Before Alice Lowe wrote, directed and starred in Prevenge, the scriptwriter and actress teamed with director Jacqueline Wright on a series of strange and hilarious shorts, Jackal Films they title them. As Lowe has explained, “being a woman is weird, and you’re allowed one weird. Being surreal is two weirds, and you’re not allowed two weirds… Two weirds is too weird.” With feline erotica, courtly necrophilia and aspiring mermaids, under their Jackal Films banner the two struck a path for themselves through a restrictive culture, using dead pan humour and eccentricity to produce a list of works that entertained a packed out CCA venue for this Glasgow Short Film Festival event, with the involvement of Matchbox Cinema.
With an introduction from director Jacqueline Wright, pre-screening, we are then thrown into the minds of the two for the next hour and a half, and coming out feeling like a Pebble. Films such as Brethren, Love Song, Earth Birth, Making it With Pam, and Pebbles were all included in the list screened this evening, which thoroughly entertained the audience with the sheer surreal and yet, feminine traits lined throughout these bizarre shorts. Pushing boundaries, wonderfully done with marvellous humour, Alice Lowe and Jacqueline Wright have a list of films to be somewhat proud of, as they not only defy the convention but have fairly high level production values, which is crazy considering the next-to-nothing budget they had to create the twelve short films.
Should you doubt her versatility despite being in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and the Mighty Boosh, Alice Lowe certainly showcases it with these shorts and the characters she creates through the writing and portrayal. The theme running throughout all of her work here is parody and surrealism, pushing the confines of filmmaking to some degree. It was rather wonderful to be able to witness this as part of the GSFF in the CCA and watch a fantastic team of women create a series bizarre and yet recognised films. If nothing else, it’s inspiration for aspiring filmmakers that are not quite handed the budgets to create the films they want, look at what Jackal Films did.
Photo courtesy of Ingrid Muir