An article on the Guardian’s film blog has asked:
Can Birmingham’s eclectic lucky dip of a festival help rejuvenate its Digbeth base?
That festival being Flatpack. Now, I was always told that if the title of a newspaper article asks a question then the answer is most likely ‘no’. In this case, the answer given is revealed to be more like ‘well, first of all Digbeth needs a cash machine, some residents, public transport, a post office and some street lighting’. Which is fair enough.
Hanging the cultural hopes of an entire area on one annual festival (no matter how good) was a bit of a reach anyway.
On another matter, two parts of the article jumped out:
Amazingly, points out George Clark, a curator who put together Flatpack’s Build Them in the Mind programme of short films, Birmingham still lacks a proper arthouse cinema. This in England’s second-largest city.
Which is true but needs tallying against Ian Francis saying:
“I hate it when people say Birmingham is apathetic” about film and culture, he says. “The interest is there”
Which is also true.
Even better, there are quite a few people getting off their backsides to put films on away from the multiplexes. Film nights are rife – off the top of my head there’s Moving Pictures, Juniper Cinema, Kino Concrete, Filmrats, Popcorn, the Animation Forum events, BIFS, Screen Sunday at The Plough and occasional things at The Sunflower Lounge. Those are just the ones I can remember, too. Pretty much all of those are in pubs, which isn’t always going to be ideal and they’re unlikely to show the latest releases, but I think Ian’s right about apathy not being the problem.