Thursday, 13 October 2016

LFF 2016: Have You Seen My Movie?

If there's one thing the movies love, it's the movies. Movie maker Paul Anton Smith loves the movies' love of the movies, so he's made a movie about it from bits of movies set at the movies, and it's a real movies movie. Raiding hundreds of films from An Affair To Remember to Zodiac for their cinema-based scenes, Smith has constructed an almost-narrative built entirely from breathtakingly edited clips, and it's the perfect film to be showing at a film festival.

The whole experience of going to the flicks, as seen on screen, is represented here: there's Alvy Singer waiting in line trying not to have a stroke; there's Tyler Durden splicing frames of cocks into kids' films; there's Laura Jesson and Alec Harvey watching a trailer for Flames Of Passion. Once the main feature starts, people make out, people watch people making out, people break up and Mickey Rourke sticks his dick through the bottom of a popcorn carton. Meanwhile horror and comedy rub shoulders as Max Cady laughs too loud and Danny Zuko cops a feel of Sandy's norks.

On the one hand it's a chance to watch a seamlessly dovetailed sequence of film clips, but on the other Have You Seen My Movie? shows us that all human life is here, gathered in the darkness beneath a flickering beam of magic for a couple of hours at a time. It's a celebration of the act of moviegoing, a prompt to recall some of your own memories (that trip to the Shrewsbury Empire for a Star Wars / The Empire Strikes Back double bill in 1982 has a lot to answer for) and a surprising indicator of just how often the movies go to the movies. Its premise wears a little thin before its 139 minutes are up, but you can't deny the power of a film that teaches you to never, ever accept popcorn from Mickey Rourke.

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