92 minutes| U.K.| 2009| Colour| Digital|

This screening includes Shane Martin’s IFB-funded Separation Agency, a barbershop style musical which reveals a novel way of getting dumped. (Ireland, 2009, Colour, 4 minutes)

An intimate portrait of hip young things living a transient East London life of dissolution, Alexis Dos Santos’ feature aims to capture those fleeting moments which remind us how it was to be a teenager. The two main characters, Spanish wastrel Axl (Fernando Tielve) and exiled Belgian Vera (Deborah François), inhabit the same labyrinthine squat without ever quite connecting. Then again, making connections is a bit of an issue for both of them: he’s on the trail of the father who abandoned his mother, but unsure if he’s ready to regain contact; she’s semi-involved with a Danish musician yet not quite committed to making it a relationship.
The writer-director lavishes an intoxicating array of visual textures on these butterfly lives, but never loses sight of the heartache beneath the surface. Unashamedly of the moment, its persuasive fresco of contemporary bohemia is bolstered by some choice music selections, including The Tindersticks and a thumping club anthem from Black Moustache — ‘Hot monkey, hot ass, cheap thrills, live fast!’

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