Glasgow Short Film Festival announce 2019 programme
The Green Fog, Guy Maddin’s riff on Vertigo, and TERROR NULLIUS, Soda_Jerk’s remix of Australian film history, are among the highlights of Glasgow Short Film Festival’s 12th edition
Glasgow Short Film Festival is back this March and they’re opening in pretty radical style with a visit from the mighty New York-based duo Soda_Jerk. Dominique and Dan Angeloro, the Sydney-born siblings behind Soda_Jerk, are heading to Glasgow with the Scottish premiere of TERROR NULLIUS, a wild mashup that splices and combines scenes and motifs from Australian film history to make some rather uncomplimentary points about their home nation. One of TERROR NULLIUS's funders was so unimpressed with the duo’s blistering 55-minute satire that they asked for their $100,000 back, dubbing the film “un-Australian”. The film sounds unmissable.
Soda_Jerk also host an installation of their ongoing multi-channel video cycle Astro Black; comprised entirely of samples from film and music sources, it spins an alternate history of political resistance and music, via Afrofuturism, avant-garde jazz, German electronic music and hip-hop, stacked with pop cultural imagery from Star Trek to David Bowie.
[WARNING: The video below contains some flashing images]
There’s another masterful film mashup at GSFF in the form of The Green Fog, the latest from Canadian maverick Guy Maddin. Working in collaboration with Evan and Galen Johnson, with whom he made The Forbidden Room, the My Winnipeg director has stitched together fragments from hundreds of films and TV shows set in San Francisco to create a skew-whiff remake of Vertigo, which manages to be both a loving homage and a sly critique of Hitchcock's pervy thriller. The goofy premise sees an array of famous faces cast in Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak's roles, including Michael Douglas, Joan Crawford, Sharon Stone and a fresh-faced Chuck Norris; the latter gets so much screen time he should surely be classed as the film’s lead.
This year’s GSFF also marks 20 years since the last work from First Reels, a short film initiative from Scottish Film Council (later Scottish Screen) and Scottish Television that ran from 1991 until 1999. The scheme gave early breaks to Peter Mullan, who made the expressive drama Close as part of First Reels, and David Mackenzie, who made mini Edinburgh-epic Dirty Diamonds. As well as Mullan and Mackenzie’s films, the First Reels celebrations, spread over three programmes, will showcase a remarkably eclectic collection of shorts, made by a diverse range of filmmakers. Over 130 First Reels films will be coming to GSFF’s big screen, and many haven’t been seen in over two decades.
Other GSFF highlights look to be a trio of films from Colombian filmmaker Laura Huertas Millán; Anti-Ethnography, a programme of video works examining the violence inherent in the ethnographic impulse and that expose the absurd fetishism of films of this nature; a new work of film-music by Glasgow’s UNESCO City of Music artist-in-residence Richy Carey; a mini-retrospective of films by Shalimar Preuss, whose beguiling, dream-like Strange Says the Angel was a deserved winner of GSFF’s Bill Douglas Award last year; production company Happy Place Inc, who’ve made promos for everyone from Tyler, The Creator to St. Vincent to Frank Ocean to Jennifer Lopez, are showcased; and Matchbox CineClub's Too Weird is Too Weird, a programme of strange and hilarious shorts from Alice Lowe and Jacqueline Wright (the former writing and starring, and the latter directing).
And we haven’t even mentioned the heart of GSFF: its two short film competitions. This year the Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film includes 54 films from 26 countries.
The Scottish Short Film Award, meanwhile, features plenty of new and familiar faces from the vibrant Scottish short film scene, including past GSFF winners like Robin Haig – who won two years ago with Hula and presents new film Slingshot – and Duncan Cowles and Ross Hogg, who won three years ago with the inventive and moving doc-animation hybrid Isabella. Cowles and Hogg’s new film, Just Agree Then, is the result of a two week collaboration in the Austrian Alps (watch the teaser here). Hogg is also in the programme with his solo animation work, 4:3.
Glasgow Short Film Festival, 13-17 March. Full programme details and tickets at glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-short-film-festival