifestyles off the grid on large blocks of land are inclined to spoil it by spending lots of money on fuel for their large vehicles to go to town for their shopping, jobs, schools etc.
City living should have advantages in terms of transport etc, just because we don't grow all our own food doesn't mean that it is grown in an unsustainable way.