|Cinema 16 - British Short Films (2004)|
Summary: This collection of sixteen short films by acclaimed British directors is a little difficult to rate. Two or three of the films are brilliant, showing early promise of genius in directors who went on to massive success. Some of the films are, on the other hand, quite tedious. There seems to be a common theme through many of them (pubescence / single-parent family / gritty Northern realism) which unfortunately lowers their impact. And one or two films are "ars gratia artis"; whether these appeal at all is down to the taste of the viewer.
The collection as a whole is full of surprises - mostly at what can be achieved on a low budget or the depth of storytelling possible in a short space of time. Ridley Scott's 1958 16mm black & white film is pretty good given the resources available, but hasn't really stood the test of time very well. On the other hand, Jim Gillespie manages to create a highly polished short horror that perhaps manages to capture a more genuine sense of menace than did his feature I Know What You Did Last Summer.
There are a couple of really outstanding films on this disc, including Simon Ellis' inventive expose of truth and lies in relationships. Another brilliant work is Christopher Nolan's borderline genius horror which, given the credit given to University College London Film Society, bodes very well indeed for student filmmaking in this country. Let's hope that this DVD acts as a catalyst to the British film industry.
One final warning, however - because this disc is "for educational use only", it has no BBFC certificate. In my opinion, an appropriate classification for this disc would be 15, with some strong language, sexual references and violence.