Lancaster University Film Society Showcases Talent
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Last Thursday (2nd June) saw Lancaster University Film Society host its annual showcase of student work at the Dukes Cinema in the city centre. LU Shorts consisted of five films, ranging from psychological horror with Cameron James King’s ‘Tea’ to realist with James Harvey’s ‘Young Man’. The showcase began with Amy Charles’ ‘Effectus’, an art and identity themed piece concerned with a transvestite central character named Duchess and his striving for youth and beauty. The film heavily references Oscar Wilde’s ‘Dorian Gray’, a text that Charles has a particular interest in. She says: ‘After studying Oscar Wilde for my dissertation this year it made me think about life as performance. To make it a more contemporary piece I concentrated it around gender as performance, exploring what gender and identity means and linking it to the unreachable 'ideal' image the media offers the public today. Oscar Wilde was given an identity by his fans and the public which made him unable to be who he truly was.’ The second offering, Cameron James King’s ‘Tea’, began with the kitsch monotony of endless cups of tea being made in a student house before descending into nightmare-like horror, with the scene turning black and white. The ambiguous film left open the question of whether the central character was losing his mind and hallucinating, or whether he really was being terrorised in his home by creatures who had disguised their identities with gas masks. In complete contrast to both these films was Amal Abou-Setta’s ‘You’re Free’, which tackled the current political issue of females wearing headscarves. The film began with a comment on the recent revolution in Egypt and offered two opposing viewpoints, with the first speaker, a westernised male, believing that the female sat beside him, as a result of her headscarf, must be narrow minded and oppressed. The film ended with the female voicing her opinion on his long hair, which she believed to be scruffy, and telling him, ‘Ah. You’re free.’
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