Microcinema at Cambridge Film Festival @ Cambridge Film Festival, Cambridge [from 19 to 23 October]

Microcinema at Cambridge Film Festival

19 - 23
18:00 - 21:00

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Cambridge Film Festival
38-39 St Andrews Street, CB2 3AR Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
This year’s microcinema takes Archive and Memory as its theme.

Through photography, film and video, the last 100 plus years have resulted in a galaxy of captured moments. It’s no surprise that artists have begun to respond to this wealth of images.

Taking place in Downing College’s Heong Gallery and Howard Auditorium, with additional screenings at the Arts Picturehouse, microcinema presents a week of screenings and events featuring the work of several artists.

All events and screenings are free of charge.

Programme One
Down Sat 21 | 1.00 CFF 15

2014, 23 mins.
Director Sarah Wood
It was only in the twentieth century we needed papers to have an identity. Kafka’s Joseph K scrabbled in his pocket for something better than a bicycle license to prove who he was in the brave new world where official documents separate those who belong from those who are not allowed to belong. The borders of the new nation state offered frames for subterfuge. What happened on one side of the border had to be understood on the other. In the century when we invented aviation, when we invented cinema, in an age when we can move more and see more than any other point in history why have we become so watchful and so performative? I Am a Spy is a film that observes this watchfulness.

2009, 8 mins.
Director Sarah Wood
In an age dominated by the moving image what would it feel like to never see an image of the place that you came from? The Palestinian Film Archive contained over 100 films showing the daily life and struggle of the Palestinian people. It was lost in the Israeli siege of Beirut in 1982. Here interviewees describe from memory key moments from the history of Palestinian cinema. These scenes are drawn and animated. Where film survives, the artist’s impressions are corroborated. This is a film about reconstruction and the idea that cinema is an expression of cultural identity – that cinema fuels memory.

UK, 2017, 23 mins.
Director Sam Ashby
Starring Sean Hart, Josh O’Connor
Sam Ashby’s The Colour of His Hair merges drama and documentary into an impressionistic meditation on queer life under the law. Based on an unrealised film script written in 1964 for The Homosexual Law Reform Society, a British organisation that campaigned for the decriminalisation of homosexual relations between men. The script tells of John and Peter, a young professional couple living in London who are the victims of a blackmail scam. Documentary footage, news clippings, archive films, and oral history recordings are woven around this central drama, highlighting the power inherent in the the archiving of queer trauma.

Programme Two
Down Sun 22 | 1.00 CFF 15

A screening of recent work by 2016 Margaret Tait Award winner Kate Davis will be complemented by Tait’s rarely seen On the Mountain, which revisits Edinburgh’s Rose Street and incorporates Tait’s earlier work Rose Street (1956)… a film within a film.

2017, 17 mins.
Director Kate Davis
Inspired by the ways in which the work of filmmaker, poet and artist Margaret Tait (1918 — 1999), invites us to contemplate fundamental emotions and everyday activities that are often overlooked, Charity takes artistic representations of breastfeeding as its focus. The film explores how the essential — but largely invisible and unpaid — processes we employ to care for others could be re-imagined.
Charity was commissioned by the Margaret Tait Award which is supported by LUX/ LUX Scotland and Glasgow Film Festival.

2014 12 mins.
Director Kate Davis
Taking a 1961 BBC documentary about Barbara Hepworth as its starting point, Weight explores how televised depictions of creativity constructed our understanding of artistic production and other forms of labour. Weight re-imagines the value systems that this documentary is predicated upon and proposes an alternative vision.
Produced as part of Artists and Archives, Artists Moving Image at the BBC 2014. Supported by BBC Scotland, LUX and Creative Scotland.

1973, 35 mins.
Director Margaret Tait
Made in Edinburgh’s Rose Street, On the Mountain incorporates the whole of a previous film (Rose Street, 1956), including the leader and the titles. The original was shot in black and white, and the negative was lost, and for this reason Tait had the idea of preserving the film by framing it complete in colour, in a contrasted look at the same street in 1974. On the Mountain records and preserves the change. The camera broods and recognises the dustcart. Changed is too gentle a word, the street has ben ripped apart by the developers. An ugly modern precinct has emerged with shabby boutiques and plastic food. The back lane where the children played hopscotch reveals a gap site, a decaying Princess Street, with thumping machines and concrete.’ — Tamara Krikorian.

Programme Three
Down Sat 21 | 3.00 CFF 15

1979, 17 mins.
Director Margaret Tait
The artist records herself painting blue colour on white
canvas using her self-made camera helmet. The distance
between Raspé and the canvas lets us only see small areas
of the painting at any one time – the close up view that
makes up all the earlier Camera Helmet films – but here she
steps back and we see the whole canvas and the space that
it’s in. Then back again to close up. “A 30 minute film of a 30
minute painting”. A history of a painting and also a work in
its own right.
Print source Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin

2009, 8 mins.
Director Cordelia Swann
Inspired by the unlikely plots of afternoon TV and Hitchcock’s
‘Rebecca’ Amnesia opens with our heroine discovering that
her husband is Pierce Brosnan who gives her a mobile phone
so that she will remember her past.
Amnesia is commissioned by Animate Projects.
Print source Cordelia Swann

2006, 2 mins.
Director Cordelia Swann
By taking a single scene and overlaying it three times using
delays and changes to density the result is a delirious
musical and visual ‘round’ exposing the over heightened
emotions of Vivien Leigh as she at first whispers for her
lover’s return and then runs to him across an ersatz
palace and terrace with a barely visible Bay of Naples and
Mt Vesuvius smoldering in the background.

UK, 1985, 42 mins.
Director Dick Jewell
The method of making hinged on creating an ongoing
dialogue with the subject to produce a living document.
The Jazz Room was about the development of jazz dance
at The Electric Ballroom, Camden. At the start of each night
the ‘film so far’ was projected above the dance floor, before
continuing to shoot more material to incorporate into the
film. Over a period of a year and a half this created an
interaction between the dancers and the film that informed
the development of the dance style.

Programme Four
Down Sun 22 | 11.00am CFF 15

2017, 66 mins.
Director Gair Dunlop
Yellowcake traces the rise and fall of the UK nuclear fission
research programme, seen through its sites, archives,
memories and consequences. Gair Dunlop has spent 3 years
gaining unique access to a range of research sites, archives
and restricted facilities. As well as physical remains, the
film explores the psychic realms of the nuclear- whether as
postwar dream of a post-empire future, apocalyptic terror as
entertainment, or zone beyond our understandings of time.

1996, 26 mins.
Director Cordelia Swann
In Desert Rose we are taken from the cottonwoods, and
deserts of southern Nevada to a contemporary and 1950s
vision of the casinos, hotels and wedding chapels of Las
Vegas, where a seamy underside is revealed, far more
sinister and tragic than mere glitter, vice or gambling.
For part of my childhood, to recuperate from tuberculosis,
I was taken to live in the idyllic mountains of northern
Nevada, where the occasional nuclear cloud drifted north
from the Test Site, sixty miles from the city of Las Vegas.


APH Sat 21 | 6.00
2017, 45 mins.
Director Luke Fowler

The subject of my new 16mm/35mm film titled
Electro-pythagorus is the Canadian computer music
pioneer Martin Bartlett — who studied with Pauline Oliveros,
David Tudor, John Cage and Pandit Pran Nath. His life and
work are in danger of being erased from cultural memory
since his death from AIDS in 1993. Drawing on an extensive
use of hitherto unseen archival material — correspondence,
travel journals, workbooks, personal photos and films, as
well as a huge body of unreleased music and field recordings
created over his lifetime. I employ my own 16mm camera as
a tool to aid documentation; whilst also creating a
subjective knowledge and connection to the places and
people Bartlett touched. Martin’s biography includes
joint-founding of the Western Front (an inter-disciplinary
artists run centre in Vancouver), his involvement with
Canada Shadows, his study of Asian music and tuning
systems, and his turn to proto-computer music in the late
70’s. While these areas are ostensibly the subject -my
montage refuses to reduce Bartlett’s life to a onedimensional
allegory. Instead, it ruminates on the struggles
and politics of living, as well as enjoyment of the exalted
states of being; of pleasure, sensuality and social
communion. The films shifts between different visual
registers and tones, yet aims to remain sonically faithful to
Bartlett’s original texts and music.

APH Sat 21 | 10.30
2002, 101 mins.
Director Dick Jewell

Kinky Gerlinky was the biggest, most fabulous, most
stylish nightclub London has ever seen. This documentary
edited from over 200 hours shot on 21 nights, conveys the
experience of one full-on night out at the club, and gains a
unique intimacy with most of the action directed to camera.
Club culture, by nature a fleeting phenomenon, is rarely
recorded in any depth. This documentary works to redress
this fact. Above all, Kinky Gerlinky is about self–expression
and glamour, excess and enjoyment. As an examination
of the cultural and sexual politics of celebrity and glamour
it is unique.
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