SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT / Soft Floor, Hard Film Celebrating 50 Years of the London Film-Makers’ Co-op ICA, London

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SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT / Soft Floor, Hard Film
Celebrating 50 Years of the London Film-Makers’ Co-op

ICA, London
Thursday 13 October 2016, 7:00pm
Tickets are available via ICA, £5 or free for ICA members

To mark the 50th anniversary, to the day, since the founding of the London Film-makers’ Co-operative (LFMC), LUX launches a new publication at ICA: Shoot Shoot Shoot: The First Decade of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative 1966-76, edited by Mark Webber (now available for pre-order here).

Organised in conjunction with Frieze Video and the ICA’s Artists’ Film Club, the evening will feature a newly commissioned short film about the LFMC, produced by Frieze in collaboration with artist and writer Matthew Noel-Todd, who will also chair a discussion with Mark Webber, Malcolm Le Grice and Lis Rhodes on the organisation’s early ideals and ongoing legacy. The panel will be followed by a special presentation of Lis Rhodes’ seminal expanded cinema piece Light Music (1975-77).

The 1960s and 1970s were a defining period for artists’ film and video, and the LFMC was one of its major international centres as an artist-led organisation that pioneered the moving image as an art-form across the UK. Shoot Shoot Shoot: The First Decade of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative 1966-76documents its beginnings, tracing its development from within London’s counterculture towards establishing its own identity within premises that uniquely incorporated a distribution office, cinema space and film workshop.

Shoot Shoot Shoot began as a major survey of the first decade of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, curated by Mark Webber and organised by LUX in 2002. Consisting of 8 programmes of single screen films, double projections and expanded cinema, it premiered at Tate Modern in May 2002 and then toured internationally to 19 cities worldwide over the next two years, heralding a resurgence of interest in the historic work of British filmmakers. A smaller touring programme in 2006-08 accompanied a DVD release of 13 films. For the LFMC’s 50th anniversary in 2016, an exhibition of archival documents, also titled Shoot Shoot Shoot, was on display at Tate Britain from April to July 2016.

(1971) The Train Rolls On Chris Marker Le Train En Marche (1971)

First the eye, then the cinema, which prints the look….

“If Chris asked you to do something you did it: There was no question”, recalls Marc Karlin in one of his last interviews before his death in 1999.  ‘Chris’, needless to say, was Chris Marker, Karlin’s friend who he called ‘le maitre’. The task was to provide an English version of Marker’s recent film Le train en marche (1971) – a celebration of the Soviet era filmmaker Alexander Medvedkin and his mythical ‘kino-poezd’ – a ‘cine train’ re-fitted with cameras, editing tables and processing labs, that travelled the breadth of Russia to make films for and with the workers. Films made on the spot, in collaboration with the local people, (workers in factories, peasants in kolhozs), shot in one, day, processed during the night, edited the following day and screened in front of the very people who had participated to its making… Contrarily to the agit-prop trains which carried official propaganda from the studios to the people, here the people was his own studio. And at the very moment bureaucracy was spreading all over, a film unit could go and produce uncensored material around the country. And it lasted one year (1932)!

This train that pulled out of Moscow January 25th 1932… 

Medvedkin saw his kino-poezd (294 days on the rails, 24,565m of film projected, 1000km covered) as a means of revolutionising the consciousness of the Soviet Union’s rural dwellers. Marker hoped his recent unearthing would incite similar democratic film-making. In tribute, Karlin and other kindred spirits in London joined Cinema Action.” There was a relationship to the Russians. Vertoz, the man and the movie camera, Medvedkin, and his agitprop Russian train; the idea of celebrating life and revolution on film, and communicating that. Medvedkin had done that by train. SLON and Cinema Action both did it by car. Getting a projector, putting films in the boot, and off you went and showed films – which we did”.

The people were brought the filmmaker’s cinema, in the same way they were brought the artist’s art and the expert’s science. But in the case of this train the cinema was to become something created with contact through the people and was to stimulate them to make their own intervention.

…the train of revolution, the train of history has not lacked reverse signals and switched points but the biggest mistake one could make was to believe that it had come to a halt.

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A big thanks you to Espaço Sétima Arte for posting this great find.

https://grunes.wordpress.com/2007/12/23/the-train-rolls-on-chris-marker-1971/

The Last Bolshevik by Chris Marker

http://www.film-philosophy.com/index.php/f-p/article/viewFile/206/204

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/scope/documents/2011/june-2011/mayer.pdf

Marc Karlin – Look Again edited by Holly Aylett published by @LivUniPress

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“a meticulously researched treasure of a book.”

“This is a volume not only to read but also to experience with almost tactile pleasure.” 

Giovanni Vimercati, Film Comment – September/October 2015

“…what Ezra Pound called an ‘active anthology’ – a book that sets ideas in motion, and establishes a complex network of internal cross-references, concerning Karlin and his ideas, images, politics, collaborators and films.”

“...the future of Channel 4, whose existence owes so much to the campaigning activities of Karlin and his colleagues in the Independent Filmmakers Association in the 1970s and early 1980s, lies in doubt due to the government’s apparent privatisation plans. In tackling the issues of how to protect Channel 4’s remit and how to make films in a hostile funding climate, the current generation could learn a very great deal from Marc Karlin.”

Ieuan Franklin (Bournemouth University)Journal of British Cinema and Television, Volume 13, Issue 2, April, 2016

“Overdue reader on British independent filmmaker and advocate Marc Karlin”.

Artist’s Moving Image Publications of the Year, 2015 LUX Artist Moving Image

Marc Karlin – Look Again. Edited by Holly Aylett. Available here

Watch the Marc Karlin Collection here

In Between Times – Courtisane Festival 2016 – Programme Selection

“I believe people accept there is no real alternative.” Thus spoke the Iron Lady. After the freezing Winter of Discontent came the long-awaited “winter of common sense”. An era is drawing to a close, she claimed, meaning that the time for foolish dreams and misguided actions was over. There were to be no more diversions from the one and only course worth pursuing: that leading to the triumph of global capitalism and liberal democracy. While those in power started to pursue vigorous reform programs of neoliberal economic policy and regressive social agendas, some of those who lost their bearings blamed the “bloody-minded” commoners for having invited and brought such ravages upon the dreams of another future. As the memories of struggle faded, counter-forces retreated to a defensive position, where they could merely see fit to protect the freedoms and entitlements that had been acquired with so much grit. 

“Wanting to believe has taken over from believing,” a filmmaker observed. But the uncertainty did not stop filmmakers from making films, just as it didn’t stop movements from occupying the spaces that the traditional counter-forces had excluded and abandoned. Instead of holding on to the plots of historical necessity and lures of an imagined unity, they chose to explore twilight worlds between multiple temporalities and realms of experience, situated in the wrinkles that join and disjoin past futures and future presents, memories of struggle and struggles for memory.

This program presents a selection of British films that has documented and reflected on the changing political landscape in a period that stretched from the mid-1970s to the beginning of the 1990s. At its core is the work of a filmmaker who was pivotal within Britain’s independent film community: Marc Karlin (1943-1999). He was a member of Cinema Action, one of the founders of the Berwick Street Film Collective, director of Lusia Films, and a creative force behind the group that published the film magazine Vertigo. He also made a major contribution to shaping Channel 4 into a platform for experiment and discovery. Described by some as “Britain’s Chris Marker”, with whom he became friends, he filmed his way through three decades of sea change, wrestling with the challenges of Thatcherism, the demise of industrial manufacturing, the diffusion of media and memory, the crisis of the Left and the extinguishing of revolutionary hopes.
The resonant work by Marc Karlin and the other filmmakers assembled in this program allows us to feel the pulse of an era of transition, whose challenges and transformations are still with us today. At the same time that the Iron Lady is being immortalized as “a force of nature”, while the arguments for the austerity policies that she championed are crumbling before our eyes, a time when the present is declared to be the only possible horizon, it may be worth our while to revisit this era, if only to discover that history is not past – only its telling.

 

via Courtisane

Mick Eaton’s ‘Now About This Policy’ shown @Channel4 Visions 24 April 1985. A satire on British Film Policy.

Mick Eaton directed and Alan Drury scripted this amusing and insightful view of the twists and turns of UK government film policies. Shot using the then-new video technique of blue screen studio, it features Geoffrey Keen (who played the Minister of Defence in six Bond films) as the hapless Minister, and Joan Blackham and Jack Elliott as the ineffectual civil servants. It was the first part of a special edition of Visions devoted to the problems of British cinema on 24 April 1985.

via Large Door

Large Door Productions made programmes for UK TV between 1982 and 1998. Founded by John Ellis, Keith Griffiths and Simon Hartog, Large Door produced 36 programmes in the Channel 4 ‘Visions’ series about world cinema. Ellis and Hartog continued to work through the company making programmes on food, TV in Brazil and other subjects as well as cinema. Simon Hartog died in 1992 and John Ellis continued closed the company when he returned to full-time university teaching in 1998. Ellis is now Professor of Media Arts and Royal Holloway University of London.

Marc Karlin’s ‘Utopias’ (1989)

 

The film is not about definitions it is more an invitation to see whether there is still a place for the word us in the current political vocabulary.

 

utopias copy

 

Broadcast 1 May 1989 Channel 4 (ELEVENTH HOUR) repeated 2 March 1992 Channel 4 (GLOBAL IMAGE) (135 mins)

Seven visions of socialism invited to the banquet table: former union leader (TGWU), Jack Jones; miner’s wife, Marsha Marshall; London GP, David Widgery; economist, Bob Rowthorn; historian, Sheila Rowbotham; the editor of Race and Class, Ambalavaner Sivanandan; and the Cravendale Furniture Co-operative.

Director – MARC KARLIN
Production Company – LUSIA FILMS
Producer – MARC KARLIN
Script – MARC KARLIN/DAVID GLYN
Editor – BRAND THUMIN
Assistant Editor – ANNA LIEBSCHNER
Lighting Cameraman – JONATHAN BLOOM
Assistant Cameraman – CARL ROSS
Sound Recordist – JOHN ANDERTON
Dubbing Mixer – PETER HODGES
Grip – GLYN FIELDING
Lighting – JO McGINTY/RAY BATEMAN
Production Designer – MIRANDA MELVILLE
Art director – HENRY HARRIS
Assistant Art Director – GINA CROMWELL
Models – JAMES CLANCY
Construction – GUY ROSE/KEVIN MARTIN
1930’s Worker – DUNCAN McDONALD
Thanks to SID BROWN/JOHN GORMAN
Trainee – J.J ODERA
Production Manager – SHELLEY WILLIAMS
Production Accountant – PATRICIA COLLINSON