I was glad I made the effort to return on the Sunday to the excellent Waterford Film Festival, at the Tower Hotel, where I saw forty, mostly short, films.
I enjoyed the work of Katie Michaelak especially “Through Her Eyes” about a beautiful young girl making sense of a complex world as she sets out to run away with her pink bag on wheels. The shining innocence was well caught.
There were jokey postman stuff, a funny Blunder, a girl band pastiche, Russia mafia, a gruesome crime story where fingers were lopped off by a Fair City character.
Ray Frisby from Slieverue had an atmospheric 40 Foot Rising, about a depressed young man who plans a dual suicide with a wavering friend. The build-up of gathering the equipment, family scenes, a bus trip to Tramore featuring Stagemad actors James Power and Brid Power. A character eats a blaah as another inflated a hideously yellow dingy and sets out across a lake. The cell background seemed corny but I was impressed by the chilling understated impact of the effect seen through the eyes of others.
A ghost story of a man going to bury a dead body of mother and child at sea in EBB was beautifully stated as live figures and ghosts inhabited the same beach, the same frame. A marital infidelity story blended into a memory of an aging actress, going back to her days of applause and fame as she walked out into a river.
I loved Katie Michaelak’s modern Irish angels story of Angels On Strike. A boobs and blood shocker, The Intruder had a quirky quality of internet chatroom horror.
In one afternoon hour I saw such a range of styles and loved The Chef’s Letter by Sybil Mair, beautifully filmed in an oblique style of a married chef on his birthday deciding o leave his wife and child for a colleague in the kitchen. He writes a letter to the colleague and then sees, almost out of the corner of his eye, that his affections as misplaced so he rips up the letter. Lots of visual understatement but a cliché of a cello backing track.
The Waterford surreal artist, Anthony Costine, had a clever and unusual three minute video set to a John Haggis song, Fast Cars. While the number might have been sub-Snow patrol, the video was psychadelic, weightlessness as model cars took on lives of their own and floated in an unreal space, an every changing place at the edge of sanity or seriousness.
I was very impressed by the dedication and vision of Festival organiser Stephen Byrne and his colleagues, Jamie Dower and Joan Roche. The range of films and very unexpected and often fascinating and another fine example of the variety of arts in Waterford.