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Where is the Fish That Never Swam?
The Alleyway of a Thousand Questions
What: New short films featuring the surreal world of Glaswegian comedian Arnold Brown
When: Thursday 09/08/12 at 2320 and Wednesday 15/08/12 at 2315
Where: Channel 4 - as part of the Random Acts series then available at http://randomacts.channel4.com/
"Where is the Fish That Never Swam?" and "The Alleyway of a Thousand Questions"
In these two surreal short films, Arnold Brown, a septuagenarian Glaswegian comedian with an overactive imagination, is forced to return to the city of his youth by the death of his idiosyncratic Uncle Harry.
Arnold wanders the streets of his Glasgow in the footsteps of Harry, the family philosopher and fruiterer and finds himself inevitably drawn to Harry's singular triumph, the Alleyway of a Thousand Questions; a place where random encounters are never far away...
With cameos from "Red Dwarf" legend Norman Lovett and acclaimed actor Jack Klaff, animation by Andrew Savage, music by Mike "Flowers" Roberts and contributions from many of his regular collaborators, Jes Benstock has crafted two strangely funny and atmospheric shorts shot through with 21st century scepticism and Arnold's surreal and comic take on life.
Jes started working with Arnold over a year ago developing a film idea. Having started out as documentary, Jes concluded that the best way to feature Arnold's highly individual perspective was to scour the contents of his joke-book in order to highlight a very funny, surreal skew on life.
For Benstock and Brown, these two shorts are experiments towards a larger project. They now plan a series of films where Arnold explores his Uncle's bizarre life and legacy, like a detective in a Glaswegian noir road movie...
When we asked Arnold for a comment he said "If there is anything you don't understand about these films, please regard it as significant..."
Arnold Brown - the greatest laconic Scottish comedian of his generation.
He started life in Glasgow's tenements on the wrong side of the tracks. He rose to the giddy heights of chartered accountancy before carving a niche for himself in the Comedy Hall of Fame with his laconic delivery, and surreal one liners. A founder member of both the Comedy Store and Comic Strip teams, Arnold is comedy royalty - having won the Perrier Comedy Award and made appearances in many classic TV series like "The Young Ones" and "The Comic Strip" and more recently the "Stewart Lee Comedy Vehicle".
Arnold is obsessed with ideas, street signs, the secrets of comedy, cartoons, t-shirt messages, all the various madnesses of modern living - and of course,himself...
Jes Benstock - director and co-writer with Arnold
Born in Glasgow in 1964 he has a background in theatre and comedy. He started making films in Edinburgh while writing and performing with the award winning satirical comedy troupe, the Merry Mac Fun Show, in the mid 1980s.
He has directed internationally recognised documentaries including last year's "The British Guide to Showing Off" which had a UK theatrical release and played many international film festivals.
He is also known for his range of work across short fiction, music promos, art installations, large scale projection, pop videos and animation. Award winning films include "The Box" with Tilda Swinton (which has 1.7m hits on youtube), "Poof", "Orders of Love" and "The Holocaust Tourist".
Commissioned by Film London for Channel Four in association with Arts Council England
Film London is a major supporter of artists' work, through the Film London Artists' Moving Image Network (FLAMIN). FLAMIN was launched by Film London in 2005 as a one-stop resource to provide London-based artists working in the moving image with access to funding, guidance and development opportunities. We have commissioned over 100 productions, and FLAMIN has supported the careers of countless other artists with programmes of one-to-one advice sessions, residencies and workshops.
Random Acts is a short-form daily arts strand on Channel 4, late nights. It launched in 2011 and in its first year showcased 260 specially-commissioned three-minute films chosen for their bold and creative expressions of creativity. Film London is one of the commissioning partners.
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