At 7pm on Tuesday 3rd December I was lucky enough to be part of a select crowd of people sat in a beautifully intimate cinema in the basement of the Charlotte Street Hotel in London. I was there for a Lift-off film festival event that I had been invited to by Adrian Lo (of Lo & Behold fame).
The first of the short films that was shown (Sub Rosa) really stuck in my mind. Not only did it feature Prunella Scales (who played a madam who acted as neglectful carer for a young girl), but it also provided an interesting insight into the debate that surrounds the hyper-sexualisation of young children in modern society. By setting the film in a brothel and providing the audience with a privileged insight into the young girl’s life choices, the director was able to access this difficult subject matter very effectively.
Lots of the films were narrative or ‘ideas’ focused. This meant that, for me, the only other project that really stuck out in my mind was Tian Ji & Adrian Lo’s documentary, A Way of Life.
This documentary about a group of Japanese potters was beautifully put together and really captured the sometimes overwhelming value that can be found in everyday items. The artistry and emotion that goes into creating plates and bowls that, when used, are ascribed even more emotional value was extremely well portrayed. The score, when combined with the shots of mountainous Japanese scenery and woodland that were set in contrast to the intimate words spoken by the potters themselves, created an interesting link between the vastness of the world and the intense worth of small hand-crafted personal items.
I may be a tad biased, but I’d recommend watching it if you ever get the chance.