As part of the University of Birmingham Arts and Science Festival KINO 10 presented ‘An Evening of Short Films About Sex’ in the Arts Building. And that’s exactly what it was – short films about sex. It was not an evening of porn, which is why it was shocking to hear that the original venue, The Vale, refused to host the evening at the last minute because of the ‘controversial’ topic. Or maybe it’s not surprising at all, considering that our society still views sex as a taboo subject to talk about openly.
KINO 10, founded three years ago in Moseley, Birmingham, is a moving image exhibition project that showcases some of the best short films from around the globe. Watching short films is usually a solitary experience sat in front of your computer but KINO 10 aims to bring people together to share and enjoy that experience. A whole host of films get shown from the theme of Black History Month to short films about Venice and Rome.
The evening itself was brilliant. Twelve short films were shown, all relating to the topic of sex: from orgasms, swinger clubs and one night stands to messages about safe sex. The films were all completely different in style too, ranging from cartoons and clay animation to music videos and live action. The best thing about the night was that all the films were funny. The film creators took a topic that people often talk about very seriously, or not at all, and removed all tension by making the viewer laugh. There was no awkwardness in the audience at the screening like you may assume with a room full of strangers watching films about intimate issues, but everyone giggled their way through it and it was a really comfortable atmosphere.
There had been a KINO screening about sex in the past but far fewer people showed up to it than previous events. The founder, Sam Groves, thought that the topic would draw people in but in reality it pushed people away. The screening on Monday probably had less than 10 people in the audience. What is it about the subject of sex that scares people away? All the films shown were beautifully made, extremely funny and often thought provoking – the event deserved far more attention than it got.
Also check out UoB Arts and Science Festival for more fascinating events around campus this week! #artsscience
By Hannah Witton
Film stills from top: Venus (2010) dir. Tor Fruergaard, Twin Flames – The Klaxons (2010) dir. Saam Farahmand