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posted by: Ian on:
November 12, 2012 @ 3:58 pm
It occurred to us the other day that 7 Inch Cinema is almost ten years old. In June 2003 we put on a filmnight at the Rainbow in Digbeth, setting in motion all sorts of other things which have eventually landed us here. Still doing quite similar things, but in a completely different way. Or is that vice versa?
In any case, things have moved on, and we’ve decided to bundle all the things we do under the banner of Flatpack. That means all our year-round work will come to be known as Flatpack Projects, and 7 Inch Cinema will quietly recede into the background. It doesn’t mean we’re doing less year-round stuff: far from it. But for many the 7inch name is still very much tied up with the pub gigs that started it all, and it makes things a bit clearer if all our work can go in one place.
That one place is the Flatpack website, which was relaunched in a small way last week. There’s plenty more to come, and eventually the site will contain an archive of all the old gigs gathered here. It should also be a bit of a kick up the bum for our web presence, which has got a little sparse of late. This post is a way of starting the countdown – but 7 Inch Cinema will not be forgotten, and next summer we’d like to mark the tenth anniversary in some way.
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Once again an event-light summer has been followed
by an autumn pileup of gigs and screenings. To help
sift through some of this we have compiled one of our
occasional Birmingham listings mailouts. As ever we’re
not responsible for these – we just thought they
Just a quick heads-up – by way of warm-up for Flatpack 6 we’re doing a series of Colour Box family screenings at mac on the first Saturday of every month. Tomorrow we kick off with My Neighbour Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki’s spell-binding fable about two sisters in the countryside. Screenings are at midday and 2pm, and there’s also a chance to develop your own Totoro-drawing skills. Here’s a brief youtube guide to help prepare you…
In a break with protocol, I’m pasting below our listings email for this month. If you’d like to receive these in your inbox, sign up for the email list on the lefthand side.
During a rare breathing space we have found time
to compile a list of interesting things happening
around Birmingham over the next 31 days or so.
As you’ll see there is an embarrassment of festivals
(seven at least) and plenty more besides. As usual,
we’re not responsible for any of these events, and
apologies in advance if we’ve missed something out.
Happy heatwave! (more…)
We’ll be over the Black Country like a rash over the next four days, presenting a banquet of heavy metal cinema in all sorts of venues. The ‘heavy metal’ theme has been treated quite loosely, and as well as live footage, music docs and the obligatory Spinal Tap you can also find plenty of archive material, a special screening of Ken Loach’s Cathy Come Home with producer Tony Garnett and a couple of the horror movies which played an important part in shaping the metal sound…
The movie which gave the band their name, a lurid omnibus chiller with Boris Karloff nearing the end of his career…
…And Shane Embury from Napalm Death has hand-picked one of his favourite video nasties, Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond. Expect shonky dubbing and spectacular gore.
If you haven’t been visiting the events section of this site you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing going on in 7inchland. Far from it. Tomorrow we hit the road for the Green Man festival once again, supplying kids matinees to the bleary-eyed masses and teaming up with Ghost Box on the Friday night. (See Julian House’s splendid flyer, above).
The following Saturday night we’re showing films for the opulent Lost Picture Show at Shambala, and then it’s full steam ahead for the Black Country. From 1-4 September we’ll be helping to bring Home of Metal’s summer to a close with the Metal on Film weekender. Tickets are now on sale at the Light House, and there’s a taster of some of the shorts on the Flatpack blog. In the meantime we’ll also be overhauling both our websites, laying some foundations for Flatpack 6, and planning for a special event on freelancing at the end of September – drop us a line if you’re interested in taking part.
Robert Morgan slips between animation and live action, and is well known for creepy short films like The Cat With Hands and The Separation. It’s been a while since his last ‘proper’ short, but judging from the trailer for his new 23-minute stop-frame opus his work is still pretty creepy:
Just sifting through photos from our film-tent at this weekend’s marvellous Book Bash. There are many things to love about this event: it’s free; it encourages kids to get excited about reading; it’s at Aston Hall, one of Birmingham’s underrated treasures; and it’s run by librarians! Their joy at being set free in a field rather than sat in a library is somewhat infectious, and makes for a really nice buzz. Even on Monday when it was chucking it down we were impressed by the pacamac hordes who turned out. Here are a few shots from the slightly sunnier Sunday…
At the top is pianist Paul Shallcross, who drove all the way from Brecon to accompany the inspired vandalism and acrobatics of Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton. Below is his appreciative audience. Watching all these rapt young faces taking so much pleasure from something nearly a century old, I wondered if we could get Michael Gove to make silent comedy compulsory for all five year-olds. I was also reminded of a 1954 book called Children and Films: A Study of Boys and Girls in the Cinema, by Mary Field. The effect of cinema on young audiences was a hot topic at the time, and Field travelled around the country using infra-red photography to capture children’s reactions to particular sequences of film. The two images below are of matinee audiences in Barnstaple and Chippenham, both enjoying a moment of ‘Anticipated fun’.
Just had a marvellous day showing films at Aston Hall as part of this year’s Book Bash, along with special guest and old friend Paul Shallcross who went down a storm accompanying the joyous mayhem of Laurel and Hardy. We’ll be back there tomorrow, without Paul but with a oneoff screening of animated feature Eleanor’s Secret. Next week we’ll be giving away a couple of DVDs of the film on the blog, and will also post a couple of photos from the event.