I have no doubt you’ll remember the video I posted a couple of weeks ago ‘Luv’in the Black Country’ by local filmmakers Black Country Cinema. It caused quite a stir at the time, and I’m very excited by what these talented folks are doing.
Black Country Cinema are a collective of four young film-makers: Matthew E. Carter, Andrew J. Walker, Jaspal Singh and Manjeet S. Gill.
Tonight, I finally got chance to look around their large cannon of work, and I think I’m in love, too. I’m captivated by their use of landscape and silence; they are quite content to let light and image talk, with only ambient noise as accompaniment. I frequent, or have frequented the places they illuminate; I can hear the echoes of people I know, and have known, in the people recorded.
What these wonderful film-makers are portraying is my place, and yours, too. I feel a very strong and unusual attachment to this work. I understand what they’re talking about. Watching ‘He’s a Nice Lad, but He Ay Never Right’, I can absolutely empathise withe the sentiment; the passion, the reaction of people to what I do here, the lack of understanding from some people that you belong to a place, have a genuine lasting affection, but can also criticise it, because you want it to be better.
‘Some things you love have to belong to someone else. And that really hurts’ – Matthew E. Carter ‘He’s a Nice Lad, but He Ay Never Right’
The last time I felt like this was over The Salmon Corporations ‘ Walsall: Everything a Pound’ which still brings tears to my eyes.
All I can say, Matthew, is that some people will always take any effort to create, share and celebrate as a personal attack. There’s nothing you can do about that, but develop a thick skin. What you lads are doing is cock-on and don’t let anyone tell you different.
The lads had a brilliant interview with local history legend and sometime media personality Carl Chinn. It’s really worth listening to carefully.
If you have a YouTube account, please subscribe to the Black Country Cinema channel.
After years of The Black Country and Birmingham being very nearly a national joke, it’s great to see the next generation taking back our history and the multiple cultures and threads it embraces. Yes, we may have a comical accent – but we have a fire and a passion in our blood that’s more than just our collective history of hardship, furnace and hot metal.
There’s an ingenuity, intelligence and literacy about our conurbation’s culture that binds us as one. Black Country Cinema are a shining example of it.
I don’t know what lies in the future for these talented chaps, but making film of the quality of ‘Old Man Walker’ – a veritable film noire – they stand to go a very long way indeed.