Underground Movies

Descending into the murky bowels of Filmbase on Thursday evening, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this vagabond ensemble, offering two hours of entertainment to the general public – free of charge! Having battled the wind and rain, my spirits were lifted as I was greeted with a bottle of beer and an atmosphere of enthusiastic chatter.

Kicking off the programme of nine short films were two very short pieces by Thomas Hefferon. More akin to TV comedy sketches, they raised a good chuckle from the fast settling crowd.

Next up was A Love Song for Cedric P. Perlmutter, a quirky comedy in the style of the silent era. Nice production design and a couple of very funny sequences, but this film would have been better delivered in a more compact form.

Malarkey, a pseudo-documentary about an Irish musician searching for his roots in rural Australia, was a little acidic at times. Quite amusing, though, in its account of the invented family mythologies of the older generation.

A change of atmosphere invaded as short, sharp, shocker Cannon Fodder pulled no punches. I could hear Sharon McCoy’s panic-stricken screams for days after…or maybe that was my tinitus.

This was my second time to see Cian McGarrigle’s Detatched, and it was equally entertaining this time. Nicely shot and didn’t seem to drag at any point. ‘I’ve had that dream too’. Brilliant!

Shane Cowley’s story of two guys down on their luck and their run-in with the Junior Night Manager of a 24-hour petrol station was nicely put together and had some funny moments. Although my prayers for a bloodbath ending were not answered, I suspect the filmmakers knew what they were doing.

Another piece from the National Film School, The Draft, was approximately what would have transpired had Ed Wood and Sam Raimi made a film together. Some excellent cinematography – Cavan never looked spookier.

The final film of the evening was Through the Trees, from the event organisers, Aidan Beatty and Declan Nugent. A fictional drama with a documentary feel, the tribulations of adolescence were effectively evoked. Kids can be so cruel…

The evening finished as it began, with people chatting excitedly about their film, somebody else’s film, and about film in general. Although the event was, unfortunately, rather poorly attended (it seemed to be mostly the filmmakers themselves) the concept was sound and an example to other budding filmmakers. Pooling resources and taking advantage of affordable venues such as Filmbase is a great means of self-promotion. I expect and look forward to attending more such events in future. Kudos!