• Kieran Burt

NOTTIFF Day Two: Blighty, Pub Kid and More

The Nottingham International Film Festival continues to delight with a more expansive second day, with even more shorts, a few documentaries and a feature length film to end the night.

The day’s highlights are the short films. Favourites include Blighty, Pub Kid and 7 Bananas. Blighty is a short about an old man who takes his revenge on noisy teens by retreating into his past, Pub Kid is (shock) about a kid who works in a pub, and 7 Bananas is about a girl dealing with the death of a friend. Blighty has an excellent lead, that being Bruce Jones from Coronation Street. Pub Kid delivers its story in a unique way, that being in the form of a poem. And 7 Bananas mixes live action with social media, in a story using influences from the director’s own life experiences.

Other shorts that deserve a mention are Lifelike and Seeing Green. Lifelike focuses on a man experiencing loneliness, and talking to a call centre worker. It has an important message about loneliness, and Seeing Green is worth mentioning because of its ability to tell its story well completely without dialogue. This was a conscious decision made by the director, and it paid off.

The feature film to close the night is one that doesn’t suit all tastes

Some of the shorts, however, miss the mark. Kilo makes a similar decision to Seeing Green in being completely without dialogue, yet it is not effective. It makes the film confusing. Kindred is also a short that fell flat, as it did not have an interesting premise or characters.

The festival also shows three documentaries. Two of the are shorts, Eden and Shrovetide, and one is a feature length film, Yes I Am — The Ric Weiland Story. Eden is the highlight of the three. It follows the life of a transgender person trying to make themselves fertile. The story itself is interesting to watch, but it is made by students and the quality matches documentaries made by established directors, which is impressive.

The feature film to close the night is one that doesn’t suit all tastes. The French film Medusa is about a woman, Romane, looking after her sister Clemence who is disabled by a car accident. When Romane’s boyfriend Guillaume takes it upon himself to help Clemence to recover her speech and ability to walk independently, Romane will become unbearably jealous of this connection.

This film is a slow burn, and it feels longer than its running time of 86 minutes. The actors turn in adequate performances; Anamaria Vartolomei, who plays Clemence, turns in a notable portrayal of someone with a disability.