The twelfth Flatpack Film Festival arrives in April to once again turn the city into a goggle eyed mass of cinematic hysteria. We think it’s actually twelve times better than last year and we really don’t know how the magicians at Flatpack manage to pull it off. An incredible cultural paradise of art, theatre, parties, happenings, music, exhibitions and of course cinema. Here’s our top ten picks but this could’ve easily been a top fifty, grab the brochure, book the time off work and plug into Flatpack for the duration, your senses will thank you.
Häxan (1922) screening w/ live narration from Reece Shearsmith at The Town Hall
Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan (1922) is a dizzying blend of live action, animation and effects, that still possesses the power to shock contemporary audiences. The sight of witches kissing the devil’s backside and cooking babies will live long in the memory. Complementing this legendary cavalcade of disturbing imagery is a live musical score from multi instrumentalist Stephen Horne, with Christensen’s original narration being read by League of Gentlemen alumni and horror film devotee Reece Shearsmith.
Tue 17 Apr 7.30pm at The Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham B3 3DQ £18 www.thsh.co.uk
Rose Kallal & Mothwasp at Centrala
One of only two UK tour dates for the Brooklyn based visual artist Rose Kallal whose stunning installations use a myriad of mediums to dazzle and enthrall in equal measure. Rose will be performing a live sound score using modular synthesis to accompany her latest piece, the 16mm film loop Spectral Points. Birmingham noise duo Mothwasp will be showcasing their own audio visual flair.
Fri 20 Apr 8pm at Centrala, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham, Digbeth B5 5RS £10 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Solar Walk at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Hungarian animator Réka Bucsi presents a 45 minute version of her acclaimed short film Symphony N0.42, a vibrant and surreal journey through the universe, with a live jazz score for the first time in the UK. Members of the Conservatoire will be performing the music conducted by Nikolai Bøgelund from the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra in Denmark.
Sat 21 Apr 8.30pm at Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Rd, Birmingham B4 7XR £11 flatpackfestival.org.uk
If… at The Electric Cinema + Q&A
Lindsay Anderson’s revolutionary cinematic communique captured perfectly the contemporary zeitgeist of rebellion that was raging through sixties Europe and beyond. Malcolm McDowell’s sneering Mick Travis is a compelling anti-hero resisting the oppressive nature of empire and authority, the final coruscating scene with Travis and cohorts atop Cheltenham College machine guns blazing is one of the most iconic in cinema history. Cameraman Chris Menges will take part in a Q&A following the screening.
Sat 14 Apr 6pm at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Variety + live score and acrobatics at Rogueplay Theatre
The great Emil Jannings, regular collaborator with directorial greats such as Murnau and Sternberg, stars in the 1925 silent film Variety as Boss Huller, the owner of a run down carnival in Berlin yearning for the glory days of his past, it doesn’t end well. Get this. Not only will the film be accompanied by a live score from multi-instrumentalist Stephen Horne and percussionist Martin Pyne, there will be live trapeze and acrobatics throughout from The Rogue Play Theatre Company.
Fri 20 Apr 8pm at Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham, Digbeth B5 5RS £14 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Shots in the Dark at Vivid Projects
A new piece commissioned by Vivid Projects from long time collaborator George Saxon whose experiments in film and video, and how we interact with them, have been exhibited worldwide. In Shots in the Dark performers mingle with the audience and react to Saxon’s projected drawings, sound and light.
Sat 21 Apr 8.15pm at Vivid Projects, Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5RT Free flatpackfestival.org.uk
The Lodger with live score at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Recognised by number one Hitchcock expert Alfred Hitchcock as the first true Hitchcock film, silent movie The Lodger (1927) borrows heavily from the German Expressionism of Murnau and Lang to create a grim and foreboding atmosphere, as London cowers from a prolific serial killer known as The Avenger. Watch out for Hitch’s first cameo which occurs about two minutes in. The screening is accompanied by a live score from Meg Morley and her jazz trio.
Sat 21 Apr 1pm at Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Rd, Birmingham B4 7XR £14 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Paper Cinema’s Macbeth at the Patrick Centre
An utterly unique and innovative approach to theatre as paper cut outs take on the lead roles, Flatpack fans may remember the wonderful performance of The Odyssey in 2015. For 2018 Paper Cinema bring their beautifully executed version of Macbeth to Birmingham after wowing audiences in Edinburgh last year.
Thu 19 Apr to Sat 21 Apr at Patrick Centre, Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB £14 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Anne Wood in conversation at the mac
Anne is one of the most influential and prolific producers of children’s television in UK TV history, all those shows that bring a nostalgic tear to your eye invariably involved her at some point in the production progress. POB, Playbox, Teletubbies, even that cheeky little motor Brum, were all produced by Wood, but best of all she brought The Moomins to our screens.
Sun 22 Apr 1.30pm at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9.50 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Puppet Party at Centrala
There ain’t no party like a puppet party we’re sure someone once sang. With several screenings and events centred around the art of puppetry what better way to celebrate all things Flatpack than with a puppet themed dress up party. We’re already wearing our life size Moominpappa costume in anticipation.
Sat 21 Apr 9.30pm at Centrala, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham, Digbeth B5 5RS £5 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Published on: Fri 20 Apr 2018