Film as a Subversive Art

Date: 2 November 2003 | Season: London Film Festival 2003 | Tags:

Sunday 2 November 2003, at 7pm
London National Film Theatre NFT3

Paul Cronin, Film as a Subversive Art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16, UK, 2003, 56 min
Speaking recently about the myriad dangers facing humanity, director-provocateur Werner Herzog cited ‘the lack of adequate imagery’ as one of the most troubling. It’s a view Amos Vogel would surely endorse. As one of America’s most important curators, historians and festival directors, his influence on artists, experimental and underground film cannot be overstated. Born in Austria in 1922 but resident in New York since 1938, Vogel created the path-breaking film society Cinema 16 in 1947, introducing a continent to previously unseen worlds of experience. 20 years on, he established the New York Film Festival and with his eye-changing book ‘Film as a Subversive Art’, penned a revolutionary analysis of the moving image. Now, in Cronin’s valuable tribute to an extraordinary man and his times, Vogel delivers a series of compelling and entertaining reflections on a life lived in the passionate belief that film has a fundamental, radical and ethical role to play in society. Required viewing for anyone who believes cinema matters. Really matters. (Gareth Evans)

followed by

Exhibitionism: Subversive Cinema and Social Change
Following the screening of Film As A Subversive Art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16 we will be staging a panel discussion focusing on some of the key issues raised in the film.


Unknown Parts of the World

Date: 2 November 2003 | Season: London Film Festival 2003 | Tags:

Sunday 2 November 2003, at 9pm
London National Film Theatre NFT3

Thomas Comerford, Figures in the Landscape, USA, 2002, 11 min
Grainy, undefined images shot with a pinhole camera accompany recitations of texts tracing the history of suburban housing from the rudimentary dwellings of Native Americans and the early settlers. An inquiry into human interaction with the landscape and notions of land development.

David Gatten, Secret History of the Dividing Line, USA, 2002, 20 min
Text-based, hand-processed treatment of Colonel William Byrd II’s 1728 expedition to settle disputes on the boundary between two American states, as chronicled in his ‘Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina’.

Ben Russell, Terra Incognita, USA, 2002, 10 min
‘A lenseless film, whose cloudy images produce a memory of history. Ancient and modern explorer’s texts on Easter Island are garbled together by a computer narrator, resulting in a forever repeating narrative of discovery, colonialism, loss and departure.’

Phil Solomon, Psalm III: Night of the Meek, USA, 2002, 23 min
Obscure, ghostly faces emerge from a degraded, murky image, not through animation, but chemical and optical treatments of re-photographed and original material. A transcendental nightmare vision based on the legend of the golem. ‘A Kindertotenlieder in black and silver, on a night of gods and monsters.’

Naoyuki Tsuji, A Feather Stare at the Dark, Japan, 2003, 17 min
Pencil animation telling the mystical pre-history of the world through surreal, transformational drawings which depict the struggle between good and evil at the origins of evolution.