Flatpack Festival 2012

Misspent youth, vampire motorcycles and attic explorations will all be making an appearance at this year’s Flatpack film Festival, which opens across various Birmingham locations today.

Brick Novax's Diary, Matt Piedmont 2011. Part of Puppetology programme.

Now in its sixth year, the festival takes cinema to such unexpected locations as a cathedral and a canal boat, and also boasts music, silent comedy, a puppetology programme, cinematic walking tours and a Gif Shop (geddit?)

The Festival’s visual identity was created by designer and illustrator Dave Gaskarth – or Cyrk – who also created the festival’s branding for the last three years.

Among the 2012 highlights are The Icebook – a miniature paper cut-out world that can only be viewed by ten people at any one time. Artists Kristin and Davy McGuire say they were inspired for the piece by ‘magic lanterns and Russian Fairy tales’, and it alluringly combines ‘pop-up magic with a fiendishly clever blend of magnets, lighting, green-screen and projections.’

Charlie Hall, This year's patron saint is a regular Laurel and Hardy foil
Charlie Hall, This year’s patron saint is a regular Laurel and Hardy foil

Elsewhere at Flatpack, the Through The Looking Glass section will be showcasing the best in up-and-coming animation talent, featuring Julia Pott’s Belly, a tale of a boy rescuing his brother for inside a whale; Juan Pablo Zaramella’s Luminaris, in which people’s mouths spout light bulbs; Isamu Hirabayashi’s 663114, documenting insects in a post-apocalyptic realm and Kangmin Kim’s 38-39°C, which sees a steamy bath transport  a man back to his childhood.

16mm Cartoon Rock, which takes place on Sunday, will see curator and writer Kier-La Janisse showing a series of 1970s cult cartoons. Also on Sunday, The Uncanny World of Robert Morgan will show a retrospective of Morgan’s macabre masterpieces. He will also be giving a talk after the screenings, and his illustrations will be on show throughout the Festival’s duration.

Asparagus, Suzan Pitt 1978
Asparagus, Suzan Pitt 1978

Finally, to explain our attic-alluding opening gambit, Exploring the Attic with Susan Pitt will show a retrospective of the director’s Lynch-esque work, including 1978’s Asparagus, which accompanied Lynch’s Eraserhead on the midnight movie circuit, and her latest short, Visitation. Her work is drawn from reverie and ‘interior sense-making’, resulting in a surreal, elusive and skin-tingling corpus of work.

 Flatpack Festival runs from 14-18 March at various locations around Birmingham. For more information visit http://www.flatpackfestival.org/

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