FEATURE: Jukebox Kino | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

For the last 15 years, Horner has been working as a Tyneside-based independent film producer and director under the Pinball Films umbrella (amongst others), and is probably best known for directing the acclaimed, ‘honest, intimate and kinky’ 2010 movie brilliantlove. As someone who spends a great deal of his time travelling the worldwide film festival circuit (and as a member of Ateliers du Cinema Européene), he’s only too aware of the amount of great independent cinema that might get lauded in Europe but goes unseen in the UK for want of a distributor. Which is where Jukebox Kino comes in.

“I looked at setting up a video-on-demand label early on, I just thought that was how you did it, but it was just so expensive, and it became clear that I was going to be competing with the big boys. I was thinking about when I was a kid, joining the Sub Pop or Clawfist singles club, and it struck me as a brilliant idea that would work for films.” (Horner’s background in some notable 90s indie bands may well have played a part in this.) “Anyway, I remember seeing all these CD box sets for stupid money but if you’re a fan, that’s what you want: ‘cinephiles are collectors, not consumers!’. And people were doing it with big name directors, but I thought it would work at a smaller level too. At the same time, I saw it as a way of not only helping film-makers but helping myself too, as a producer, by finding talent that I might work with.”

A subscription to the Jukebox Kino service gets members a quarterly movie in the format of their choice (a limited DVD, download or stream) and Horner is clearly devoted to sourcing some high quality, unjustly overlooked films.

First through the letterbox (or into your inbox) is Matt Hulse’s Dummy Jim, an inventive mix of documentary and fiction telling the story of a deaf man from a Scottish fishing village cycling to the Arctic Circle back in 1951. An unlikely but entirely charming story, the film was a hit at a number of film festivals but was struggling to find distribution off the circuit, which made it a perfect debut for Jukebox Kino. Asked what drew him to Dummy Jim, Horner said that he’d become aware of Hulse’s short films and made a point of catching the movie’s premiere in Rotterdam, finding it “a fascinating and brave piece of work, and a natural first film for the club”.

In the same way that the members of the Sub Pop Singles Club had to depend on the good taste and good faith of the label heads, so it is with Jukebox Kino: Horner and his co-conspirators will choose films they believe will appeal, but in the end, as the man says, “you have to TRUST US!”


NARC. readers can use the voucher code WURLITZER33 to get an initial subscription for 1/3rd off the usual price.



Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout