I’d not been to Minicine before, and didn’t know what to expect. Entering the looming bulk of Armley Mills Industrial Museum on a dark Thursday to find a snug 26-seater cinema, packed with friendly people holding cups of tea set me quickly at ease. This is not the preserve of chin stroking hipsters, but a labour of love, curated with passion and humour, and exotic baked goods too.
There were three shorts films before the main feature, all very different, and all intriguing in their own ways. The first, was a music video for the song ‘I Was Playing Drums’ by Efterklang. Faintly nightmarish, mildly hallucinatory, but really striking, with four simple colours threaded through a forest scene that became more sinister, with bird-headed figures observing a man being pulled towards an unseen end like a fish hooked on yarn. Sounds odd, but it’s worth a watch.
The next two shorts, Rutine and Nemesis, shared a brilliantly quirky sense of humour, and both spoke of the isolation that modern life can bring, but the lead characters found wildly differing ways to fight against the normality of crushing routine. you’ll never see a black feather in the same way again.
The main event, Village at the End of the World, will live long in my memory. A documentary about the residents of a declining coastal village in Greenland doesn’t sound as if it’ll have you rocking with laughter, but there was more hope, humanity and humour in the lives of the 59 inhabitants of Niaqornat than anything I recall having watched on TV in a long time. From the detail of how a wheelbarrow revolutionises one man’s awful, awful job (seriously, you have nothing to complain about at work in comparison) to the awe-inspiring scenery, as the seasons turn and the ice comes and goes, as the evenings draw in and wrap around their remote lives, each little detail adds more and more to your sense of the struggle to survive, but the sight of the village dancing a welcome to the returning sun, and the feeling of triumph as the heart of the village is restarted is bringing a wide smile to my face as I think back on it.
A wonderful night, a wonderful setting, and a brilliant introduction to Minicine. I can’t wait to return, and to explore the new worlds it offers. Well done, and thank you.
– Silky, Comedian and audience member
Village at the End of the World (2012) dir. Sarah Gavron and David Katznelson – 4.79
Nemesis dir. Espen Hobbesland – 4.53
Rutine dir. Trygve Stakkeland – 3.21
I Was Playing Drums dir. Joseph Brett, Simon Taffe and Glenn Taunton – 2.89
Many thanks to Silky for the warm and positive review. It’s enough to make us wish we could experience the joy The Palace Picturehouse brings for the first time again. If the name rings a bell for readers, Silky hosts the Kill for a Seat comedy club which runs twice a month at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton. It’s very popular and very funny and you should all go next chance you get.
Also, thanks to the wonderful Noisette Bakehouse for this months offering of authentic Nordic Pepperkaker Snickerdoodles and Romkugler (Scandinavians have the best sounding bakes and treats). We definitely want to experience those again! Maybe at our 5th Birthday party?
And finally congrats to Village at the End of the World for becoming one of our top five features, we think you’ll all agree it finds itself in stellar company. But the sell-out night belonged to Nemesis which became our highest scoring short film ever. EVER! Go on, give it another watch, it’s well worth it.
Our third and final film in our Nordic Season is The Valtari Film Experiment which showcases a selection of short films inspired by the music of Iceland’s Sigur Rós. It screens Thursday 19 March and we’ll have a full preview up shortly. Tickets are currently available for our online ticket office.