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Short of the Week: SPECIAL RAINDANCE Gone the Way of the Dodo by Liam Saint-Pierre

Sunday 12 October 2014, by Elise Loiseau

This short film was screened at the London Raindance Film Festival’s 2014 edition.

Umït runs one of the last shops in London that sells film reels. Umït comes across as a borderline obsessive film geek: his wife thinks he is mad, he surrounds himself with stacks of reels and excitedly witters about an original copy of King Kong.

Umït’s words are not so much a plea-the battle is already lost-but a love letter to reels, celebrating their texture, their colour, their slight roughness, that have given way to the smooth and standardised digital image. Umït is one of the last true lovers of 35 mm film, and one of the most committed. He battles on regardless of the changing times, regardless of the fact that his son has left the shop behind to go into IT, and whose only presence is in the shop’s sign “Umït & Son”. His enthusiasm never wavers as he greets customers asking him to host a screening and bargain-hunting in fairs and markets.

Umït’s love for film also expresses itself in the passion he demonstrates for the magic of the filmmaking process and the ritual of the screenings.

Gone The Way Of The Dodo gives us a glimpse, amidst the scattered reels, figurines and Mars bars, of a staunch defender of film, determinedly enthusiastic and unshakeable in his resistance to the digital age.

THE WAY OF THE DODO from Liam Saint-Pierre on Vimeo.

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