Have you ever been more charmed by a character in a short documentary film than you are by Umit, in The Way of the Dodo by Liam Saint-Pierre? The film’s subject is a Londoner and film fanatic whose shop houses his entire life’s collection of analog films and projectors; and there are a fair few in there. Starting out as a “rewind boy” in London’s then-new Rio cinema, Umit’s collection grew rapidly and was eventually moved to a little store named “Umit and Sons” in which he sells films and items from his collection, alongside groceries and other bits and pieces. It’s still there, and if you ask nicely he’ll play a little screening for you.
Liam Saint-Pierre paints a brilliant and charming portrait of the eccentric collector, who is now a permanent entry in the list of people I’d very much like to have a pint with, if only so that we can sit and have a chat about King Kong to our heart’s content. A brilliantly charming piece of film-making. I wonder what gem Liam will take it upon himself to unearth via the medium of film next?