There are times in every Londonist’s life when we question our sanity, last evening one was of those evenings. In an attempt to broaden our cultural horizons, we attended the Second London Poetry Film Night (of sorts) in Mile End. We received the press release some weeks back, thought it sounded interesting, reserved tickets, and made the trek to Zone 2.
Maybe we just didn’t “get it,” but the evening was one of the most unentertaining events we have attended in London yet. In fact, Londonist made a quick exit at the intermission and never returned. During the last 24 hours we have pondered what it was that actually left us with such a bad impression – we made a list:
(1) Weak films. The first three poetry films were poor and in addition, were the works of the two organizers. To us, this seemed like a faux pas. If you organize an event it seems that one should place their works throughout the event, not stacked at the beginning.
(2) Technical difficulties. Although not completely the fault of the organizers, this really ruined the atmosphere of the screening. It is difficult to really gauge any media if you can’t watch more than 10 seconds without the DVD skipping, sound failing, etc.
(3) Weak films. Did we mention that the first three were poor? They were.
Poetry film is a new genre of film that is attempting to enter the contemporary art scene of London, and probably has a good chance of building a strong underground following if done well. Unfortunately, this was not conveyed at last night's screening.
There were a few exceptions to the aforementioned poor films. A short by Peter Regan entitled Jonny the Pessimist was interesting. It used Faustian animation and was narrated by a man with a voice appropriate for reading Edgar Alan Poe. It was dark and a bit twisted, and we loved it. In addition, Ed Cartledge’s Lost Thoughts was what we were expecting from the genre (although the organizers would be quick to point out that Poetry Film really spans all genres). It gave images and voice and mood to the poem in a way that added to the words instead of distracting the message of the poet.
Overall, Londonist has learned our lesson. Stay in Zone 1 and avoid events that as you are picking up your tickets for a new “genre-defining” medium, the next guy in line purchases a ticket to see Alfie.