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Two Short Nights Film Festival
Exeter Phoenix’s 16th annual Two Short Nights Film Festival is back with a jam-packed programme of screenings and events celebrating the world of short film. Enjoy incredible animation, stunning cinematography and exceptional storytelling with screenings of must-see films from around the globe, alongside emerging local talent.
20th Century Flicks: Is A House A Home?
Built of bricks and mortar, concrete and timber, housing hopes to provide shelter, safety and warmth. But when violence, crime, and capitalism come knocking at the front door, the structures change shape, to become something else entirely.
Starting in the silent era with Lois Weber’s seminal narrative thriller, Suspense (1913), and hitting hard on home shores in contemporary Britain, this short film programme explores the ways in which a house might fail or falter to become a home.
Mark Jenkin’s breathtaking and eerily realist drama of one man’s quest for a roof, Bronco’s House (2015), is a contemporary moral tale of love, lust, birth, death, infidelity, murder, revenge, redemption… and the housing crisis in Cornwall. Using experimental, analogue filmmaking techniques, this hand-processed 16mm film is a visual treat, exploring the desire of one man and the role of ‘community’ with aplomb.
Next, as reality gives way to imagination, Tower XYZ (2016) ruminates on social inequality and cultural appropriation in London’s concrete jungle. The rhythmic pace and soft score lend this super short work the gravity of a grand narrative, told with poetic perfection.
The Separate System
Closing the programme, and contemplating an entirely disparate notion of ‘home’, is Katie Davies’ deeply moving documentary, The Separate System (2017). Produced with two prisons in Liverpool, this work contemplates a ‘house’ purposely built to lock its inhabitants in. With a deft hand, Davies explores the distinct, yet interconnected spaces of the military, custody and ‘civilian’ life.
20th Century Flicks
20th Century Flicks is a ‘famous but poor’ video shop, still operating despite the persistence of the 21st Century. Flicks treat their collection as a genuine library, cataloguing more than 20,000 titles on DVD and, where DVD is not yet available, VHS. In their tiny 11-seater Kino, Flicks also offers private cinema hire and runs regular film education courses and bespoke events. Teaming up with Watershed and South West Silents, 20th Century Flicks are involved with Bristol’s classic and archive film festival, Cinema Rediscovered. The video shop also runs a monthly film quiz at The Christmas Steps pub and repertory screenings at The Cube.
Tara Judah is an Australian critic, broadcaster and programmer based in the UK. Director at 20th Century Flicks video shop, Curator and Online Editor for Cinema Rediscovered, and Trustee on the Board of Directors at Curzon Cinema & Arts, Tara is passionate about cinema-going, photochemical and repertory film. She has a keen interest in audience engagement and impact which has led to her programming with the Girls on Film Festival (GOFF, Melbourne) and championing feminist film releases including Mustang, Sonita and The Fits. She is a member of the Womens Film Critics’ Circle (WFCC) and a regular contributor to Monocle24’s The Cinema Show, Senses of Cinema and desistfilm.
Venue: Studio 74, Exeter Phoenix