LISTENERS PROJECT 3 – TELEVISION CENTRE (2015)

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Let me begin by saying that what the artists do with the 24 hours given to make these short films and the results they give us are nothing short of incredible. Whether the films are successful or not are up to you. All art is subjective and the opinions below are all mine, how I feel right now. These no way undermine the talent and skill that these artists have poured into the work, for free I might add.

“Listeners Project were invited to Television Centre in White City to capture the walls of the soon to be demolished Drama Block. The first of the Studios built at White City in 1956 it served as home to the building, painting and storing of sets and props for the BBC.

The Directors chosen had to find a writer, crew and cast to create a story for this unique space and then film it in less than 24 hours. Emily Dickinson’s poem ‘Afraid? Of whom I afraid?’ was picked as a unifying theme or jumping off point and all four films were screened on the 4th May 2015 at Televison Centre.”

What a privilege to be able to run around the iconic building, filled with stories and energies of old. The possibilities are enormous.

1-Moving On (The Screen Painting Room)
A young girl (Zoe Heighton) exercises and exorcises her body and demons in an abandoned warehouse.
The first film in the third outing for the Listener’s Project is a dance short and I must say that these dance pieces work really well. In such a short space of time it can be difficult to fully realize an idea when there is dialogue. The writing has to be very tight. With dance it’s all about the imagery. Director That Jam (!?!?) creates an interesting, intimate look inside the emotions and dreams of a young ballet dancer. Choreographed by and starring Sergio Giacomelli, the frustrations and limitations of the body so wonderfully highlighted here and the search for perfection that ballet dancers especially are constantly seeking. Perfection can never be fully reached but it’s in the endeavor to get there where the true magic lies.

2-The Porter (Loading Bay)
Written and directed by Matthew Landers, this is a simple, yet effective tale of drugs and gun running. The acting is honest with nice performances from the cast: .
The thing about these shorts is that you just have to watch them. There is little point in me telling you the synopses. The director manages to keep the tension taut throughout.

3-Late Night With Albin and Bibita (The Prop Storage Room)
Written by actress/writer Elena Pavli, starring her sister Alexia Pavli with John McCrea as Albin and Bibita, this is shot really well and the writing is interesting but I feel the piece could have worked much better on stage. The theatricality of it doesn’t always successfully translate into film, but this is also what I like about the project, many things can be tried and although they may not all work, there is always some spark of brilliance in them. The actors somewhat lack chemistry but do the best they can. Directed by Jack S Wynne, this 3rd outing at the Television Centre shows promise but lacks full cohesive fusion (or is that just cohesion?).

4-Silent Mode (The Set Build Studio)
This was my favourite of the Listeners’ Televison Centre films.
Directed by Ben Lambert and very bravely sticking to one shot that is framed beautifully; the use of the mise en scène is inspired. The conversation between the workers is gentle and genuine and the intriguing, interesting parts are the dialogue that isn’t spoken. A layered piece that shows the growth of the director, this is the best film he has directed out of this project so far.
Robin Soans, Jim Conway and Shane Cameron play the workers and all do a decent job especially Soans, who manages to convey some deeper hidden troubles .

This project continues to be different, innovative and artistic.

The films are short between 3 and 9 minutes each and are easily digestible and definitely worth a watch.
Visit the website below:

http://www.listenersproject.com/

LISTENERS PROJECT 2 (2015)

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The Old Swan Wharf

“The Listeners Project have just produced four short films in the historic Swan Wharf in Hackney, due to be turned into modern flats in 2016. Filming took place on four consecutive days beginning on Thursday 5th February.

Each Director was randomly given one of four distinct spaces within the old victorian wharf and they and their cast and crew had 24 hours each to film in the spaces.  Each writer had Frank O Connor’s poem Advice to Lovers as a jumping off point and all four short films (2 – 6 mins in length) were screened on Valentine’s day at the location to an audience of 60.”

Continuing on from their last project, the Listeners are back with four more interesting and experimental films for your delight and delectation.

The first film is ‘Help’ directed by Sonny Malhotra and starring Oliver Gilbert and Pia De Keyser and is very nicely shot, utilizing the space very well and creating a strange, eerie tone that is both dark and unsettling.

Occupy’ is the second in this collection, written by the incredibly talented Steve Bloomer and is directed by Leanne Welham. Great use of space and the dialogue is well written. Starring Charlie Catrall and Elarica Johnson, this piece makes some interesting points about housing.

Lovelife’ is a lot of fun. Primarily a dance piece, this utilizes the space well and creates a fun short. Alistair Goldsmith and Sonya Cullingford are the actors/dancers.

The last film ‘The Red Room’ directed by Ben Lambert (who is the main producer on the whole project) is the most interesting piece out of this collection. Starring the very talented, Lizzie Phillips along with Vinta Morgan, this film brings in the idea of the Stockholm syndrome with a touch of the 1984’s. Lizzie Phillips gives a lovely performance in this weird and wonderful little film.

Overall these experiments work and challenge the audiences. It’s great that they are out there being made. I’m a big fan of creatives who go out and do it themselves and for this they get:

4/5

Watch the films here