Photo above created in the colour darkroom from two separate negatives, 2010.
ATP is over but Cut Copy is tonight!
Great atmosphere at the Underwire festival opening night drinks on Tuesday, and lovely to catch up with people and meet some new faces too. Underwire celebrates women in film and I also enjoyed five shorts in the XX Award screening, where each film has a female character at its heart. My favourite was Motorbike Midwife by Masumi Higashi, looking into the lives of a midwife in Ghana who transports her pregnant patients on a motorbike.
Recommend making it along to a screening if you can!
Finally made it to an Arcade Fire gig on Monday, and it was wonderful :)
LONDON INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL:
Enjoyed seeing some animations in the Barbican cinema on Sunday 27 October - International Competition Programme 2.
The funny thing about animations is that you could really love the style but be bored by the story, or you could dislike the style but find the story fascinating. So it always makes for a lively screening!
International Fathers Day by Edmunds Jansons, about a little bird trying to feed it’s family, was definitely my favourite as I loved the style and the story, and the style fed into the story really beautifully too.
When I was a child I read about Kaspar Hauser, a mysterious German boy who apparently grew up in a dark cell, and Diane Obomsawin’s animation, Kaspar, told his story with a calm simplicity so I really enjoyed that.
Paco Vink and Albert t’Hooft’s Fallin’ Floyd was an example of where I’m not particularly in love with the cartoon animation style, but it was one of my favourites mostly for the way it showed depression and heartache as little personified demon blobs, attached to each person and causing them to ruin their lives. I also enjoyed it as it ended up being very heartwarming and very loveable.
Lastly, Wind by Robert Loebel was like a great joke, funny, to the point, and pulled off spectacularly. I could easily watch it again and again!
Also attended the Best of British Showcase on Wednesday 30th. Favourites in this screening included the intricate Hum by Emily Howells and Anne Wilkins, which put me in a bit of a trance, and Lay Bare by Paul Bush, which mesmerisingly brought together hundreds of photos of people’s bodies.
The Shirley Temple by Daniela Sherer was beautifully animated and flowed really well, evoking nostalgic and blurry memories in a dreamlike manner, though I did get a bit lost towards the end (perhaps it was all the cocktails).
Christine Hooper’s On Loop dealt with a subject matter that could have easily made any film as dull as its experience (insomnia). However, it didn’t do this at any point, and was a fantastic evocation not only of the frustration of being awake at night, but through it’s segmentation (inspired by Hockney’s photomontages) also of the way we perceive things when we’re half asleep or not quite all there, with imagination coming alive and segmented thoughts cluttering our minds. I really loved it.
Glad to have made it to these two screenings, and looking forward to finding out who wins the awards this Sunday!
Went to my first Doc Heads night at Monty’s Bar, Brick Lane, on the 24th October and we were treated to five of the best documentaries from LSFF in this collaborative programme.
If Himmler Played Guitar by Andy Taylor-Smith was a surprisingly light hearted film, albeit with a sadder undertone, focussing on a Himmler lookalike who takes his lookalike status further than most may. Trans by Mark Chapman follows Paul and his transformation to Kali, using some beautiful and abstract imagery which supplemented the clear thoughts really well.
Zena Merton’s Bagong Silang gave us an intimate insight into a cemetery in Manila, the Philippines, which is home to 2000 families and Return of the Sun by Glen Milner and Ben Hilton was a shorter documentary which explored the lives of a modern Inuit family and their experience of the sun reappearing after the long Arctic winter. As the filmmakers explained when they introduced the film, it became more about how climate change has affected their lives and it was very good for it.
I’m not really into tattoos, but Skin by Janina Vilsmaier was fascinating and really watchable, possibly my favourite of the night. It was interesting to me because it looks at the extremely personal reasons why people had acquired their tattoos, with insights also from London tattooist Darryl, who interestingly said the scariest thing he’d done was tattoo his Mum.
So we went around the globe and were taken into some very different people’s inner thoughts, all in one evening. To top it off, we had an extremely warm welcome from our hosts and happy hour didn’t finish until 10pm. Also it was free. Can’t ask for much more, looking forward to the next one!
Had to head back to the Moving Image Art Fair at the Oxo Tower Wharf at the weekend, as I didn’t get time to see everything on the opening night.
Very glad I did as there was some incredible artwork here, and as an artist filmmaker it was refreshing to be in a gallery full of moving image art work.
Watching Untitled #160 (Balcombe) by Josh Azzarella was like watching a horror film where you are constantly waiting for something to happen, and it never does. Created by taking out all the people and characters in Nosferatu, the effect was chilling and expectant, a really intriguing piece of artwork.
How to Tell the Future from the Past, v.2 by Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation gets the viewer thinking about time and its meaning by cleverly placed views out of train windows, one side running forwards, the other side running backwards in time, next to each other.
I’ve made work directly on 16mm before, but Miia Rinne used 35mm for her beautiful piece, Sea, and it was incredible the detail this has given the piece.
I loved Spheres 1-20 by Sara Ludy (pictured above, top) because she mixes high tech with the lo tech and this is something, like the mixing of the past and the future, that really fascinates me. Ludy created various 3D shapes on a computer, before projecting these onto coloured paper and re-filming them on a digital camera. I thought this was very effective and the piece was also quite hypnotic, as were the remaining three pieces:
SNAP: Oil/Air/Water by Leslie Thornton, and Exhale by Jessica Faiss (both pictured above centre), were two hypnotic pieces which both seemed to deal with time being a constant. With Faiss’ piece, you never feel like you get anywhere as the scenery repeats and the claustrophobic feeling you get from having the screen mirrored horizontally really enhances this.
Lastly, the insane and surreal Mothership by Jonathan Monaghan (pictured) had me laughing as I was hypnotised by strange collections of 3D assets, including a cow ballon. Watch it if you get the chance!
BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
Have been tremendously busy so only made it along to two screenings, both shorts programmes curated by Philip Ilson (introducing You took a child and you made them old with the filmmakers in the above photo).
You took a child and you made them old, 14 October
Eight incredible shorts screened in this programme, most of which were quite shocking in one way or another.
My favourites among these were Animals I Killed Last Summer (Djur Jag Dödade Förra Sommaren) by Gustav Danielsson, chronicling a son’s growingly brutal killings of small animals (starting with a fly), and his father’s growing discomfort. I was glad to find out afterwards that the animals were all CGI!
Deborah Haywood's Twinkle Twinkle, about two girls playing mummies and daddies, had fantastic performances from the two girls, and was funny in places with a very scary part which sobered the mood entirely. A very effective piece of filmmaking.
Lisa, Go Home! (Liza, Namo!), a documentary by Oksana Buraja, and Daimi, a short by Marie Grahtø Sørensen, were sadder films, both dealing with abandonment, albeit on different scales. The pig in Daimi reminded me of Alice in wonderland, though where Daimi was living could hardly be called a wonderland…
Shiny Happy Fits of Rage, 15 October
Another really strong programme, from these the ones which stood out the most to me were Our Lad by Rachna Suri, about a Muslim soldier in the British Armed Forces, More Than Two Hours (Bishtar Az Do Saat) by Ali Asgari about a young unmarried couple trying to get help in the middle of the night in Iran, and Dream Girl (Traumfrau), a documentary by Oliver Schwarz about a man who has found his dream lady in a silicon doll.
My Sense of Modesty (Où je mets ma purdeur) by Sébastien Bailly was my absolute favourite film from the programme. It’s about a French art student who is told by her teacher that she should not wear her hijab, because in France they do not outwardly show their religion. After being dismissed when trying to explain that it’s not about religion, the girl teaches her teachers and the audience about what the hijab is really about. A beautiful film, really worth watching if you get the chance.