In celebration of 30 years of City Eye, Southampton Film Week offered a day of flashbacks, beginning with the under-appreciated Disney classic BASIL THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE (Burny Mattinson 1986), a rodent-led interpretation of Sherlock Holmes set in Victorian London. With rugs set out in front of the projector and sweets at the ready, this screening offered a change of pace for Southampton Film Week, acting as a gateway into the world of film for children with an animated screening easy to digest before midday.
Between screenings a drop in session allowed Southampton Film Week revellers the chance to share some of their favourite memories and experiences of City Eye in celebration of their 30th anniversary.
City Eye continued the flashback season in the evening, allowing Film Week attendees to vote on the screening with options including: PRETTY IN PINK (John Hughes 1986), TOP GUN (Tony Scott 1986) and STAND BY ME (Rob Reiner 1986). Ultimately it was LABYRINTH (Jim Henson 1986) that won the vote and so audience members were treated to the epic musical fantasy film starring the late David Bowie and his disturbingly tight trousers as Jareth, the Goblin King.
30 Years of City Eye took place on Saturday 12 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.
In the 1960s a set of seven mobile lecture theatres were built to promote British industry on the road. Fast-forward to 2016 and outside the Southampton Guildhall sits Audrey, the last of its kind, now converted into a glorious mobile cinema. Touring the United Kingdom for the last six years, the Vintage Mobile Cinema aims to create a unique cinema experience, fitted with period theatre seats and an impressive digital projection system. With access to an archive of 85,000 films, the Vintage Mobile Cinema team are able to customise screenings to fit a variety of audiences. Throughout its stay at Southampton Film Week, Audrey exhibited work from local artist and Southampton Film Week royalty Anna Cady, as well as taking us back in time to several British Pathé documentaries too.
Each screening begins with a brief history of the Vintage Mobile Cinema, accompanying the bitesize reels of a quirky black-and-white era Britain. Although it is very easy to be drawn into the world displayed in the campy vintage stylings of Pathé, the occasional rocking of the cinema reminds you that you are, in fact, delightfully sitting in the back of a vintage vehicle, not a 21st century auditorium. With curiosity captivating visitors and onlookers throughout its stay, Audrey was certainly a hit during Southampton Film Week and is a testament to the celebration of cinema that City Eye brings to the region.
The Vintage Mobile Cinema took place on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.
Debuting at Sundance in 2015 and eventually finding its way to an intimate White House screening, THE HUNTING GROUND (2015) is a controversial piece of cine-activism that provides an unabashedly harrowing insight into the reluctance of American colleges to acknowledge sexual assaults on campus. The documentary is led by civil rights duo Andrea Pino and Annie E Clark, as they embark on a social justice road trip across America providing support for sexually-assaulted college students while filing a detailed sexual discrimination complaint against their alma maters in their own cases.
Pino’s description of “vicarious trauma” poetically frames the film’s central drive, with every detailed description of rape creating waves of tear-inducing empathy for the victims, and anger towards the rapists, police and the universities. By including interviews from a variety of victims, college administrators and activists, as well as perpetrators, THE HUNTING GROUND presents a well researched, emotionally draining insight into the problems with prioritising college fraternities and sport stars over student safety. While the documentary has an undeniable sorrowful tone, with scenes of students standing up to institutions the audience are left with the hope that times are changing and that an ignorance of rape culture will soon be behind us.
The Diegesis magazine sponsored screening of THE HUNTING GROUND took place on Thursday 10 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.
With contributions open to anyone under the age of 22, City Eye’s Youth Film Festival showcased talent from the local area with submissions coming from Southampton Solent University students, regional colleges and those involved in other City Eye projects like their half-term Film School and Music Video Workshop.
The festival was divided into two sections, with films firstly presented as part of the College Filmmaking Challenge in which college students were tasked with creating a four-minute film using the title “Impression” and, as a line of dialogue, “I thought it was a suggestion”. Certificates and chocolate treats were handed out for best editing, cinematography, script, sound, audience vote and best film, adding to the film festival atmosphere. After the filmmaking challenge, the event continued with a variety of films being showcased to proud parents, with children as young as nine involved in productions on display.
Youth Film Festival was a chance to witness the work of the next generation of creatives, providing a great exhibition space for many first-time filmmakers. With an obvious passion for cinema and its future creators, City Eye continues to support film lovers and producers, both young and old.
Youth Film Festival took place on Wednesday 9 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.
The stage door in Southampton played host to The Hampshire Picture Co.’s masterclass: Café Cinéaste: The Screenwriter. Head of Film at Southampton Solent University Darren Kerr, who acted at interviewer for the evening, introduced Caroline Sax and we were promptly shown an impressive showreel from the 40 plus feature films that Caroline has worked as a script supervisor, included titles such as UNDERWORLD (Len Wiseman 2003), SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (John Madden 1998) and RESIDENT EVIL (Paul WS Anderson 2002). We also had the opportunity to see a clip from Caroline’s directorial debut and short film THE FISHMONGER’S DAUGHTER (1998) that was picked up by Sundance Film Festival, confirming her talent.
The intimate setting allowed for a talk that covered an eclectic range of topics starting with personal anecdotes from her time as Stanley Kubrick’s neighbour, being on the set of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) where she remembered thinking she “was in fairyland”, to honest and frank advice for people interested in going into film as a career. Caroline also briefly spoke on her personal experience as a woman in industry in light of the painfully low statistics surrounding women’s roles in the US and UK film industries.
The evening concluded with a short Q&A in which she admitted that she is always learning and advised people interested in the film industry to go to as many masterclasses and guest talks as possible. This masterclass was a unique and valuable opportunity for all to hear from someone who is currently in industry with a wealth of knowledge.
Café Cineaste took place on Tuesday 8 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.
Southampton Film Week continued with a special screenwriter’s edition of the Café Cinéaste masterclasses held in quirky theatre venue The Stage Door on Tuesday evening. This event turned the spotlight on writer, script supervisor and co-ordinator of The Hampshire Picture Co., Caroline Sax, with an in-depth interview by Darren Kerr, Head of Film at Southampton Solent University.
Proceedings kicked off with a screening of Caroline’s impressive showreel, which included a wide range of feature films she had worked on such as SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998) and RESIDENT EVIL (2002). The discussion explored her career trajectory from just a “young girl who caught the film bug” to a script supervisor with experience working on over 40 feature films. She spoke of her brief time on Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014), emphasising the importance of preparation for any role.
During the conversation, it was particularly interesting to learn of how she became interested in the film industry. Living next to Stanley Kubrick, bumping into celebrities and stepping onto the set of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) was described as a “fairyland”. However, the reality of working in such a harsh industry was discussed, indicating the need to toughen up. Scriptwriting theory was also debated with Caroline’s own personal recommendation being John Yorke’s book INTO THE WOODS: A FIVE ACT JOURNEY INTO STORY (2013) and the talk concluded with a revealing assessment of the future of women in film production. This masterclass offered a unique opportunity for hopeful scriptwriters to gain a invaluable insight into the world of screenwriting.
Café Cineaste took place on Tuesday 8 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.
On Monday evening Dr Mark Aldridge, film and tv historian at Southampton Solent University, took to the stage for an illuminating discussion of one of the most prolific mystery writers of all time.
Having recently published his book, Agatha Christie on Screen, this talk was an exploration of Aldridge’s extensive archival research and interviews undertaken for the publication. Some surprising findings were shared, such as Agatha Christie’s fraught relationship with her adaptations, revealing that she really was not fond of some of them at all! Along the way we were also treated to some on-screen examples of the adaptations, which were interesting to watch in light of the new research.
The delightfully nostalgic overview primarily focused on the representations of Miss Marple’s character through her many film and television iterations - from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films of the 1960s starring Margaret Rutherford as the titular character right through to BBC’s Miss Marple television series with Joan Hickson who was described as “the quintessential Miss Marple” by Dr Aldridge. The event was a wonderful addition to Southampton Film Week as this exuberant speaker engaged the audience with a fascinating insight to Agatha Christie on screen.
Meet Agatha On Screen took place on Monday 7 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.
Described by event director Susan Beckett before the screenings began as an “informal, relaxed exhibition space for local filmmakers”, City Eye Cinema is an opportunity for amateur and professional filmmakers alike to screen their work in front of a live audience and receive feedback. Taking place at regular intervals throughout the year in a variety of alternative venues, this Southampton Film Week edition was held at The Stage Door, a quirky fringe theatre lined with cabaret posters and velvet furnishings, adding to the bohemian stylings of the event.
City Eye Cinema functions as an unconventional exhibition space, with the event showcasing three vastly different short films: Paul Vernon’s ambitious western Vengeance is the Lord, music video Mistletoe Bride by Rakesh Thind and Phil Peel’s anti-rom-com Chasing Fame. After each film was screened a member of the creative team provided some insight into the production of their short film. Most questions from the audience focused on location scouting due to the international flare of the shorts, featuring scenes set in Toronto, Arizona, Edinburgh and, most importantly of course, Southampton. The event was a unique chance to learn about the production of shorts directly from their creators and future City Eye Cinema events should not be missed.
City Eye Cinema took place on Sunday 6 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.
On Saturday 5 November, a documentary masterclass took place at Turner Sims as part of Southampton Film Week with an inspiring message for new filmmakers.
Director Cesar Paes and producer Marie-Clemence Paes engaged in a compelling discussion of their past documentary projects, including SONGS FOR MADAGASCAR (2016), the world premiere of which launched the ninth annual Southampton Film Week on Friday. The result was a vivid 30-year journey through the filmmakers’ careers to date. The focus on the power of sound to tell a story was a refreshing approach, evident throughout the clips that were screened to attendees. Their reasoning was in not wanting “a voice from above” but they instead followed the oral traditions associated with music to tell stories rather than simple narration.
Two student documentaries – CUTTING EDGE and STRIPPED FOR CASH - were also screened in order to offer young filmmakers bespoke and insightful feedback from Cesar and Marie-Clemence. It was interesting to see how these filmmakers approached documentary filmmaking in very different styles at the start of their careers, which Cesar suggested was one of the benefits of being a young filmmaker. Perhaps the most inspiring advice was encapsulated in Cesar’s observation that “the film changes you as much as you change the film”. This was clearly a valuable lesson to learn from a great Southampton Film Week opportunity.
Café Cineaste took place on Saturday 5 November as part of Southampton Film Week 2016.