London Film Festival 2012

Date: 10 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags:

Wednesday 10 – Sunday 21 October 2012
London BFI Southbank & ICA Cinema

This year’s London Film Festival presents its largest ever series of artists moving image programmes, culminating in the annual Experimenta Weekend from 19-21 October 2012.

In collaboration with the ICA, the Festival will also present several screenings of artists’ films to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair, from 10-13 October 2012. Our alternative opening night programme features the latest long-form work by Turner Award nominee Luke Fowler and a portrait of artist Carolee Schneemann. Further programmes at the ICA include the launch of our focus on special guest Peter Kubelka.

From his earliest film, Kubelka recognised that cinema could be so much more than a medium for telling stories, and he has been one of the most tireless advocates of film as an art form. His new work Antiphon (2012) will screen with Arnulf Rainer (1960) in an expanded projection event Monument Film on Sunday 21 October. Both films will also be exhibited on the walls of the BFI Southbank Atrium for the duration of the Festival. Martina Kudlacek’s epic documentary on Kubelka will screen at the ICA, along with a programme of his complete works to date.

The extraordinary presentation of Monument Film in the grand NFT1 cinema forms the centrepiece of an Experimenta Weekend full of outstanding visions. Thom Andersen, Nathaniel Dorsky and Laida Lertxundi return with new films, whilst Mati Diop introduces her award winning work in London for the first time, and Beatrice Gibson premieres The Tiger’s Mind.

The weekend begins appropriately at zero point, with Isidore Isou’s On Venom and Eternity (the unabridged 1951 version, screening in a brand new print): a film that radically rejected convention in its attempt to liberate cinema from the industry.

Monument Film Installation

Date: 10 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags: ,

Wednesday 10 – Sunday 21 October 2012
London BFI Southbank Atrium

Peter Kubelka, Monument Film, Austria, 2012, film installation
Kubelka first presented film as a three dimensional sculptural object in 1958. As an integral part of his new work Monument Film, the celluloid filmstrips of Arnulf Rainer (1960) and Antiphon (2012) will be exhibited on the walls of the Atrium at BFI Southbank, making manifest the relationship between space, time, and the physical material which runs through the projector.

Admission Free. Open from 12pm to 9pm daily.

The Poor Stockinger

Date: 10 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags:

Wednesday 10 October 2012, at 6pm
London ICA Cinema 1

Luke Fowler, The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott, UK, 2012, 61 min
The new work by Luke Fowler, a current nominee for the Turner Prize, explores the role played by left wing intellectuals in the working class communities of post-war Yorkshire. At night schools organised by the Workers’ Educational Association, adults with no other access to further education were taught by progressive thinkers such as Raymond Williams, Richard Hoggart and E.P. Thompson, from whose treatise The Making of the English Working Class the film takes its long-winded title. As in previous studies of R.D. Laing and Cornelius Cardew, Fowler makes effective use of archival and contemporary materials. The result is far from a conventional documentary: in place of objective commentary, the soundtrack features the lilting voice of artist Cerith Wyn Evans reading Thompson’s class reports (pointed and often droll). For the present-day images of municipal buildings, West Riding towns and surrounding landscapes, Fowler shot in collaboration with American independent filmmaker Peter Hutton. (Mark Webber)

The screening on 10 October will feature an extended introduction by Dr Tom Steele.

Also Screening: Sunday 21 October 2012, at 4pm, BFI Southbank NFT 3


Breaking the Frame

Date: 10 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags:

Wednesday 10 October 2012, at 8pm
London ICA Cinema 1

Marielle Nitoslawska, Breaking the Frame, Canada, 2012, 100 min
Breaking the Frame is the first feature-length documentary on Carolee Schneemann, an artist whose pioneering work has transformed discourses on the body, sexuality and gender. In cinema history, she is primarily known for Fuses, an honestly explicit film of lovemaking from a feminine viewpoint shot between 1964-67. For decades, Schneemann has similarly challenged taboos in other media, making paintings, performances, video, collage and installations in which personal experiences are absolutely entwined with formal considerations: ‘Form is emotion. I work towards metaphors of sensation, a dramatization of loss and recovery.’ Her kinetic performance style, developed while a key member of the Judson Dance Theater, produced pieces such as Meat Joy, Up To And Including Her Limits and Interior Scroll, now regarded as seminal works of live art. In this mesmerising film, which forgoes chronological biography, the artist generously shares her memories and extraordinary personal archive. Mark Webber.

Also Screening: Friday 19 October 2012, at 9pm, BFI Southbank NFT 3


Peter Kubelka: The Essence of Cinema

Date: 11 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags: ,

Thursday 11 October 2012, at 6pm
London ICA Cinema 1

The seven films made by Peter Kubelka between 1955 and 2003 are an extraordinary demonstration of cinematic possibilities. In the ‘metric’ films Adebar, Schwechater and Arnulf Rainer, each individual element is precisely placed in relation to each other and the whole, resulting in a rhythmic viewing experience that articulates his assertion that ‘film is not movement’. The ‘metaphoric’ works Mosaik im Vertrauen, Unsere Afrikareise, Pause! and Dichtung und Wahrheit explore ways in which meaning can be constructed by the juxtaposition of images and sound. Astounding at first sight, our understanding of these films deepens with repeated viewings.

‘Kubelka’s cinema is like a piece of crystal, or some other object of nature: It doesn’t look like it was produced by man; one could easily conceive that it was picked up from among the organic treasures of nature.’ (Jonas Mekas)

Peter Kubelka, Mosaik im Vertrauen, 1955, 17 min
Peter Kubelka, Adebar, Austria, 1957, 2 min
Peter Kubelka, Schwechater, Austria, 1958, 1 min
Peter Kubelka, Arnulf Rainer, Austria, 1960, 6 min
Peter Kubelka, Unsere Afrikareise, Austria, 1966, 13 min
Peter Kubelka, Pause!, Austria, 1977, 12 min
Peter Kubelka, Dichtung und Wahrheit, Austria, 2003, 13 min

Peter Kubelka will present his new work Monument Film at BFI Southbank on Sunday 21 October at 2pm. The Monument Film installation is on display at BFI Southbank for the duration of the Festival. Martina Kudlácek’s documentary Fragments of Kubelka screens at the ICA on Saturday 13 October at 1pm.


Occupy the Cinema

Date: 11 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags:

Thursday 11 October 2012, at 8pm
London ICA Cinema 1

Ben Russell & Guillaume Cailleau, Austerity Measures, Greece, 2012, 9 min
Athens at crisis point: a colour-separation portrait of the Exarchia neighbourhood during the anti-austerity protests.

Ken Jacobs, Seeking the Monkey King, USA, 2011, 40 min
Amid the hypnotic, flickering motion of a metallic terrain, vitriolic onscreen texts rail against American culpability, from the Revolution to Iraq to the present administration. Each statement casts an arrow, and J.G. Thirlwell’s monstrously cinematic score drives them home.

Brad Butler & Karen Mirza, Deep State, UK, 2012, 44 min
‘An audacious, semi-fantastical secret history of the counterforces of popular protest and clandestine control, this struggle is told through archive material, contemporary footage and future speculation.’
A direct development of the filmmakers’ visit to Cairo prior to the Tahrir Square uprising, Deep State was commissioned by Film & Video Umbrella, and made in collaboration with author China Miéville.


Fragments of Kubelka

Date: 13 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags: ,

Saturday 13 October 2012, at 1pm
London ICA Cinema 1

Martina Kudlácek, Fragments of Kubelka, Austria, 2012, 232 min
In this extended portrait, Peter Kubelka speaks at length about his life, work and interests, drawing on a vast range of knowledge and experience. Active as a filmmaker since the 1950s, Kubelka’s acclaimed cinematic works are only one aspect of his dynamic personality. In his legendary public lectures, he holds forth on a variety of disciplines including film, music, archaeology and cooking. He has also played an important institutional role in establishing the Austrian Film Museum, and as co-founder of Anthology Film Archives, for whom he designed an ideal viewing theatre known as the Invisible Cinema. Martina Kudlácek (known for previous documentaries on Maya Deren and Marie Menken) immersed herself in Kubelka’s world for several years, researching historical footage, recording lectures, and perhaps most importantly, filming him at home surrounded by his eclectic collection of anthropological objects. In these precious sequences, Fragments of Kubelka provides extraordinary insight in conveying his philosophy on life and art.


On Venom and Eternity

Date: 19 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags:

Friday 19 October 2012, at 6:30pm
London BFI Southbank NFT 3

Isidore Isou, Traité de bave et d’éternité, France, 1951, 120 min (new print)
The first and only film by the founder of the French Lettrist movement begins with a warning: ‘Dear spectators, you are about to see a discrepant film. No refunds will be given.’ Advocating for the rupture of language and photography, Isou expects the spectator to ‘leave the cinema blind, his ears crushed, both torn asunder by the disjunction of word and image’. At the 1951 Cannes Festival, where Traité received its first pubic screening, it won the admiration of Guy Debord and Jean Cocteau, who wondered if it would take 50 years before its radical aesthetics could be understood. The Lettrists believed the development of cinema had been stalled by the domination of the studio system. In order for a new cinema to emerge, it had first to be destroyed – symbolically and physically – by bleaching and scratching the images, and by replacing soundtracks with abrasive concrete poetry and enraged tirades.


Nathaniel Dorsky & Jerome Hiler

Date: 20 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags:

Saturday 20 October 2012, at 2pm
London BFI Southbank NFT 3

While others bemoan the end of celluloid, Nathaniel Dorsky – whose work has become an annual highlight of the festival over the past decade – continues apace, more productive now than ever. His carefully considered practice has this year created works of great beauty from a period of sorrow. This screening of two new films will be complemented by rarely exhibited work by his companion Jerome Hiler.

Nathaniel Dorsky, August and After, USA, 2012, 19 min
‘After a lifetime, two mutual friends, George Kuchar and Carla Liss, passed away during the same period of time.’ (ND)

Nathaniel Dorsky, April, USA, 2012, 26 min
‘Following a period of trauma and grief, the world around me once again declared itself in the form of one of the loveliest springs I can ever remember in San Francisco. April is intended as a companion piece for August and After, and is partly funded by a gift from Carla Liss.’ (ND)

Jerome Hiler, Words of Mercury, USA, 2011, 25 min
Jerome Hiler, who shares Dorsky’s heightened sense of wonder at the world around him, builds sensuous layers of superimposition at the moment of shooting. A most private filmmaker, whose primary craft is the less transient medium of stained glass, he has until recently only shown his work as camera originals, thus limiting their public visibility. His inclusion in the latest Whitney Biennial prompted this first digital transfer.


Two Architecture Studies

Date: 20 October 2012 | Season: London Film Festival 2012 | Tags:

Saturday 20 October 2012, at 4pm
London BFI Southbank NFT 3

Catalina Niculescu, Along the Lines, UK-Romania, 2011, 16 min
On a trip to her native Romania, the artist’s interest in architectural forms prompted a visual investigation into how decorative and structural motifs recur in buildings from the traditional to the modern.

Thom Andersen, Reconversão, Portugal, 2012, 65 min
Invited to film in Portugal on the occasion of the Vila do Conde festival’s 20th anniversary, Thom Andersen chose to document building projects by Eduardo Souto de Moura, whose work combines modernist aesthetics with traces of the architectural history of his sites. Incorporating local materials with contemporary building techniques, his clean concrete lines harmonise with natural elements and traditional stone walls. Influenced in equal measure by Mies van der Rohe and minimal sculptors such as Judd and Morris, Souta de Moura’s achievements include meticulous linear houses, the Porto subway network, and the monumental Braga Stadium, which rises out of the earth beside a mountain of imposing granite. This leisurely film features 17 such projects and culminates in a conversation between the filmmaker and the distinguished architect.