As part of the 50th anniversary Birmingham celebrates with Frankfurt City, Birmingham’s annual Flatpack Film Festival has partnered with Frankfurt’s Lichter Filmfest in an exciting exchange project. Lichter has been running since 2008 and shows all manner of shorts, features, docs, experimental works, installations and live performances. It has a similar ethos to Flatpack in its programming and its outlook, and although the collaboration between these two festivals started several years ago, it has been recently refreshed again as a result of the funding received from the Goethe Institut and the City of Frankfurt.
The first part of this exchange took place the 1st April, when a repertoire from Flatpack, handpicked by the programmer Sam Groves was screened in Frankfurt. This included ten short films full of hypnotic animation, confounding experiments, dark and twisted comedy, and inventive music videos in several different languages such as English, Mandarin, Japanese, Dutch and Swedish.
Lichter returned the visit the 24th of April by sending it’s Les Trucs duo, composed of Charlotte Simon, Zink Tonsur and a variety of electronic gadgetry, to perform a brand new score to FW Murnau’s “The Last Laugh” on the final day of the festival.
Directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, a silent film that was not so silent as the electronic duo Les Trucs had took to the stage to perform a synth-heavy soundtrack that really created a beautiful and emotionally driven element to the film that you wouldn’t think would work, but does. I had mentioned to a member who joined me in the audience that the soundtrack would fit just as well on a sci-fi, to which their response was it reminded them of Metropolis (1927). A very generous comparison that I believe the film and live soundtrack deserved. Report from William Donnelly representing Takeover Film, supported by Film Hub N.I. (full review here)
A first hand account of the exchange, as written by the Flatpack programmer Sam Groves himself can be found on Flatpack’s website.