Film & TV Web Exclusives Muse

Aesthetica Short Film Festival: Round-up of Day 2

York shines on day 2 of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival. Elle Hoppe brings you the highlights of Saturday. (Thumbnail credit The Barley Hall, York)

Archive This article is from our archive and might not display correctly. Download PDF
This morning, before meeting the new Film Editor, for the handover of wristbands and last minute tips, I met a friend for breakfast at Filmore and Union. We eliminated our hangovers with a detoxifying juice and extremely yummy bagels whilst we worked our way through the Aesthetica weekend guide and worked out our timetable. We wanted to be able to see as many genres as possible in as many locations as we could, spreading out across the entire breadth of the city.

We started at Barley Hall, a restored medieval house just off Stonegate, for one of the Documentary groups. We saw a wide range of films including one about New Zealand's Curling traditions - the last place on earth that still has curling on natural ice - called Gone Curling. I definitely learnt something new and was struck by extreme jealousy that people could care about something so much. Other documentaries included Sassie's Gran and The Long Journey Home. My favourite in this category was The Long Journey Home - a daughter's tale of her British mother marrying her German sweetheart in 1938 and moving away to Germany against her father's wishes - it was an interesting insight into a woman's predicament between love and duty.

Upon leaving Barley Hall, we wandered the streets of York, admiring the sights and roads we had previously ignored and discussed how we wished we'd done more excursions like this before our last year. Then on to Bar Lane Basement to see some Animated movies. Here I saw one of my favourite films of the day, The Man With The Stolen Heart, an animated tale narrated by one of my biggest crushes of all time, Bill Nighy (he's not that old), about a man looking for his runaway heart who eventually finds love. I also saw probably my least favourite of the day, The Weightless Traveller, it was almost 16 minutes of nothingness that seemed over-shadowed by others in its bracket. We also got to see The Golden Bird, Common Ground and The Reality Clock before having to dash. This was a downfall of our day; we wanted to see so much that we had to unfortunately leave some venues early to be able to make it to the next.

We rushed back across the city to 1331's Brandy Brown's little cinema for a Comedy screening which was already completely packed. After pushing and shoving, we found a small patch to perch at the front surrounded by other latecomer's limbs. As with James, we too saw Cockatoo, Tumbleweed!, 7 Miles From Bradford and Zalet. Despite enjoying all the films, after two episodes of severe leg-cramp and dead feet, I managed to flop on to an innocent man's beanbag and have a quick nap (the effects of deciding to have people round for tea at 6am after a party). When the lights came back up, it was definitely time to take our next food break.

We went down the road to The House Of Trembling Madness for a beer and copious amounts of bread, meats and cheeses. Hannah and I discussed and reviewed all the films we had managed to see so far and she also filled me in on The Warp Film talk she had attended the previous day. We were so happy to see how successful the festival had been so far, giving short films the recognition they deserve. After polishing off our drinks we headed back out into the now cold and dark streets, popping our heads in shops and collating our Christmas lists.

We arrived at Guildhall, a site of government and commerce, and a very interesting location to watch a few films in the Thriller group. These included Sinkhole, Tell My Story, Revealing Diary and Perfect - a film about a redundant estate agent who takes revenge on the world. After leaving, we discussed that the Thriller category is an extremely hard one to gauge as despite the films being visually impressive, we weren't particularly excited or shocked by them. We had to sneak out of this venue slightly early to make it to our last stop of the day.

After rushing past all those heading out for their Saturday night dinners in town we made it to The Yorkshire Museum for Special Programme Warp Shorts - arguably the most important production company in the UK, known for films such as Submarine and This is England. Screenings included: Rubber Johnny, Dog Altogether, Curtains and The Organ Grinder's Monkey. All of which were amazing but my two favourites had to be: My Wrongs and Scummy Man - a hideously intense experience. This event had a very different feel to the rest. It was polished and professional, giving something for all future filmmakers to aspire to or cinemagoers something to be blown away by. It by no means demeaned all the other work we had seen that day but gave a variety to celebrate.

York shone this Saturday, I felt so proud of the city. The weather held out all day as the sun filled the winding streets that we walked down, popping into shops and discovering the most amazing locations to screen films. I couldn't think of a better way to spend my Saturday. York's historical buildings and beautiful venues seemed the best place to hold a festival of this nature.

To keep up to date with the film team's latest reports and reviews from ASFF 2012, follow @nousefilm on Twitter

Latest in Film & TV