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The 3rd Tufnell Park Film Club Shorter Film Festival

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After the success of 2017's inaugural Tufnell Park Film Club Shorter Film Festival and 2018’s sophomore 2nd Tufnell Park Film Club Shorter Film Festival we're starting 2019 by going for the tertiary with the 3rd Tufnell Park Film Club Shorter Film Festival! We hope you’ll be able to join us for a whole day of screenings, where each film is no more (approx) than an hour long. (You can download the programme as a PDF)

Polite Notice: all Tufnell Park Film Club screenings are members-only - but non-members are more than welcome to simply turn up and join on the day. Annual membership is £15 (cash please) and entitles you to a year’s worth of free screenings and 10% off food this Sunday and on all film club nights.

12:30 - 13:35 - Tausendundeine Nacht

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Lotte Reiniger, Germany, 1926) - 65 mins

We kick off the Third Tufnell Park Film Club Shorter Film Festival with the oldest surviving animated feature film in cinema history. Pioneering animator, Lotte Reiniger, invented a silhouette animation technique which involved manipulated cutouts made from cardboard and thin sheets of lead placed under a camera. Based on elements of The One Thousand and One Nights, this German film tells of our titular hero’s journeys to far-away lands and his magical adventures there (adventures which include meeting Aladdin, befriending a witch, battling demons and, of course, falling in love with a princess.)

INTERMISSION 13:35 - 14:00

14:00- 15:15 - A double bill of American real life in the 1980s

Heavy Metal Parking Lot (John Heyn & Jeff Krulik, USA, 1986) - 17 mins

Reportedly a favorite on the Nirvana tour bus (and for many years only available on bootleg VHS tape), this cult classic introduces us to the young fans gearing up for a Judas Priest concert in suburban Maryland. You ain’t seen nothin’ until you’ve seen the Zebra Man.

Vernon, Florida (Errol Morris, USA, 1982) - 55 mins

Errol Morris originally set out to chronicle Vernon, FL, because it had the highest rate of a very particular sort of insurance fraud than any other place in the US: dismemberment performed for profit. Nothing of that original idea survives in the film itself. Instead, Morris lets the camera roll in front of the other eccentrics he found there.

INTERMISSION 15:15- 15:30

15:30 - 16:30 Early movies by three of the greats - Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick

Amblin’ (Steven Spielberg, USA, 1968) - 26 mins

Steven Spielberg's first film became his Hollywood calling card, demonstrating that the 23-year-old was more than capable of making big screen crowd pleasers. Much less arty than typical 60s student fare (though it does lack dialogue) it’s a sunkissed California love story.

It’s Just Not You, Murray! (Martin Scorsese, USA, 1964) - 15 mins

These aren’t the hoods from Mean Streets… Scorsese’s student short centres on the amiable Murray who recounts a career that starts with gin making and ends up with him as a successful racketeer.

The Day of the Fight (Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1951) - 16 mins

Kubrick’s self-financed debut revisits a subject he had covered as a photographer for Look magazine in 1949: Irish-American middleweight boxer Walter Cartier. At the  height of his career we follow him on the day of a fight with middleweight Bobby James.

INTERMISSION 16:30 - 16:45

16:45 - 17:30 : Satires, Parodies and Piss-Takes

From Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s proto-mocdoc (‘The Making of a Movie’) and Monty Python’s bloody take on a Sam Peckinpah-directed Edwardian idyll (‘Salad Days’) , to Victoria Wood’s lovingly detailed skit on Brief Encounter and Adam and Joe’s various toybased remakes, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite moments when comedy pokes fun at the business they call show… 

INTERMISSION 17:30 - 17:45

17:45 - 18:10: Classic Slapstick

Never Weaken (Fred Newmeyer, USA, 1921) - 19 mins

Previous Tufnell Park Shorter Film Fests have covered Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy. Now it’s Harold Lloyd’s turn to step forward into the spotlight, slip on a banana skin and somehow end up dangling from a tall building. Lloyd’s final short film paved for way for many of the stunts he’d show off in his most famous feature film, Safety Last, two years later.

INTERMISSION 18:10- 18:30

18:30 - 19:30: Three 21st-century award-winning films

Six Shooter (Martin McDonagh, UK/Ireland, 2004) - 27 mins

Winner of 2005 Oscar for Best Short Film. Four years before In Bruges McDonagh teamed up with Brendan Gleeson for this black and bloody (natch) Irish comedy about a sad train journey where an older man, whose wife has died that morning, encounters a strange and possibly psychotic young oddball....

My Wrongs #8245-8249 and 117 (Chris Morris, UK, 2002) - 12 mins

Winner of 2003 Bafta for Best Short Film. Paddy Considine as a mentally disturbed man taking care of a friend's Doberman Pinscher, Rothko, while she's away. To the man’s surprise, the dog stars talking to him (sounding suspiciously like Chris Morris) and convinces the nameless protagonist that he is on trial for everything he's done wrong in his life, and the dog is his lawyer. Unfortunately, the dog tends to make things worse for him, and the man's life falls further into disrepair.

Thunder Road (Jim Cumings, USA, 2016) - 16 mins

Winner of 2016 Short Film Grand Jury Prize. Shot in one take, the film depicts a police officer (and Bruce Springsteen fan) giving a eulogy for his mother. A feature-length version, to be released later this year, is already generating considerable buzz.  If you’ve only got 16 minutes to spare this weekend, spare ‘em here sez we!

INTERMISSION 19:30 - 19:50

19:50 - 20:40: Portrait of the Artist as an Aging Junky and All That

Burroughs: The Movie (Howard Brookner, USA, 1983) - 28 mins

Burroughs: The Movie was shot over five years from 1978 - 1982, when it’s subject - the self-proclaimed sexagenarian queer junky beat novelist, William S. Burroughs - was back living in New York after spending decades abroad in Mexico City, Tangiers and London. The director asked inventor and photographer Robert E. Fulton III to have a go editing the film and this  28 minute edit was the result. Ultimately Brookner went with a more narrative approach for the full-length feature, but Fulton’s edit is arguably more in keeping with Burroughs’s much-imitated cut-up technique. (Includes contributions from Patti Smith, Alan Ginsberg, Holly Woodlawn amongst others.)

The Junky’s Christmas (Nick Donkin & Melodie McDaniel, USA, 1993) - 21 mins

After the man, the work. Francis Ford Coppola produced this claymation adaptation of Burroughs’ short story (narrated by Burroughs himself) resulting in an oddly uplifting festive film.

INTERMISSION 20:40 - 21.00

21:00 - 22:15 Dennis Potter Presents…

Blue Remembered Hills (Brian Gibson, UK, 1979) - 72 mins

We end the Third Tufnell Park Shorter Film Festival with one of dramatist Dennis Potter’s finest works. Originally broadcast on 30 January 1979 as part of the BBC's Play for Today series, Blue Remembered Hills concerns a group of seven-year-olds playing in the Forest of Dean one summer afternoon in 1943.  Although the characters are children, they are played by adult actors (cast includes Helen Mirren, Michael Elphick, Janine Duvitski and John Bird), a technique that is by turns brilliantly funny and almost unbearably heartbreaking. Blue Remembered Hills is perhaps the most haunting of all of Potter’s Works.