We were lucky enough to be invited to the UK premier of what turned out to be a funny, heart warming short film called Ladyfingers.
The venue was fascinating; The Wharfe Chambers in Leeds. Stories of moles going undercover for 5 years, infiltrating political activist groups, tales of strictly no swearing transvestite parties (apart from in the designated swearing corner), the legend of a regular meeting whose attendees were encouraged to only click their fingers to applaud, as clapping was deemed too aggressive – and now this.. a short film starring a fella called Charlie who I first hung out with at Atomic Jam back in January.
I’d (as I often do) purposefully avoided any pre-amble for the venue as well as the film. Particularly with films, I like the first impression to be as the director intended it, and not as the objectivity of another dictates. After a couple of (Sam Smith’s Nutty Brown – bottle. 8.5/10) beers and complimentary early bird mince pies (non vegan – clearly stated), and after the warm up act – a tight but muddy metallic band called Goatspeed blasted us with semi perma-chug white noise, we settled down for the main event. A film by Mike.d called Ladyfingers. A short introduction from Mike himself, and our convivial companions cosied down to watch.
What we got was a super low-budget, DIY short – shot in under 2 weeks, that had the feel in places of a fairly high-end studio offering. If I’d broken down the film into its constituent parts I might say that the image – the art direction – was second to none. Detail in costume and even moustache were attentive to the minute detailia. Beautiful imagery, set in thoughtful compositions. The cinematography used several devices – but clearly the crane was Mike’s new toy – and got used a lot (to good effect). The locations – spanning Harrogate, a ferry, some trains, a ticket office and into Holland was fascinating. Mike went on to say that (my favorite scene in the film) he chose the Empress, after he’d scouted it at a gig there a while before and earmarked it as a quintessentially English pub. For those that know the pub – you probably think (as I did) that it’s perhaps not the most picturesque of pubs – but it is unquestionably “An English Pub”. Iconic as such.
Appreciative chortles in all the right places throughout; this film seemed to go down well. A surprise cameo from a good friend called Mez added a totally different slant.
The plot – has no bearing what so ever as told on the back of the DVD, which talks of androids from the future, sent back in time… The plot seemed to be a soul-searching, road trip of innocence staying that way, under threat of corruption, in its hunt for ladyfingers. The biscuit. Not the digit.
An interesting post film comment from my wife, concluded that it reminded her of something. I concurred. If anyone now asks – “What was it like” I can confidently reply : something a bit like Jacques Tati’s ‘Monsieur Hulot’. Tres bon.