When the high point of a film is a shady cat taking a dump, you may think you have problems. In fact, let’s be honest, you do. Nevertheless., the furtive moggy that crops up taking a shame-faced crap at the end of Margaret Salmon‘s film, Mm is a hit. So much so that he’s the talk of the queue for the bar as we escape the end of the movie for a pit-stop before the accompanying gig by Sacred Paws. Good job really as it turns out he’s shitting away on a loop and is still at it to great audience appreciation when we return 20 minutes later.
Aside from such scatological thrills and spills, this short feature does disappoint rather. Nominally an impressionistic feature about the speedway team Berwick Bandits with clangs, bangs and shouts added by the aforementioned Sacred Paws, the film fails impressively on almost every level. The dreamy, video-art style photography doesn’t enhance the narrative – a day at the race – or the subjects. The live accompaniment neither enhances the visuals nor the experience of the audience. None of us, not the dudes on the bikes, the lurkers in the audience, nor Captain Crapalot the cat add anything to the live music.
One longs for a straight documentary on a niche scene such as, well, riding motorbikes around in the mud within touching distance of the North Sea. It’s niche and deserves respect. A proper approach not this affair with someone shouting effectively random words, all beginning with the letter “m“. “Masterful, magnificent, misty…[moronic]“. This overly thought effort comes over like Zidane by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno but shitter, wetter and spectacularly less successful. The dignity shown in a racer’s eyes as he appears to relive the race internally only serves to expose this missed opportunity to explore in any great depth. A great shame.
Similarly lacklustre is the set by Sacred Paws, hardly aided by the acoustics of what is a great venue but not one that is ideal for that there rock and roll. The good time vibes of their sunny pop may win prizes for standing out from the crowd at the moment but to these ears sound a hell of a lot like a piss-poor band from the ’80s that your gran might like. It’s jarring and try hard.
We manage to drop into local club Melting Pot who have helpfully flown in Young Marco from Amsterdam. A welcome sweat pit of hedonism and one can only hope we are not the only culturally inclined vultures who have dribbled in here after some cinematic dislikes.