Leicester’s De Montfort University held an evening with the award-winning filmmaker Mark Craig. The event was organised by Ben Archer at the university’s Mill Studios. Mark Craig showcased a short film called ‘Junk Mail Britain’. It makes the point that despite so many differences in society or a local community, city or town we have one thing in common, we all receive Junk Mail. We may have simple or elaborate stickers on our letterbox, still, we receive Junk Mail.

The film follows Mark into his home where he has collected and sorted his Junk Mail into categories filling drawers and even boxes, one drawer for pizza one for Junk Mail, one for supermarket offers etc. The film is quick moving and contains some interesting sequences, shots and camera angles such as when Mark stows a box full with Junk Mail under his desk while the camera focuses on the scene from behind the desk. Mark explains that he is a collector and that even the attic is full of Junk Mail.

I just began to think, I wonder if I can do this. I just started…I bought myself a little camera, just home movie stuff really, and I shot it and edited it and I explored possibility, and I made some pretty good home movies, and then I thought, well, it can’t be much different to make a real proper documentary, can it? And so I just kept pushing myself forward. – Mark Craig

The gist of the film is that despite so much diversity amongst people they have one single thing in common, they all receive Junk Mail, if they want it or not, if they have stickers on their letterbox or not, the Junk Mail keeps pouring through our letterboxes, incessantly.

I felt this short film was excellent, highlighting a problem we rarely speak about but which affects everyone. Most of all, it can be annoying. Above all, we feel disempowered and without control to deal with the situation, what to speak of stopping it. It just happens to us. The only mitigation factor is that it happens to everyone. We are all equal in this. It is a great leveller, though it would be nice if this also applied to other areas of social life.

The other film Mark presented was a bigger opus, ‘The Last Man on the Moon’. It is a documentary with an interesting name. Usually, we hear and focus on the first man on the moon. This is why even what concerns just the title, this film is something different. It is the story of the last astronaut who went to the moon and one can only wonder why after all these years no one else has set foot on the moon again. One may even be forgiven for asking the question, ‘have they really ever been to the moon or was it an elaborate hoax, but this is another question and topic.

The documentary features an interview with Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon, how he felt, how he feels now and about his experience. Mark Craig comes over as a very warm and likeable person with a passion for film. He worked for the BBC channel 4 and was surrounded by filmmakers and other professionals in the field.

“I wonder if I can do this”

Here is a short interview with Mark which he gave at the end of his presentation.