The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters

Showroom Shorts #3

Showroom Shorts

I attended the third ‘Showroom Shorts’ event at the Showroom Cinema, Sheffield. The event showed the works of nine different northern based film makers. Some of the director’s had shown up at the event, to see how their film was received. Here is my own personal view of the shorts shown at the events.

Disclaimer: The views stated below are that solely of the writer.

Spiral – Directed by Pete Richmond, 2010, 16 mins

Spiral follows the story of Nick, who returns to his home town after learning that his childhood friend is in a violent and abusive relationship. The storyline is dramatic and captivates the audience into the plot and the characters.

The simplistic camera work suites the tone of the film, allowing us to fully concentrate on the story being told. With a view into the past for the two friends, we get a fuller understanding of how things were, and why they might have turned out the way they did.

A great film to start the night off with.

Writer’s Block – Directed by Matt Crofts, 2009, 4 mins

Writers block is a 4 minute comedy about the inner psyche of a young script writers suffering from writers block. After being unable to write, he falls to sleep. Upon waking, his house is filled with characters from deep within his head, although he is completely unaware, and unable to see them.

With a dose of surreal comedy, this is a sweet and short film that I would happily watch whilst surfing the internet.

The Sack – Directed by Dan Gitsham, 2009, 4 mins

The Sack is a quite gory short horror film, that quite amazingly works. From what I have seen, most short horror films don’t usually work, due to not being able to build the right amount of tension in their small time limit. The Sack gets by this by not explaining much of the plot, leaving the audiences imagination to work as it sets about telling the story in present time.

With the right amount of mystery and gore, I am happy to say that this disturbing horror short actually works, and is well worth watching.

Mother, Mine – Directed by Sue Everett, 2008, 16 mins

Mother, Mine is a short drama film centered around a young woman, who after having lost her adoptive mother, decides to track down her birth mother. For me, I know a film is going to be good when it can captivate your interest within the first 5 seconds, and this film is able to do that successfully.

I also need to praise the short on its use of incidental music, as I have noticed that some short films won’t fully utilize to it to the fullest. The music brings in an appropriate score, helping the audience emote, allowing them to have a stronger bond with the characters as they share the experience on screen.

With a dramatic turn of events and an even more shocking twist ending, this was most definitely my personal favourite of the night.

Grimance – Directed by Jacqui Bellamy, 1996, 6 mins

Grimance shows us the perception of the world from a woman, which takes the shape of a cafe. With a black and white effect giving off a somewhat poetic vibe, mixed with the somewhat more darker feel given by the audio and voice over track, we are left with a somewhat sinister feeling, as though there is more to what we are seeing than we realise.

Between These Lines – Directed by Ed Cartledge, 2010, 2 mins

A short documentary which shows the work of a disabled artist. With lighthearted music to help us along, we hare given a warm feeling as we view the amazing pieces of art. After recognising the name of the director, I found out that I had reviewed his work along with others from the last Showroom Shorts. I look forward to maybe seeing more of his documentaries in further Showroom Shorts events.

Losing Weight In Sheffield 8 – Directed by Melanie Tighe, 2011, 14 mins

Losing Weight In Sheffield is presented as a true tale self made documentary following Steve, who has to adhere to new rules when the government introduce a anti-obesity legislation. The mockumentary starts with a news clip of the legislation being announced, before moving onto Steve, who has decided to document himself as he goes for a BMI test. After finding out he is 3lbs over-weight, he is forced to go on a new diet and excercise routine.

Although quite humorous, I also found it to be quite disturbing as it ends up as something which could realistically happen in modern society. With the magic line towards the end ‘Whats the worse that could happen’, the film follows on the promise of a humorous end result.

Over The Hill – Directed by Peter Baynton, 2007, 7 mins

Over The Hill is a comedic animation short that follows 3 grannies in a nursing home, who discover a hidden secret and decide to rebel against it. With no dialog, the short makes excellent use of sound effects and music, and gives us laughs with rebellious grannies as they attempt to liberate the rest home .

Bring Me Joy – Directed by Debbie Howard, 2009, 10 mins

Bring Me Joy follows Sophie, who falls in love with a beautiful white sofa. Buying it, she believe it will allow her to be happy, though she soon discovers having a white sofa may bring more bad than good. The film brings laughs by showing us the true to life obsessive tendencies of trying to keep a new sofa clean, and the lengths that we will go to do so. A simple but all the same funny short film.


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