MANIFF: Shorts Screening One

The Manchester film festival had forty-one short films being shown in seven different screenings throughout the weekend. I’ve picked out the two that I felt stood out the most from MANIFF’s first shorts screening.

Twat Clinical
Twat Clinical
, by director Ryan West, is a mockumentary style film set in a world where being a twat has become a medical condition. It follows various characters who have been diagnosed with the condition and their carers. The film has a fantastic premise and features a hell of a lot of hate being directed at Kanye West. The comedy throughout the film is excellent; from the names of the characters, (‘Robert Swanker’) to the dialogue, “The entire House of Commons was tested recently with most returning positive as twats” receiving one of the biggest laughs.

After the screening finished we got a Q&A with the director. He was asked where the idea came from to which he answered: “There’s probably a deep rooted satirical meaning to it all but at the heart of it I just wanted to get at traffic wardens” in reference to one of the main ‘twats’ being a traffic warden.

The Last Laugh
The Last laugh by Paul Hendy shows three of the UK’s most iconic comedians, Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecambe and Bob Monkhouse preparing and rehearsing in a changing room before a big show. The infamous quick wit and quips from these comedians are shown throughout the film and the characters are perfectly cast. The sound design is fantastic, the tense undertone of the entire film is brought out incredibly by it. There’s a fantastic mix between emotional storytelling and great humour throughout this short resulting in a nicely done, respectful ending that is subtly hinted at through the sound design.

Sadly the director wasn’t around for a Q&A after the screening but he did speak to the festival, the video of which is on the MANIFF YouTube channel. About the film he had this to say: “It’s more about what makes somebody funny, what makes somebody want to be funny, why is it important to get a laugh. Y’know some people are driven by that. It’s about three incredibly well-known comedians, how they’re funny, how they can be funny in the future and why they’re funny.”

All of the films I saw at the MANIFF were fantastic creative pieces of film but these two stuck out to me the most due to their ability to be comedic yet somehow tragic in their own way. They both taught lessons in their own odd way and that’s what makes a film a great film.

We teamed up with Humanity Hallows to bring you complete coverage of the Manchester International Film Festival. You can view the full list of reviews which is being updated as we post new content here.

Zac Gardiner

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