26 January 2019 at 7.00pm
UK Premiere: LUDO IS FANTASTIC
Willie Stewart, 2018, Belgium/Ireland, 70 minutes
Stewart in Q+A with Tom Roberts
+ Performances from Unks
Of Pleasure + Burbling
of the Mich Mind
Hanover Community Centre, 33 Southover St, Brighton BN2
first came to prominence in Antwerp’s turbulent, underground
70’s art scene. He orchestrated mass, Fluxus style performances
and released a series of experimental films including Saturnus (1971),
a DIY sci-fi transmission from another world shot with a homemade
fish eye lens, and Lysistrata (1975), an all nude adaptation of
Aristophanes’ satire featuring a soundtrack of primal yelling,
tape delay, instant sax blasts and de-tuned guitar.
A painter, sculptor, holographer, musician, and performance artist,
Mich has worked across all artforms for over five decades, and collaborated
widely with artists including Thurston Moore, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson,
Dennis Tyfuss, Jennifer Walshe, Blood Stereo, Wataru Kasahara, Kiyoharu
Kuwayama, Burial Hex, The Joyous Cosmology, Syed Kamran Ali, Pascal
Nichols, Roman Nose, Blue Yodel, Mama Bar, Kommissar Hjuler and
a mix of incredible archival footage, interviews with family and
friends and fly on the wall footage, Ludo Is Fantastic immerses
us in the world of the 'Mich Dimension.' We're very pleased to welcome
director Willie Stewart for a Q+A hosted by Tom
evening two short performances from
Duncan Harrison and Maureen Hallomas tap into to the Zodiac mind
melt and heavy AV seance from the deep web.
of the Mich Mind
Brighton improv old hands James Parsons & Al Strachan sit down
with Karen Constance & Dylan Nyoukis and try and envisage the
state of Ludo Mich's mind while keeping the lizards at bay.
January 2019 at The Regency Town House, Hove, BN3 1EH
MARVELLOUS MABEL NORMAND
We’re getting 2019 underway with a special screening of short
films from the trailblazing, unsung pioneer of screen comedy Mabel
Normand. Normand was the irrepressible spirit of early Hollywood,
an extraordinary comic performer who starred in at least 167 shorts
and 23 features - from the anarchic two reelers of Mack Sennett's
slapstick Keystone company to the more sophisticated comedies of
untrained, her understated acting style seems wholly contemporary.
She also directed her own films, ran a production company, did her
own stunts, possibly threw the first on screen pie, and worked with
the best – including, in this programme, Charlie Chaplin and
a young Oliver Hardy. But make no mistake – Normand’s
captivating on screen presence made her absolutely the star.
As a moral panic
swept 20s Hollywood, however, Normand found herself caught up in
scandals that would see her sidelined by the industry. Now, as part
of the British Film Institute's ‘Comedy Genius’ tour,
this collection of short films brings Normand back into the spotlight.
It includes MABEL'S BLUNDER (1914), MABEL'S DRAMATIC CAREER (1913),
HIS TRYSTING PLACE (1914) and SHOULD MEN WALK HOME? (1927), each
with a newly commissioned score by The Meg Morley Trio.
I AM IS HERE
at 7pm - Sallis Benney Theatre
I AM IS HERE - Films from Margaret Tait and Friends
Part of CineCity
A poet, a defiantly
independent filmmaker, an artist of unique and extraordinary vision
– the great Margaret Tait would have been 100 on November
11th 2018. We’re celebrating her centenary with a special
programme featuring new restorations of Tait’s film poems,
alongside rare 16mm screenings from artists working in the tradition
of intimate, first person cinema.
Tait once said of her films, that they are born "of sheer wonder
and astonishment at how much can be seen in any place that you choose…if
you really look."
film-poet Margaret Tait produced an exquisite body of work combining
poetry, portraiture, music, ethnography, and animation. She studied
filmmaking in Rome during the height of Italian neorealism before
returning to Scotland in the early 1950s, where she found inspiration
in the contrasting daily rhythms of Edinburgh and the Orkney Islands.
In an early jewel of a film, A PORTRAIT OF GA (1952), Tait cut together
birdsong and snippets of Orkney lore with shots of her mother and
the rugged island landscape to produce a startlingly poignant impression
of family and place. She explored similar themes in later films
like WHERE I AM IS HERE (1964), COLOUR POEMS (1974), and AERIAL
(1974) – each screening tonight - reflecting on the passage
of time while attending to the details of everyday life.’
tonight are films from Margaret Tait, Marie Menken, Ute Aurand,
Annabel Nicolson and Joanna Margaret Paul.
October at 7.30pm at the Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton
Graves Full Mantis
Jake Meginsky + Neil Cloaca Young / USA / 2018
The first ever
feature-length portrait of renowned percussionist, thinker and creative
dynamo Milford Graves, a suitably free-flowing exploration of his
kaleidoscopic creativity and relentless curiosity. Graves has performed
internationally since 1964, both as a soloist and in ensembles with
such legends as Albert Ayler, Giuseppi Logan and Sonny Sharrock.
He is a founding pioneer of avant-garde jazz, and he remains one
of the most influential living figures in the evolution of the form.
Graves tells stories of discovery, struggle and survival, ruminates
on the essence of "swing", activates electronic stethoscopes
in his basement lab to process the sound of his heart, and travels
to Japan where he performs at a school for children with autism,
igniting the student body into an ecstatic display of spontaneous
Oscillating from present to past and weaving intimate glimpses of
the artist's complex cosmology with intense performances from around
the globe, Milford Graves Full Mantis features a 77-year-old polymath
who is anything but ordinary, and shows no signs of slowing down,
in a documentary as radical as his music.
captivating sound poem.' - The New York Times
'An exquisite music film and an example of how vital documentaries
about music, art, life and the creative process are when created
with passion and imagination.' - The Quietus
‘A riveting experience whether you're familiar with Graves
or not’ - The Wire
September 2017 in The Friends Meeting House, Brighton
Isiah Medina, Canada, 2015, 65m
of the most acclaimed and hotly debated experimental films in recent
years, Medina’s debut is a fragmented, digital diary exploring
ideas of time, love, philosophy, poverty and poetry.
follows Medina and friends through a densely layered montage of
notes, sketches, reality and re-enactments, edited from a variety
of sources and formats. 'Converting the flashing 88:88 clock - the
reset display that appears when power is restored to dwellings -
into an equation of love and infinity, Medina’s film seeks
to explore alternate ways of being, resulting in one of the most
unique representations of class and race in Canadian filmmaking
and sounding the arrival of a fresh new voice.' TIFF
bold debut feature that audaciously rethinks the possibilities and
language of cinematic form. A powerful and original new voice has
been discovered.' - Sight & Sound
BEHIND THE EYES
June 16th at Phoenix Brighton
Betzy Bromberg, 1978, USA, 13 mins, 16mm
heated, summer-in-the-city excursion into the streets, strip clubs
and low rent apartments of late 70s, pre-Giuliani NYC. ‘Verite
footage of Lower East Side bikers, Times Square topless dancers,
and Coney Island crowds achieve a highly charged atmosphere of manic
exhibitionism.’ J. Hoberman / Art Forum.
Ciao Bella, Bromberg shows us a world of crowded New York streets
and hauntingly empty interior spaces, graced briefly by wisps of
childish energy and the provocation of nearly naked women. She deftly
contrasts such vibrant exuberance with a sense of devastating loss,
and the effect is at once brazenly personal and incredibly powerful.
Unfolding desire merges with the ever-present reality of the threat
of losing what you love' Holly Willis, IFilm
Day Before the End
Ang Araw Bago ang Wakas
Lav Diaz, Philippines, 2016, 16 mins
2050 and passages from Shakespeare are recited by non-actors in
a nocturnal city awaiting the onslaught of a raging tempest.
is one of the most exciting artists in contemporary cinema. His
sprawling sagas of Philippines tumultuous, recent history are epic
in scope, while bracingly intimate in style, challenging notions
of storytelling and how cinema gives images and sound to voices
of the Principle Prize at Oberhausen, the Jury say it's 'a work
of political urgency. Made by an artist known for works that unfold
over many hours, this short film is both elaborate and succinct.'
para Vivir / Live to Live
Laida Lertxundi, 2015, USA, 11min, 16mm
with a quote from Argentinean writer Adolfo Bioy Casares - 'If I
want to remember what happened on this trip, what should I do?',
Lertxundi's search for answers takes us from sparsely populated
mountain regions via Lertxundi's ECG recordings to Tashi Wada’s
sine waves - all the while it's the filmmaker's body itself that
shapes image, sound and colour.
Lertxundi is a Spanish filmmaker and artist living and working in
California. Her films, shot in and around Los Angeles, are self
reflexive, enigmatic and intensely beautiful. They read like subtexts
to stories waiting to be told.
Fern Silva, 2014, USA, 14 mins
outlaws have begun to take over, engulfing and taming civilization
after centuries of attack, forcing humans to adapt and evolve. Wayward
Fronds references a series of historical events that helped shape
the Florida Everglades, while fictionalizing its geological future
and its effects on both native and exotic inhabitants.
York based Fern Silva is a contemporary master of 16mm filmmaking.
His works reach toward exciting new cinematographic languages while
embodying committed engagement with the troubled, bewildering and
at times exhilarating complexities of globalism. Driven by curiosity
and memory - and drawn to myth, folklore and mysticism - his films
explores narrative, ethnographic and documentary forms while elaborating
a strong personal and poetic cinematic vision.' SF Cinematheque
Ian Hugo, 1950, Mexico, 22 mins, 16mm
rare screening of Hugo’s first film, a free-form kaleidoscope
of colour, sound and image, shot largely from the prow of a boat
journeying along the Pacific Coast of South America - through sleeping
villages and tropical lagoons to the mouth of a volcano in the clouds.
The hypnotic soundtrack of chants and drums was improvised as the
film unrolled by Ozzie Smith and recorded by electro pioneer Bebe
Barron. Interpreted by Anais Nin as the universal story of mankind’s
voyage, Hugo says ‘I used documentary footage as a starting
point, and I showed their gradual transformation into dream - the
language of multiple dimensions of our inner world.'
Mike Gibisser, USA, 2014, 5 min
Chicago’s summertime blazes, unanchored. Part of Gibisser's
series of night time long exposures, Blue Loop, July focuses on
a long-standing celebratory tradition in one of Chicago’s
lower west side neighbourhoods. By leaving the camera’s shutter
open for seconds at a time, the film transforms a summertime spectacle
into a dazzling, light-trace animation.
Jeff Keen, 1999, UK, 7 Mins, Cassette
the late, great Brighton based experimental filmmaker is best known
for his dense, hyper-kinetic pop culture animations, this short
audio piece reveals another aspect to his work. Summer Tape is drawn
from a collection of field recordings Keen made by leaving a cassette
recorder running to capture a Nightingale singing from the overgrown
gardens outside his studio. As you listen, through a haze of cassette
static, the environment itself falls into focus.
WHAT MEANS SOMETHING
18th May at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, Brighton
Ben Rivers, UK, 2016, 66 minutes.
excited to welcome back to Brighton one of our favourite filmmakers
- Ben Rivers will be here to introduce What Means Something, his
warm, immersive portrait of the painter Rose Wylie. Filmed at her
remote home/studio in Kent over the course of a summer, it’s
a joy – a celebration of art, friendship and the working of
two creative processes on either side of the camera.
as Wylie's house is a living repository of her working methods,
the film lays bare Rivers' own artistic approach. Through candid
conversations and observing Wylie at close quarters as she works
on large-scale canvases, drawings and watercolours, we're offered
a rare insight into the process of image-making for the painter
and filmmaker alike.
has said of the film, ‘I met Rose a few years ago and we got
along well. I went to visit her studio and she watched some of my
films. Happily she liked them. So I asked her if I could make a
film about her and she agreed. The film, finally, is a meeting between
Rivers studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, initially in
sculpture before moving into photography and super8 film. After
his degree he taught himself 16mm filmmaking and hand-processing.
His practice as a filmmaker treads a line between documentary and
fiction. Often following and filming people who have in some way
separated themselves from society, the raw film footage provides
Rivers with a starting point for creating oblique narratives imagining
alternative existences in marginal worlds. Over the past 15 years
he’s created a unique body of work and has been the recipient
of numerous international awards.
Wylie (Kent, 1934) was educated at Goldsmiths College and Royal
College of Art. Her large-scale painting is energetic and gives
a sense of freedom and spontaneity. Her images are drawn from memory
and inspired by different levels of visual culture, from cartoons
to films, daily events and art history. The raw brushstrokes laid
on with tremendous physicality and the rough texture of impasto
bring a sense of immediacy, and the combination of text and figure
connects her work to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Philip Guston. Wylies
paintings combine simplicity and innocence, though under closer
inspection they reveal a complex world of references and stories.
Her work is included in many public art collections, such as the
Contemporary Art Society and Arts Council England, London.'
WOMAN IS A STAR
20th April 2017 at Phoenix Brighton - Main Gallery
Man Every Woman is a Star
hidden reverse – the Star System as re-imagined by American
1928 - 1966.
and Inner Space
Andy Warhol, 1966, USA, 33 mins, Twin Screen 16mm
One of Warhol's most intense films is also his earliest experiments
in double screen cinema. Outer and Inner Space features factory
superstar Edie Sedgwick in a loose conversation with her own videotaped
image. Sedgwick had risen to overnight, underground fame after chain-smoking
on the set of Vinyl – Warhol’s adaptation of Clockwork
Orange. In Outer and Inner Space, however, her cool is broken and
she is never less than animated - laughing, frowning, critiquing,
performing, but also increasingly unnerved, not by Warhol's 16mm
camera, but by her own pre-recorded video self.
Both 16mm reels runs for 33 minutes and are played side by side;
What you see is the incredible presence of Sedgwick x 4 - alternating
video/film, video/film, the soundtrack itself becomes a mesmerising
murmur in which only isolated phrases (''We had better times than
anybody else,'' ''I don't believe it'') float to the surface of
and Inner Space' is one of Warhol's great portraits -- a masterpiece
of video art made before the term even existed'. J Hoberman
/ NY Times. You can read Hoberman's full article on Sedgwick and
the background of the film here
Kenneth Anger, USA, 1949, 6 mins, 16mm
From its dazzling opening cascade of dancing gowns through to a
mysterious journey on a floating couch, we follow the reveries of
a reclusive Hollywood starlet played by Yvonne Marquis. Often overlooked
as simply a fragment of an unfinished feature, Puce Moment is in
itself perfect Anger – a marvel of colour and composition,
lighting and shadow, dream and ritual, juxtaposed by two amazing
lo-fi songs given to Anger by Jonathan Halper, who too would shortly
retire from consensus reality. ‘Yes I am a hermit and ecstasy's
Stabs at Happiness
Ken Jacobs, USA, 1960, 15 mins
Meanwhile in the rundown tenement flats and on the rooftops of Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, Jacob's early short captures his former friends Jack Smith
and Jerry Sims at play - both effortlessly exuding a wayward, all
star exuberance against the everyday. 'Material was cut in as
it came out of the camera, embarrassing moments intact. 100' rolls
timed well with music on old 78s. I was interested in immediacy,
a sense of ease, and an art where suffering was acknowledged but
not trivialized with dramatics. Whimsy was our achievement, as well
as breaking out of step.' Ken Jacobs
and Death of 9413: A Hollywood Extra + Live Soundtrack
from Lizzy Carey and Tim Wilton
Robert Florey and Slavko Vorkapich, USA, 1928, 11 Mins
Made on shoestring budget and shot in Vorkapich’s kitchen
using odds and ends – paper cubes, cigar boxes, tin cans,
refracted light and stop motion cutouts, ‘Life and Death…’
tells the story of the fall and heavenly redemption of a hapless
young actor chewed up by the Studio system. Florey and Vorkapich's
DIY take on German Expressionism became an unexpected mainstream
hit thanks to its championing by the likes of Charlie Chaplin. We're
very pleased to welcome artists Lizzy Carey and
Tim Wilton who will rework the film and create
a new, live soundtrack.
Friday 7th April 2017 at Phoenix Brighton
- Main Gallery
us for a programme of rare, experimental 16mm screenings, re-enactments
and performance that upend and play with our expectations of how
we can view cinema. Includes Anthony McCall, the Western ideal,
paper planes, the original (and best) flicker movie and Lorah Pierre.
Describing a Cone
Anthony McCall, 1973, USA, 30 mins, 16mm
McCall’s first, groundbreaking ‘solid light film’
was produced in August 1973 shortly after he fell under the spell
of the New York art scene, after a move from London. The film begins
as a luminous, pencil thin line cuts through a projection space
filled with smoke (originally from cigarettes). Over 30 minutes,
as McCall's hand animated line marks out a circle, a full, three-dimensional
conical form emerges from the darkness. The traditional focus on
the screen is abandoned - the audience is free to move around, interact,
each viewing position revealing a different aspect. Merging the
realms of film, sculpture and performance, Line Describing a Cone
is still - over forty years on - a unique, collective experience.
‘No other film gives its viewers an experience of cinematic
space like this one…It is astonishingly beautiful.’
Davis and J. Robert Parks on viewing Line Describing a Cone
Notes 8 / Interview with McCall
Ernst Schmidt Jr, 1968, Austria, 10 mins, 16mm
Though largely overlooked by film academia, Schmidt Jr. left behind
a fascinating, multifaceted body of work that includes experimental
documentaries, expanded cinema and a feature length drama. This
is his homage to Howard Hughes’ 1930’s WW1 aviation
epic of the same name. Schmidt’s interactive short replaces
Hughes’ on screen fighter planes with off screen paper planes.
Material will be provided or feel free to prepare your own Fokkers
and Spitfighters before hand.
Peter Kubelka, 1960, Austria, 6 mins, 16mm
Composed only of cinema’s purest elements of light and darkness,
sound and silence, Arnulf Rainer remains one of the most radical
achievements in film history. For six minutes and 24 seconds the
film's ever-changing metrical variations of transparent and black
film frames, deafening white noise and relative silence, is dazzling,
roaring, darkening...even soothing. Screening on 16mm – Kubelka
has never sanctioned any his films for use on digital format. “I
lost most of my friends because of Arnulf Rainer” Kubelka.
of Rio Jim
Maurice Lemaître, 1978, France, 6 mins, 16mm
Lemaître is an artist, filmmaker, painter, writer and libertarian
poet born in Paris in 1926. The Song of Rio Jim pays tribute to
Ince and to Hart, ancestors and creators of the Wild West genre.
Its classic cowboy narrative is imageless and played out in sounds
that prompt the spectator to create their very own vision of the
greatest Western ever filmed.
Performance: Hardware Electronics, Material and Sound - Lorah Pierre
Pierre is a sound and light artist working across a number of disciplines
- the recycling of materials, self-built hardware, hacking and bending,
along with a DIY ethos that allows interactive installations and
performances to develop out of temporal space. She has collaborated
with scientists, performers and musicians. Pierre is the founder
and curator of The Experimental Sounding Board, a live platform
between sonic and visual modes of improvisation.
London Film-Makers Co–op: Expanded
CineCity + LUX + Open Colour Present
Thursday 24th November at 7pm
Sallis Benney Theatre
London Film-Makers Co–op 50th Anniversary and Book Launch
The LFMC was
founded in October 1966 as a distributor and film laboratory for
avant-garde cinema. Within this unique facility, film-makers were
able to control every aspect of the creative process. Many explored
the material aspects of celluloid, whilst others experimented with
multiple projection and performance-based ‘expanded cinema’.
This artist-led organisation asserted the significance of British
work internationally, and anticipated today’s vibrant culture
of artists’ moving image. Tonight's programme features rare
single, double and triple projection 16mm films by Malcolm Le Grice,
Lis Rhodes, Jeff Keen, Guy Sherwin, Gill Eatherley, Annabel Nicolson
Introduced by Mark Webber.
– Malcolm Le Grice (2 screen) 7min
Dresden Dynamo - Lis Rhodes 5 min
Mario Movie – Jeff Keen 5 min
At The Academy – Guy Sherwin 5 min
Hall – Peter Gidal 8 min
Slides – Annabel Nicolson 12 min (18fps)
Play (2 screen) – Sally Potter 7 min
Diagonal (3 screen) - William Raban 5 min
Hand Grenade – Gill Eatherley (3 screen) 8min
Shoot Shoot: The First Decade of the London Film-Makers Co-operative
1966-76’ (LUX, 2016), edited by Mark Webber, has been published
by LUX to celebrate the LFMC’s 50th anniversary, it brings
together texts, interviews, images and a large number of archival
documents in exploring the history of the early years of the organisation.
3rd November at 7.30pm
Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton.
A selection of short abstract films which involve electronic
music soundtracks, including several rarities and two world premieres
that push abstraction and electronic sounds into the realm of psychedelic
There will be the first screening in over 50 years of the rediscovered
FC Judd 8mm cine footage of his Chromasonics invention, plus the
first UK screening of one of the earliest films to feature a Moog
synthesizer score; both the film and music created by US composer
Andrew Rudin in 1967. There'll be two new Ian Helliwell video feedback
films with Hellitron generated soundtracks and MORE!
and Introduced by Ian Helliwell
28th September at 7.30pm
in the Friends Meeting House, Ship St, Brighton, BN1 1AF
Pere Portabella., 1970, Spain, 67 minutes
Filmed on set during the shooting of Jess Franco's 'El conde Drácula
/ The Count Dracula', Vampir - Cuadecuc is both
a rapturous, dreamlike reflection on the conventions of horror cinema
and covert political allegory. Portabella dismantles Franco's film
in two ways: On the one hand, he eliminates colour in favour of
lush, high contrast black-and-white images, on the other, he replaces
the on-set audio track with a fabulously dissonant soundscape by
Catalonian modernist Carles Santos. It all adds up to a poetic alchemy
in which Portabella transforms one of Jess Franco’s lesser
efforts (and we’re fans) into one of the most beautiful movies
ever made about anything.
first word in the title of Pere Portabella's ravishing 1970 underground
masterpiece, made in Spain while General Francisco Franco was still
in power and shown clandestinely, means both 'worm's tail' and the
unexposed footage at the end of film reels. The film is a silent
black-and-white documentary about the shooting of Jesús Franco's
Count Dracula, with Christopher Lee, that becomes much more: the
high-contrast cinematography evokes deteriorating prints of Nosferatu
and Vampyr, and the extraordinary soundtrack by composer Carles
Santos intersperses the sounds of jet planes, drills, syrupy Muzak,
and sinister electronic music, all of which ingeniously locate Dracula
and our perceptions of him in the contemporary world. Moving back
and forth between Franco's film (with Dracula as an implicit stand-in
for the generalissimo) and poetic production details, Portabella
offers witty reflections on the powerful monopolies of both dictators
and commercial cinema. The only words heard are in English, spoken
by Lee and written by Bram Stoker." Jonathan Rosenbaum
wandered into a screening of this movie at a film festival a decade
or so ago with absolutely no idea of what it was, and it felt like
being smacked with a tuning fork. I was amazed that it existed;
I was amazed that I'd lived without it for so long. If you've spent
too much of your life watching movies then you've probably also
spent too much of your dreamlife imagining being inside the movie,
and this is easily the finest cinematic representation of that dream.
Oddly enough, by the end of it, it had also proved itself to be
my new favorite vampire movie." Andrew Bujalski
Colour and Fabrica Film Club Present
Wednesday 10th August at 8pm
at Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AG
Thailand/UK/France/Germany/Malaysia | 122 minutes | 2015
The latest masterpiece from visionary Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul
is, like his beguiling Palme d'Or winner 'Uncle Boonmee Who Can
Recall His Past Lives', a transfixing, enigmatic work of restrained
“magical realism” that delivers the mythical and mundane
in equal, hushed tones.
In 'Cemetery of Splendour', a unit of soldiers have succumbed to
a mysterious sleeping sickness. A young medium acts as a go between
using her psychic powers to help visiting family and friends communicate
with their comatose loved ones. As events unfold she begins to suspect
the soldiers’ enigmatic syndrome links them to an ancient
burial ground that lies beneath their makeshift clinic.
Mesmerising and gently humorous, 'Cemetery of Splendour' is a sublime
fusion of history, memory, mysticism and socio-political allegory.
10 film of 2015 for Sight & Sound, Cahiers du Cinema, and Cinema
Scope. Brighton Premiere!
+ SHORT FILMS FROM CHICK STRAND
+ TAMARA HENDERSON
and Open Colour Present
Sunday 24th July at 7.30pm
at 88 London Rd, Brighton, BN1 4JF
by Miska Morning - PHD candidate in Czech
Surrealism and Cinema
Vera Chytilová, 1966, Czechoslovakia, 76 mins
Two young women, Marie 1 and Marie 2, deciding that the world is
irrevocably corrupt, run amok through a series of exuberant, anarchic
adventures – drinking, feasting, trashing apartments and goading
aged would-be suitors. Fifty years on, Daisies remains an amazing
explosion of absurdist humour, lurid random tinting, deep eyeliner
and proto-feminist politics. A milestone of the ‘Nová
Vlna’, Chytilová's masterpiece was banned by the Czech
authorities till 1975 for ‘depicting the wanton’.
‘A film that incites radical fantasies and exults in the
dream of a repressive social order being destroyed. It’s a
trip, a surreal manifesto, a joy to behold’ Telegraph
"One of the great outpourings of cinematic invention in
an age of over-all artistic liberation …a dazzling, bewildering
catalogue of visual effects." The New Yorker
Paradise (Chick Strand, 1986, USA,13 min) / 16mm screening
Strand is a major West Coast filmmaker whose pioneering work combines
elements of documentary, ethnographic and experimental cinema. ‘Artificial
Paradise’ is one of her boldest experiments – an ecstatic,
hypnotic visual encounter aiming to collapse the distance between
filmmaker and subject.
on Ananas (Tamara Henderson, USA/Canada 2013 3 mins) /
A full three-minute slice of gorgeously flawed pop perfection. Henderson’s
gleeful free associations and in-camera choreography sculpt a dream
landscape from signs of waking life. We’re on paradise beach
with pineapples, but still no one’s answering the phone. Thankyou
for this print.
Film Club and Open Colour Present
Thursday 16th June at 7pm
at Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AG
Leaders - Book Launch and short film screening
the publication of Ian Helliwell's Tape Leaders
- A Compendium of Early British Electronic Music Composers,
this event combines a programme of short films with electronic music
soundtracks, plus a talk and discussion with several of the composers
featured in the book.
Tape Leaders is a comprehensive reference guide for anyone interested
in electronic sound and its origins in Great Britain. For the first
time details are set out on over 100 music-makers active before
1970, to reveal the untold story of early British electronic composition.
After six years of research and dozens of interviews, Helliwell
has amassed information never before brought to light in this fascinating
subject. For people interested in early analogue synthesizers and
Radiophonic Workshop era musique concrete, this volume will be essential
reading. A specially compiled 15 track CD of mainly unreleased early
electronic tracks comes with the book, copies of which will be on
Mr. Benn - The
FC Judd: Mad Motors (1974)
Ken Gray Electrosculpture extracts (1976)
Expo Parade (1958)Hazel Swift:
Shirt Factory (1963)
Stuart Wynn Jones: Short Spell (1956)
William Pye: Scrap to Sculpture (1971)
The Post Office Tower (c.1968)
with composers Laurie Scott Baker, Ron Geesin, George Newson and
Ian Helliwell, chaired by Angus Carlyle..
AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS + SHORTS FROM JAN SVANKMAJER
25th February at 7.30pm (Doors 7.20pm)
in the Friends Meeting House, Ship St, Brighton, BN1 1AF
and Her Week of Wonders
(Valerie a ty´den divu)
Jaromil Jires, 1970, Czechoslovakia, 78 mins
Based on a surrealist novel by the poet Vitezslav Nezval, ‘Valerie
and Her Week of Wonders’ is among the most beautiful oddities
of the Czech New Wave. Jires’ feverish, non-linear, gothic
fantasy follows the plight of Valerie, who on the occasion of her
entry into womanhood, finds her idyllic village transformed into
a nightmarish carnival of vampires, occult ritual, and magic. Identities
become fluid, family and friends are possessed, priests become predators,
magical jewellery could somehow hold the key…
Ravishingly shot, enchantingly scored, Jires crystallises a sense
of the mystical and captures it on celluloid - just at the moment
when Soviet state communism threatened to (and eventually did) suppress
an entire generation of provocative new directors.
'A work of both visceral immediacy and lingering allure, Valerie
and Her Week of Wonders is a uniquely influential film, one of intoxicating
sensation and unconscious immersion' Slant magazine
'It's overall effect is stunning' Time Out
+ Rare Svankmajer on 16mm: The Ossuary (Jan Svankmajer,
1970, CZ, 10 min, 16mm). A 'horror documentary' starring Sedlec's
Monastery Ossuary, which is constructed from over 50,000 human skeletons.
Svankmajer’s live action, dense collage pays homage to Czech
artist Frantisek Rint’s obsessive creations (including skull
pyramids, crosses, a monstrance and a chandelier containing every
bone of the human body). + The Last Trick (Jan
Svankmajer, CZ, 1969, 12 min, 16mm) Svankmajer’s first film,
influenced by his work at the Laterna Magika Theater, depicts an
absurd, deadly battle between two magicians
GOD NOR SANTA MARIA...AND FURTHER MYSTERIES
12th December at 4.30pm
at the Sallis Benney Theatre
hand painted abstract visions and more in a programme of acclaimed
new artist cinema from festivals around the world. Plus archive
classics unveiling a nocturnal realm of dream logic and poetry.
And easing you into the yuletide spirit an opening sound work from
God nor Santa Maria
(Sin Dios ni Santa María)
Samuel M. Delgado & Helena Girón, 2015, Spain, 12 mins
‘Since airplanes did not exist, people moved around using
prayers; they went from one land to another and returned early,
before dawn. In old audio recordings, the voices of pastors speak
of the mythical existence of witches and their travels. In the daily
life of a woman, the magic of her tales begins to materialize as
night falls. Night is the time when travel is possible.’
Delgado & Girón
Shot on expired 16mm colour negative (developed by hand), with a
soundtrack drawn from a cache of anthropological audio recordings,
Delgado and Girón's eerily beautiful film traces their search
for the last living witch in Yé, a small town on the island
Joseph Cornell, 1938-70, USA, 3 mins
One of America's greatest visual artists, Joseph Cornell also created
a series of early influential found footage films - re-editing and
splicing together B-movies and existing footage primarily to entertain
his disabled brother. These jittery, otherworldly anti-narrative
works bridge the gap between Dadaism and Pop Art. In 'Jack’s
Dream' a sad eyed puppet dog in a fairy tale castle dreams of a
of a Million Insects, Light of a Thousand Stars
Tomonari Nishikawa, 2014, Japan, 2 mins
On June 24, 2014 from sunset to dawn, Nishikawa buried 100 feet
of 35mm film under fallen leaves alongside a country road, about
25 km away from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, exposing
the film to the gradual emergence of light and the potential effects
of radioactivity. In an abstract swirl of marine, fluorescent green
and cyan, Nishikawa utilises film’s unique ability to absorb
its surrounding environment, while his gesture toward social and
political processes grants it a deeply felt immediacy and potency.
‘The night was beautiful with a starry sky, and numerous
summer insects were singing loud. The area was once an evacuation
zone, but now people live there after the removal of the contaminated
Nishikawa's home page
Ian Hugo, 1952, USA, 9 mins
A sublime example of early American poetic cinema, a dream journey
narrated by and featuring Anais Nin, evoking the watery depths and
aqueous beauty of the lost continent of Atlantis - and ourselves…‘I
remember my first birth in water’ . Featuring abstract
colour effects and multiple superimpositions by Hugo and master
animator Len Lye, with an incredible early score from electro pioneers
Louis and Bebe Barron.
Bonnie Begusch 2014, USA, 5mins
Begusch is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work examines the intertwined
relationship between text, tools and perception. Drawing from histories
of abstraction, concrete poetry, and structuralist film, her works
foreground the act of looking, underscoring moments of perceptual
ambiguity within familiar frameworks. In ‘Means and Ends’,
typed marks intertwine as the camera travels along a page. In this
simple movement, contours dissolve to form crooked variations of
line and brief glimpses of optical illusion.
Kenneth Anger, 1953, USA, 16mm,12 mins
‘Hide and seek in a night-time labyrinth of levels, cascades,
balustrades, grottoes and ever-gushing leaping fountains, until
the Water Witch and the Fountain become one.’ (Anger)
Shot in the famous water gardens of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli,
a marvel of 16th-century engineering and baroque imagination, ‘Eaux
d'Artifice’ follows the flamboyantly costumed circus performer
Carmilla Salvatorelli, on a nocturnal wander. Shot through filters
and hand tinted, Anger’s own personal favourite, is part trance
film, part landscape study, part rapturous, sensuous abstraction.
Analysis (2015, 4`00) + King Size Frame
Ian Helliwell, UK
A self-taught multi-media artist living in Brighton since 1985,
Helliwell has amassed a large body of work through a synthesis of
analogue and digital equipment, using various hands-on techniques
to realise his ideas. His approach embraces both antiquated and
contemporary technology, and his many years of audio-visual experience
incorporates music, film, animation, analogue electronics, instrument
building, collage, installations, light show projection, live performance,
writing and film programming.
He has made over 100 short experimental films screened worldwide.
‘Spectrum Analysis’ was made from fragments of found,
amateur super 8 footage collected over a period of several years,
and cut together. The soundtrack is a single layered reel to reel
‘King Size Frame’ is derived from a commercial super
8 print of an episode from the Jason King TV series - cut up and
bleached. The soundtrack uses sections of the original audio, plus
sounds from the Hellitron tone generator and random snippets of
radio (World Premiere).
Statement #2: All or Nothing
Jodie Mack, USA, 2014, 3 mins
'The phenomenal Blanket Statement #2 begins with a sound familiar
to experimental film audiences: the repetitive purr of 16mm film
running through a projector. Soon, images of various quilts fill
the frame, with Mack’s collage establishing rapidly shifting
colors and textures, a terrific multitude of formations offered
by the quilting medium. Here, though, the sound isn’t as loud
as the aggressive color field films of Paul Sharits, in which the
double-sided 16mm sprockets violently hammer through the projector
with a radical intensity. And neither can this be film noise, since
the projector was hidden inside the booth. Instead, as Mack has
explained, the image of quilts extends across the optical soundtrack,
initiating a direct connection between image and sound. Mack’s
“quilted call and response” expands the horizons of
what abstract film can be by playfully referring back to something
as familiar as a family quilt and ingeniously binding it directly
to properties of the film medium. At only four minutes, Blanket
Statement #2 is brief, bold, and essential.' Filmmaker Magazine:
(Meer der Dünste)
Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2014, Germany, 15:00 mins
'Sylvia Schedelbauer’s Sea of Vapors organises its own
investigation into the nature of memory and recollection through
a quasi-Proustian engagement with the senses. The black-and-white
images indicate taste, touch, and smell and emphasize a powerful,
deep connection with animals, the landscape and lunar cycle. Schedelbauer
has used flicker in the past, but here it is sharper than ever.
Though the flicker initially overwhelms many of the images, she
seems to be using it in contradistinction to its immediate effect.
While the flicker remains dynamic, it softens the transition from
one image to the next so that they flow in and out of each other.
At first, the images appear in sharp contrast, but, eventually,
the flicker causes the shifts to occur gradually, almost imperceptibly.
Impossible to pin down but thrilling to explore, it lets the viewer
wander, in awe, between the familiar and the strange, between one
moment, one sensation, one form and the next.' Filmmaker Magazine:
Abstractions No. 10: Mirror Animations
Harry Smith, 1957, USA, 3:30 mins
Smith (1923-1991) was a musicologist, linguist, occult theorist,
collector of Ukrainian Easter Eggs and creator of a series of brilliantly
hallucinatory animations. In ‘Early Abstraction No. 10’,
he employed cut out images for the first time, building up collages
that swirled and expanded into outer space. As Smith puts it ‘The
final scene shows Aquatic mushrooms growing on the moon while the
Hero and Heroine row by on a cerebrum.’
‘Scottish born, Brighton based Dylan Nyoukis and Karen Constance
are Blood Stereo. Deploying feral, atavistic vocalisations alongside
hissing, rumbling tape-loops and electronics they establish a perfect
high-concept/low art convergence, an intense and disorienting swirl
which wreaths the synapses like the coiling, blackened, wordless
squalls of our deep anxieties and desires oozing through bare, cracked
windows, out of wardrobes and from beneath beds to flood and freeze
the mind in the middle of the night.’ Café Oto
Pounds on the door
PENDA'S FEN (1974)
November 15th at 7pm (Doors 6.45)
at the Sallis Benney Theatre
Part of CineCity 2015
Alan Clarke / David Rudkin UK 1974 90 mins
Introduced by writer and curator Gareth Evans
rare 16mm screening of Alan Clarke’s remarkable 1974 BBC ‘Play
for Today’ - one of the visionary masterworks of British television
drama. Set against a backdrop of the Malvern Hills, the film follows
Stephen Franklin, teenage son of a pastor, whose world is about
to unravel through a series of mystical experiences and encounters
with angels, demons, Edward Elgar and the pagan King Penda - a journey
of self discovery that confronts questions of nationhood, religion
and sexuality. Rudkin script is charged with a powerful sense of
‘Deep England’ and its radical potential - the landscape
seems alive, knowing and always in flux.
‘An unforgettable hybrid of horror story, rites-of passage
spiritual quest and vision of an alternative England that has been
hailed as one of the most original and vauntingly ambitious British
films of the last half century.’ The Guardian
revised and expanded edition of ‘The Edge is Where the
Centre Is’ - a beautiful small press publication exploring
the film with articles by Evans, Rudkin, William Fowler and Sukhdev
Sandhu - will be available on the night.
Quickbeam (Rowan Forestier)
Artist Rowan Forestier opens the evening with an immersive sonic
exploration using field recordings, found objects, home made sound
making devices and tape manipulation. 'Brighton-based audio-investigator
sends chewed postcards from the eldritch heart of England.' Daniel
Spicer / The Wire.
Edge Is Where the Centre Is
Fen: A Lasting Vision...
IRON MINISTRY + FILMS AND SOUNDS FROM THE SENSORY ETHNOGRAPHY LAB
15th October at 7.30pm
at The Sallis Benney Theatre
Sniadecki, 2014, USA / China, 83 mins.
motion, in thought, ears and eyes wide open!' (Film Comment). Somewhere
in China, crammed into a train of unknown destination, men, women
and children talk, kill time, eat, sleep. Snippets of overheard
conversation reveal popular opinion, fleeting relationships, insights,
while outside - hurtling at breakneck speed - vast panoramas and
cityscapes flicker into momentary existence.
A one man crew, American filmmaker Sniadecki filmed The Iron Ministry
over a period of three years while riding across China’s sprawling
railway network, editing the footage into one fluid journey. An
affiliate of Harvard’s ‘Sensory Ethnography Lab’,
Sniadecki’s camera is rarely still and, aided by the remarkable
sound design of Ernst Karel, immerses the viewer headlong into the
heightened visual and sonic abstractions of the train’s material
environment —the squeals of locomotion, a power cable slicing
across the sky—all the while maintaining an intimate sense
of its human scale.
Raw, impressionistic, chaotic and unforgettable, Sniadecki's experimental
documentary uses a China in motion to craft a unique metaphor for
The Iron Ministry turns the chaos of modern China into dense, frantic
'Vivid and mysterious and full of life. NY Times / Critics
From the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, two early films
from the directors of Leviathan (2012)
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2010, USA, 7 mins.
In the monumental American West, we are acoustic eavesdroppers on
a man petting his herding dog, while we are visual witnesses to
the progress of their charges. Part of a series of short films tracking
shepherds through Montana as they take their flocks on the long
trek to the Beartooth Mountains.
Véréna Paravel, 2009, USA, 22 min.
Recorded during an unmapped, extended (anti) ethnographic walk beneath
the elevated tracks of the #7 subway line in NYC, Paravel's first
film documents spontaneous interactions along the route.
AND THE CLERGYMAN + FILMS FROM THE FRENCH AVANT-GARDE
live Soundtrack by Drill Folly and Miles Brown
17th September at 7.30pm
Fabrica Gallery / Duke Street / Brighton
In collaboration with Bijou Electric Empire Forever
Seashell and the Clergyman (La coquille et le clergyman)
Germaine Dulac, 1928, France, 31 mins. 16mm presentation
As a director and theoretician of experimental film, Dulac proclaimed
her goal was to make 'pure' cinema, which she spoke of as 'films
made according to the rules of visual music.' Her most experimental
work 'The Seashell and Clergyman’ premiered at the Studio
des Ursulines on February 9, 1928 inciting a small riot, and critical
responses that ranged from the misinformed – American prints
had reels spliced in the wrong order – to the rapturous –
acclaimed as the first example of a Surrealist film a full year
before Dali and Bunuel completed ‘Un Chien Andolou’.
Based on a script by Anton Artaud and quickly derided by what Dulac
regarded as the ‘surrealist brotherhood’, Seashell stands
today both as an extraordinary feminist provocation – a joyful,
sustained attack on state, church and patriarchy - and as one of
cinemas earliest attempts to render the workings of the unconscious.
In the UK it was famously banned by the BBFC, who found 'this film
is so cryptic as to be almost meaningless. If there is a meaning,
it is doubtless objectionable.'
Drill Folly is a producer working with found sound, sampling and
manipulated instrumentation fused meticulously and reimagined through
a maze of effects and synthesis in software.
Miles Brown is a leading thereminist and electronic artist.
Both from Melbourne, this new sonic score - performed live, is their
Early films from the French Avant-Garde
Marcel Duchamp,1926, France, 6 mins.
Duchamp’s mysterious, rotating circular discs evoke true three
dimensions (without the glasses). Each is alternated with further
discs inscribed letter by letter with a series of verbal puns and
phrases from Rrose Sélavy (Duchamp’s feminine alter
Retour a la Raison (Return To Reason)
Man Ray, France, 1923, 3 mins.
Ray’s photograms are brought to dazzling motion with saw blades,
nails and grain printed directly onto the film strip, inter-cut
with scenes of Paris, a nighttime fairground and model Kiki of Montparnasse’s
light striped torso.
Fernand Léger / Dudley Murphy, 1924, France, 16 mins.
Produced and directed by French modernist painter Fernand Leger,
and photographed by Dudley Murphy. A non-narrative flow of cubist
form, animation and live action - every day life mechanised - set
to dynamic rhythm in constant, rapidly cut movements.
D'Automne (Autumn Mists)
Dimitri Kirsanoff, France, 1929, 12 mins.
Nadia Sibirskaia (star of Kirsanoff's earlier masterpiece Ménilmontant)
moves through an ethereal, at times hallucinatory autumn landscape
of falling leaves and frozen mists toward a river. An astounding
visual poem in which Kirsanoff attempts to capture the melancholy,
nostalgia, hope and hopelessness of human inner sentiment.
1st September at 7.30pm
Fabrica Gallery / Duke Street / Brighton
In collaboration with Bijou Electric Empire Forever
Clarke, 1964, USA, 105 mins.
Clarke's second feature is a vital landmark of American neo-realist
cinema that follows Duke as he robs, brawls, and peddles dope on
the streets of Harlem, while dreaming of buying a gun and leading
his gang. Produced by Frederick Wiseman, it blends ragged storytelling
with documentary-style location shooting, improvisation by a cast
of non-professionals (recruited from Harlem's settlement houses,
social clubs, and schools), and Mal Waldron's bluesy bop score,
performed by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Mingus and Art Taylor. Critic
Albert Johnson called it 'a tone poem of the slums'.
Shirley Clarke, 1958, USA, 4 mins x 2
Clarke’s seminal experimental work from
the late '50s is an incredible dance of montage and super-imposition
starring New York's luminous cityscape and its various bridges.
Two soundtracks were commissioned on
condition both are always screened, one a plaintive jazz
score from Teo Macero, the other an early abstract electronic piece
from Louis and Bebe Barron
- each radically altering the viewers response to the imagery.
dynamic member of the New York independent film movement of the
1950s and 1960s, and a pioneer of video in the 1970s, Shirley Clarke
(1919–97) is one of the great untold stories of North American
cinema. A dancer turned activist, video artist and filmmaker, her
work pushed beyond the boundaries of fiction and non-fiction and
explored the space in-between, her love of jazz and improvisational
rhythms matching the kinetic energy of her camerawork. Clarke’s
groundbreaking films are New York time capsules that seem as radical
today as when they first appeared. With fellow filmmaker Jonas Mekas,
Clarke was instrumental in the formation of the New American Cinema
Group, now the largest archive and distributor of independent and
avant-garde films in the world.
Shirley Clarke season continues with ‘Portrait of Jason'
(September 12th at 4pm / Duke's at Komedia), ‘Ornette Coleman:
Made in America’ (September 13th at 4pm / Duke's at Komedia,
in association with Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival) and The
Connection (Thursday September 24th at 8pm / Emporium).