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The Non Manic Cinematics PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ed Simmons   
02 11 2004

8th November. Set in the decaying splendour of the old Odeon building, Pilgrim Street, The AV Festival's launch night kicked off to a great start with the Cinematic Orchestra's ‘Man with a Movie Camera'. A combination of 1920's avant garde Russian film accompanied by their own 21st century blend of classical, jazz, and dance music, all performed live in what was their second last performance of what has been a three year tour.

This wasn't all the launch had to offer though. Leaving the main auditorium for the bar, my toe was soon tapping to the tunes of Raj Pannu, the North East's very own Godfather of Hip-hop. The man whose done one-on-one sets with Craze, Vadim, Yoda, and on the jazz-funk side Funki Porcini, was never going to disappoint and kept business thriving in the bars despite a terrible ‘tickets for drinks' system. As well as doing the warm up tunes, Raj was also scheduled to end the night. Raring to take the roof off, he held back just long enough to let his former touring partners the Baghdaddies, put on a show. Their own unique brand of Balkan jazz madness combines elements of music from all around the world, from brass bands to reggae, and from Eastern European gypsy music to punk rock, which all created a charming, uplifting atmosphere before Raj took over.

ImageBands alone were not all the AV festival launch had to offer, and there were a number of short films by young directors - notably Tim Hope. Having done his initial comedy on the stage, Tim created a multimedia programme called 'the pod' which was aired on BBC radio 1 way back in December 1998, but only really entered the world of animation through a series of animated greetings cards created by him for his family. He has since gone on to bigger and better things, creating the video for Coldplay's 'Don't Panic' among others included in his offering at the launch; Techno: A mad film using his typical style of mixing live action footage with computer generated animation to create a dreamy scenario about a battle between French and English techno DJs with a techno soundtrack, the ultimate antidote to the CGI animation typical of the industry. He followed this with a futuristic short film where London was torn by a war between the Retro's (harking for a past society) and the Futurists who want to take man to the stars. Another imaginative production.

All in all, a great launch. Though things might have been better organised, the acts and films planned were top grade and the Old Odeon saw the most people it's seen since the release of Star Wars, marking a truly entertaining night. Roll on AV fest 2!

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