Category: News

DOXA Documentary Film Festival May 4-14, 2017 – Chris Marker, Never Explain, Never Complain

Jean-Marie Barbe and Arnaud Lambert | France | 2016 | 144 minutes

The life and work of Chris Marker could easily fill several documentary portraits, maybe even several freight trains, but directors Jean-Marie Barbe and Arnaud Lambert have kept it to a brisk 144 minutes. As our guest curator Thierry Garrel states in his introductory essay, Never Explain, Never Complain “portrays the cinéaste and his works through testimonies of seven people who knew him and worked with him.”

“Who is Chris Marker?” — is the question posed by the directors/ interlocutors, and every answer reveals a different reality. Some of the recollections are funny and bittersweet, such as Wim Wenders getting blind drunk with Marker at a bar in Tokyo. “That night at La Jetée is the time when we talked most, but we drank so much sake and vodka that we forgot most of it,” says Wenders. As André S. Labarthe states simply: “He was a free spirit.”

One thing is clear, over the length of his career Marker was never content to do or be only one thing. Writer, filmmaker, photographer, polymath, cat lover — there is no single term that quite suffices. Marker was also no stranger to trouble. Statues Also Die (Les Statues meurent aussi), co-directed with Alain Resnais, was immediately banned by the French government. The rest of his major work galloped forth, unpredictable, wildly inventive, fearless, and free-roaming — Le Joli mai (1962), La Jetée (1962), Far from Vietnam (Loin du Viêt-nam) in 1967. In 1977, Marker released Le Fond de l’air est rouge (A Grin Without a Cat), that captured the rise and fall of 1960s radicalism. Patricio Guzman talking about Marker’s masterwork says: “he faces the world, faces history, and seems surprised…You get no answers by the end of the film. Only reflections, words thrown in the air.” In this era of ongoing crises, Marker’s work is more vital, more critical than ever, but the man remains elusive. Slyly winking out from this expansive film portrait with a single word. Can you guess what it is? -DW

via DOXA

The Politics of Race in Contemporary Film and Digital Practice. Black Film British Cinema Conference 2017, MAY 18.

The Politics of Race in Contemporary Film and Digital Practice

Venue: Goldsmiths, University of London (Day One) and Institute of Contemporary Arts (Day Two)

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Professor Sarita Malik, Brunel University

Dr Kara Keeling, University of Southern California

THEMES

Whether we consider the rise of the concept of diversity, the on-screen representation of identities, the off-screen workforce, the production trends of film institutions, new forms of independent production opened up by new media, or film education and talent development, questions of race and ethnicity remain central to contemporary British film.

This conference will mark nearly 30 years since the original Black Film, British Cinema conference at the ICA and its subsequent publication, which has been a huge influence on scholars exploring race, culture and the politics of representation. Some of its core thinking by Kobena Mercer, Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy and others remains an excellent point to consider what has, and has not, become of black and Asian film and TV production in the UK.

The aim of this two-day conference is to consider the politics of race in contemporary British cinema and visual practice and reflect on almost 30 years of black film production vis-a-vis the institutional, technological, textual, cultural and political shifts that have occurred during this period. The conference will welcome scholars, early career researchers, postgraduate students and practitioners working at the intersection of film, TV, Moving Image, Media and Communication studies, Sociology, Politics and Cultural Studies.

This conference has been organised by University of Greenwich, Goldsmiths, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and co-supported by the Sociological Review Foundation.

FAQs

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE FULL CONFERENCE/DAY ONE TICKET PRICE?

Ticket price includes entrance to the conference on Thursday and Friday. Lunch will be provided on Thursday and there will be a drinks reception following the first day of the conference on Thursday evening at the Professor Stuart Hall Building at Goldsmiths University of London. Tea, coffee and cold drinks will also be provided at regular intervals during the conference.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE CONCESSION RATE?

Concessional rates are valid for full-time students (including postgraduate/PhD students), seniors (60+), registered disabled persons and benefit recipients (JSA).

TRAVEL AND ACCOMODATION

Both Goldsmiths and the ICA are close to comprehensive transport links, so getting there won’t be a problem. Just follow the link here https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/ for more information. For information about where to stay during the conference just follow the link to Visit London http://www.visitlondon.com/

HOW CAN I CONTACT THE ORGANISER WITH ANY QUESTIONS?

Please contact Dr Clive James Nwonka – c.c.nwonka@greenwich.ac.uk

BOOK

Film as a Radical Pedagogic Tool by Inside Film – Sun, June 11, 2017 @maydayrooms

Film as a radical pedagogic tool refers to film in its most complete sense as praxis, where the categories of theory and practice are integrated, where film becomes both concept and method. Pedagogy is concerned with education, not only in the conventional model of knowledge transmission and acquisition but as a reaction to our environment and our personal experiences and how we react to that environment and what sense we make of those experiences. Film as praxis attempts to contest the structural weight of the power concentrated in elites and to create opportunities for the working class-specifically by fostering a critical engagement with the structural and ideological underpinnings of the media in our neo liberal corporatist world, Therefore film as a radical tool, refers to the meshing of film and pedagogy as a force for social and political change.

The aim of this workshop is to explore the potential of a radical pedagogy of film as a way of providing working class people with an education that fosters the development of a critical awareness around issues of identity (classed, gendered and racial), cultural representation and ideolog

This workshop will explore the importance both in theory and in practice of working class people telling their own stories and representing their own experinces. Most representations of working class people are made by the middle class graduates of Russell Group universities who have no expereince of working class life and who are not anchored in the strugges of working class people -we will draw on the work of inside film -there will be clips from some of the films made by the peope we have worked with- a presentation explaining the underlying philosophy of a radical pedagy of film and a discussion of how we might implement these ideas more widely.

Book tickets

Radical Film Network presents: Activist Filmmaking on Dislocation (with a screening of 722 TMX Engineer Battalion)

Wednesday 17 May / 6.30pm / The Box / £4 / £3, booking required

 Join FACT and Radical Film Network for a  film-screening and panel event exploring the role of the filmmaker as activist.  Seeking to counter the largely fictional (and often hysterically inaccurate) narrative on Syrian refugees put forward by the mainstream media, filmmaker Yannis Koufonikos questions how much of this narrative is fiction, constructing a positive representation of refugees and their struggles built around his work inside the Alexandria refugee camp in Greece.

 Inspired by How much of this is fiction., FACT presents a specially curated film programme drawing influence from the idea of artist as activist. Featuring films chosen by exhibiting artists and local community and grassroots activist groups, the films may have inspired works in the exhibition, or share the political and socially engaged ethos of Tactical Media in their aim to challenge or shift public perception.

Via FACT

READ: How the Essay Film Thinks by Laura Rascaroli

This book offers a novel understanding of the epistemological strategies that are mobilized by the essay film, and of where and how such strategies operate. Against the backdrop of Theodor W. Adorno’s discussion of the essay form’s anachronistic, anti-systematic and disjunctive mode of resistance, and capitalizing on the centrality of the interstice in Gilles Deleuze’s understanding of the cinema as image of thought, the book discusses the essay film as future philosophy-as a contrarian, political cinema whose argumentation engages with us in a space beyond the verbal. A diverse range of case studies discloses how the essay film can be a medium of thought on the basis of its dialectic use of audiovisual interstitiality. The book shows how the essay film’s disjunctive method comes to be realized at the level of medium, montage, genre, temporality, sound, narration, and framing-all of these emerging as interstitial spaces of intelligence that illustrate how essayistic meaning can be sustained, often in contexts of political, historical or cultural extremity. The essayistic urge is not to be identified with a fixed generic form, but is rather situated within processes of filmic thinking that thrive in gaps.

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Openings: Thinking Cinema
1. Medium: Liquid Image, Fluid Cinema
2. Montage: Essayistic Thinking at the Juncture of Images
3. Genre: The Speck of Irony and the Ethnolandscape in Ruins
4. Temporality: The Palimpsestic Road and Diachronic Thinking
5. Sound: The Politics of the Sonic Interstice and the Dissonance of the Neutral
6. Narration: Epistolarity and Lyricism as Argumentation
7. Framing: Looking for an Object, or The Essay Film as Theoretical Practice
Conclusion: Reframing
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Laura Rascaroli, Professor of Film and Screen Media, Univerity College Cork

Laura Rascaroli is Professor of Film and Screen Media at University College Cork, Ireland. She is the author and editor of several volumes, including The Personal Camera: Subjective Cinema and the Essay Film (2009), Crossing New Europe: Postmodern Travel and the European Road Movie (2006), co-written with Ewa Mazierska, and Antonioni: Centenary Essays (2011), co-edited with John David Rhodes. She is the General Editor of Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media.

via Oxford University Press

BIMI – Session #10: Perfidious Albion, a programme curated by Catherine Grant and Sarah Wood

Photo © 1984 Derek Jarman

Wednesday 29 March

Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

1:00–6:00 | [Book here]

What does it say about British identity that from as early as the 13th century foreign states have shared a single Anglophone slur to describe British double-dealings overseas? Perfidious Albion: the name for Britain when its government operates dishonourably, is treacherous, or betrays a promise.

The promise of British identity has been much discussed in the last twelve months. Two versions are in competition. Britain in the world, outward looking and open. Britain as an island nation, insular, self-interested, maybe closed. In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, as Britain floats off the coast of mainland Europe and dreams its future, this programme looks at how essay filmmakers have analysed the promise represented by modern Britain and estimated to what degree the country lives up to its perfidious reputation. Curated by Catherine Grant and Sarah Wood, it features two recent works by Wood, alongside works by Derek Jarman, Humphrey Jennings, Margaret Tait, Isaac Julien and the Sankofa Film and Video Collective, and Cordelia Swann.

In collaboration with the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex


1:00-3:00

The Last of England, Derek Jarman, UK, 1984, 35mm, 87 mins

3:30-6:00

The Dim Little Island, Humphrey Jennings, UK 1949, 35mm, 10 mins

Colour Poems, Margaret Tait, UK 1974, DVD, 11 mins

Territories, Isaac Julien/Sankofa, UK 1985, 16mm, 25 mins TBC

Perfidia, Cordelia Swann, UK 2002, digital video, 13 mins

Boat People, Sarah Wood, UK 2016, digital video, 22 mins

Azure, Sarah Wood, UK 2017, digital video loop, 7 mins, text by Ali Smith.


The Last of England, Derek Jarman, UK 1984, 35mm, 87 mins

England in the future: a nightmarish journey through a dark landscape of totalitarianism and despair.

“In The Last of England, Derek Jarman’s memories, thoughts and fantasies are assembled in a collage of styles (quasi-documentary chronicle, home movies and video), to vent his fury at Thatcher’s England. The use of dream-like imagery, superimpositions and different colour hues express Jarman’s nostalgic yearning for the past, and the film has been compared to Humphrey Jennings’ poetic documentary Listen to Britain (1941), which hymned wartime Britain.” (Kamila Kuc, BFI Screenonline)

The Dim Little Island, Humphrey Jennings, UK 1949, 35mm, 10 mins

“Humphrey Jennings’s latest film is in effect an anthology of four meditations on the present state of England. These are contributed by an artist (Osbert Lancaster), a naturalist (James Fisher), an industrialist (John Ormston), and a composer (Vaughan Williams). “Ichabod, Ichabod”, Lancaster remarks in the opening sequence, “our glory is departed.” The little island is growing dim; looking at it we feel rather like the émigrés in Ford Madox Brown’s picture The Last of England, sad but resigned.” (Monthly Film Bulletin)

 Colour Poems, Margaret Tait, UK 1974, DVD, 11 mins

“Nine linked short films. Memory, chance observation, and the subsuming of one in the other. The titles within the film are: Numen of the BoughsOld BootsSpeed Bonny BoatLapping WaterInsenceAhaBrave New WorldThingsTerra Firma.” (Margaret Tait)

Territories, Isaac Julien/Sankofa, UK 1985, 16mm, 25 mins

“Sankofa’s Territories looks at the Notting Hill Carnival and the 1976 riots. Juxtaposing original footage with archival news reports, Isaac Julien films the carnival as a subversive site for resistance in Afro-Caribbean culture, in direct opposition to mainstream white British society and an increasingly hostile police patrol.” (Cinema Project)

Perfidia, Cordelia Swann, UK 2002, digital video, 13 mins

“A contemporary fable, set in the streets, parks, edifices and firmaments of Paddington and West London, about the day to day life of a woman named Perfidia and her neighbours. Featuring jet trails, a canary, a student, an archbishop, Marlene Dietrich, and the London Fire Brigade.” (Cordelia Swann)

“‘Perfidia’…is also the name of a woman with no particular faith or allegiance. As the soundtrack reminds us she is, like Marlene Dietrich in the film ‘Morocco’, a ‘suicide’, a ‘one way ticket’ who has stepped off the ship never to be seen again. In Swann’s film, she becomes an ‘itinerant and a tourist’, immersing herself in a kaleidoscope of London sights and sounds which manage to allude to a multitude of experiences and beliefs but adhere to none in particular.” (Sotiris Kyriacou, Luxonline)

Boat People, Sarah Wood, UK 2016, digital video, 22 mins

Homelessness is coming to be the destiny of the world’, suggested Martin Heidegger in 1946, in the immediate aftermath of the mass movement of people created by WWII. In 1946, this displacement was a shocking legacy. Sixty years on, with the escalating movement of people escaping conflict and environmental catastrophe across the world, has Heidegger’s prediction come true? Has displacement become the norm rather than the exception?

Boat People is an essay film that explores this question. Taking as its starting point the historic version of Britain as a seafaring nation the film counterpoints the surety of this assertion of identity with the contingency of movement. Boat People also questions the role the moving image itself plays in the representation of human movement and the migration of ideas. Just as the invention of the telescopic lens brought near and far together for the very first time, Boat People is about the way in the twenty-first century the near and far are mediated and transformed by the new ‘perception accelerator’, the digital image.

 Azure, Sarah Wood, UK 2017, digital video loop, 7 mins, text by Ali Smith.

Azure is the colour of the sky on a clear summer’s day. Azure is a colour that suggests openness, ease, possibility. Azure is the name of the card given to the people who arrive in Britain seeking asylum. This short essay film accompanies Boat People in a questioning of the meaning of hospitality.