The Watershow Extravaganza (16mm)

Saturday 24th September / 3PM @ The Maltings Theatre & Cinema

The Watershow Extravaganza records the eponymous water-music-light attraction, which has been in operation at Watermouth Castle theme park in North Devon since the early 1980s. Installed in a child-sized theatre, the performance synchronises a 1920s Mighty Mortier Organ with a water tray exhibited at the Festival of Britain in 1951. Filmed just before its laborious annual service, both the organ’s paper roll music and tired water jets fail to hit the top notes and positions. Today this kind of performance of innocence seems absurd and nostalgic, and not entirely innocuous. Yet poignantly, the Watershow persists, like the out-of-date format it is captured on, to fight for its existence in the contemporary world.

Multiple exposures mix neon colours and shots blindly alternate between dark and light, until the show is re-woven into the fabric of the film. Exhausted and hysterical, the film's patriotic climax is rendered at once pathetic, spectacular and slippery.

Screens in the programme Berwick New Cinema Competition: Green.

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Artist Sophie Michael Country UK Year 2016 Duration 11 minutes Format 16mm