So what of Saturday, you ask? Amazingly the high standard from the previous day was maintained with the visually stunning Postcard From 1952, a dreamlike film that recreated the year in question with typical family portraits shot in super-slow-motion accompanied by music from Explosions in the Sky. This dialogue-free short was a collaboration between photographer Annie Gunn and cinematographer Peter Simonite (The Tree of Life). Then there was Lief Lost a Book, a short film about tall tales that followed Jon and Wes on a walk through Edinburgh as Jon told Wes the story of Lief and that time he lost a book. Barry Wigg and Craig Henderson’s film was a low-key delight that mixed realistic conversations with some hilarious cut-away gags.
The Creative Director of 2012’s Bootleg Toronto, Jeffrey P. Nesker, was in town lending his smooth Canadian tones to hosting many of the Q&A sessions with the filmmakers who had made the trip, and he also brought the first three episodes of The Undrawn, a web-series he has been directing. This peek into the day-to-day life of Z-list superheroes working at Super-Corp is equal parts filth and hilarity, featuring such characters as Jack-Off, Rearview and Iron Gut. You should definitely keep an eye on YouTube for that one.
There were two big feature premieres later in the day. First up was Kenneth, about a man whose life came to a major turning point the day a malevolent goblin crawled out of his ear and started berating him. Directed by Peter Anthony Farren, the film was much more nuanced than that somewhat flippant synopsis might suggest, anchored by a superb performance from Duncan Casey as the beleaguered Kenneth. The second major screening (and a personal favourite of mine) was the epic Discoverdale. This rockumentary follows Anglo-Irish comedy rock trio – and Edinburgh Fringe stars – Dead Cat Bounce as they try to unite lead singer James with the man he believes is his long-lost father, Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale. The semi-improvised classic of misadventure has tears, tantrums and rock aplenty. Not to be missed.
As a special event to take us into the wee hours of Saturday night/Sunday morning, Neil Rolland and Team Bootleg had laid on a look at the future of British horror: a showcase of the short films from the Bloody Cuts collective. This is a group of young filmmakers with a mission to scare the pants off everyone they come across. Their goal is to make an anthology of 13 shorts. The first seven are available to watch on the Bloody Cuts website (pay particular attention to Suckablood and Mother Died. Trust me.) and we got them all in a row, topped off by an exclusive World Premiere of part 8: Don’t Move. So fresh it was still being edited on the train up to town, Don’t Move is a deliciously nasty piece of work about what can happen when a bunch of amateurs play around with a ouija board. Becoming more ambitious and adventurous with each film, a bunch of amateurs these guys are not. The gang were represented by the BC braintrust of Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton along with the writer of Don’t Move, Dave Scullion and director of photography Jonny Franklin, for the longest and most entertaining Q&A of the weekend.
To finish the night off in style, we were treated to Simon Rumley’s Bitch. If you’ve got the stomach for it, this tale of two twenty-somethings wrapped up in a self-destructive relationship is the kind of film you can’t tear your eyes away from. A masterpiece of controlled tension building to a devastating final scene, Bitch features two raw and revelatory performances by Kate Braithwaite (also from Don’t Move, trivia fans) and Tom Sawyer.
While the more hardcore in the crowd kept the bar open until 3am, it was time for your reporter to get a warm cocoa and head off to bed, since Day 3 was just around the corner.