Large Door was founded in 1982 by Keith Griffiths, Simon Hartog and John Ellis as an independent production company to make programmes for the then new Channel 4. Large Door’s first commission was for Visions, an adventurous series of 15 programmes about world cinema. Visions eventually ran for 32 episodes until 1985, and subjects included a history of cinema in China, the work of Jan Svankmajer, contemporary cinema in Africa. Visions reported from the Cannes and Ouagadougou festivals and commissioned shorts from filmmakers including Chantal Akerman and Marc Karlin. Keith Griffiths left the company in 1984, but continued to make occasional films about cinema through Large Door including shorts on Raul Ruiz and the opening of the Frankfurt Film Museum.
From 10 November 1982, the inaugural ‘Visions’ cinema magazine for the then week old Channel 4. Features an interview with Paul Schrader, Angela Carter’s review of Greenaway’s newly released ‘The Draughtsman’s Contract’ and an opening montage defining the scope of the series made by critic Tony Rayns. Produced by Keith Griffiths and Simon Hartog, series editor John Ellis.
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.
Sharing the ‘documentary masters’ catagory at this year’s États généraux du film documentaire, Lussas, with Marc Karlin, was the experimental filmmaker, Michael Snow. Lussas curator, Federico Rossin, here introduces Snow.
Michael Snow (Toronto, 1929) is a major figure in contemporary art. His production is characterised by the close links binding works created using different types of media (film, photo, installation, painting, sculpture, music, writing). The modernity of Snow’s cinema pertains to his perception of the essential cinematic gesture, the camera movement, and the relations he explores between sound and image. His works have both a psychic and physical impact on the audience; they shake up the visible and plunge us into a profound experience of the perceptible. His films tend to be focussed on a cinematic strategy, on a process of film construction: yet they are never “minimalist”, making always sure that their forms can be apprehended by the spectator. They are rites of passage between pure perception and its representation, conceptual and extatic games playing with time and space, games that sometimes break the rules in order to put them in the spotlight.
Federico Rossin via États généraux du film documentaire – Lussas
For further viewing, here is an interview and profile of Michael Snow from 1983. It includes extracts from his films, ‘Back and Forth’, ‘Wavelength’, ‘La Region Central’, ‘So Is This’ and gallery piece ‘Two Sides To Every Story’.
The film was made for Channel 4 ‘Visions’ and broadcast 19 January 1983.
Interview: Simon Field; Director: Keith Griffiths
Thanks to Large Door.