Liverpool’s got a decent record of championing fringe cinema – with everything from bleak Scandinavian ennui at the Nordic Church’s film club, to the much-missed Sunday afternoon sessions at the CUC.There’s something about the city that encourages us all to gather in dimly lit rooms to be transported to another place. As we can do again at a new, monthly, night at the Blade Factory (the cheeky younger sibling of Camp and Furnace). Darkness into Light.
Hosted by Liverpool filmmaker, The Double Negative’s DW Mault, the night promises screenings, musings and cineaste-type chin scratching. But, most importantly, it’s about the transformative magic of film – and the chance for us to see the sort of stuff that, for all its 75 screens, you just don’t see at the ODEON.
“This night is about getting films to Liverpool as quickly as possible,” Mault says. “The Liverpool Film Office is important in terms of getting filmmakers here, but we also need to create an informed and inspired homegrown network too. That’s why there will be discussions and debate after each screening to add context and information.”
The night promises first-showings (in the city, at least) of contemporary and classic prints, a supporting feature of talks, and a showreel of sociable drinking. What’s not to like?
“Darkness Into Light is not just a screening, as we believe that an evening’s cinema is enhanced by talking about what we’ve just seen. I think of the evening as a salon where everyone can talk, share and learn; all the while having a drink and getting a chance to see films that maybe would never screen in Liverpool.”
The inaugural screening is of the critically acclaimed documentary Side By Side. Produced by Keanu Reeves, the film is a lovingly geeky requiem for the death of celluloid, and of film’s digital growing pains. Through interviews with directors (such as a sublime one to one between Reeves and David Lynch that’s worth the admission price alone), cinematographers, film students and editors, the film explores what’s been gained, what lost, when film moves from gloopy chemicals to the clinical aesthetic of digital (and there’s an evening’s heated debate right there).
The night features a Q&A with Matthew Fox (filmmaker and founder of Outsiders Film Festival), Solon Papadopoulos (director of Hurricane Films and producer of Terence Davies’ masterly Of Time Of The City and the forthcoming Sunset Song) and Chris Bernard (director of Letter To Brezhnev) TBC.
Darkness Into Light
Blade Factory, 26 March (£3)