Tag Archives: Documentary

MASS CATCH UP #1: THE EYES HAVE IT!

The eyes have it: Stills from Village of the Damned, Passport to Pimlico and The First Movie

In order to stem the tide of my perpetual catch-up in this (often) ill-conceived attempt to write about every film I watch, I present this mass posting, where I write a brief something about some of the British titles I have caught over the last couple of months but have neither the time nor inclination to expand upon further.

Here goes nothing…

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MNEMOSYNE

Mnemosyne
d. John Akomfrah / 2010 / UK / 46 mins
BFI Gallery @ BFI Southbank (London, UK)

View of Mnemosyne at BFI Gallery

A single-channel video work comprised of newly shot images, excerpts from past works and a swathe of archival materials from BBC Midlands, Birmingham Public Library and MACE (the Media Archive for Central England), Mnemosyne is a new gallery work from Ghanaian-born, London-raised artist and documentarian John Akomfrah.

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BEAUTIFUL LOSERS

Beautiful Losers
d.  Aaron Rose & Joshua Leonard / 2008 / USA / 89 mins

Still from Beautiful Losers

An interesting, if rather slight, contemporary art documentary, Beautiful Losers introduces a diverse group of artists/filmmakers/agitators who coalesced around the Alleged Gallery on New York’s Lower East Side in the early 1990s. Co-directed by Aaron Rose, who also ran the gallery itself, the film traces the lives, loves and careers of the Alleged gang, from graphic and street artists like Geoff McFetridge, Thomas Campbell, Stephen ‘ESPO’ Powers, Barry ‘Twist’ McGee, Shepard Fairey, skateboarder Ed Templeton and the late Margaret Kilgallen, to filmmakers and photographers like Cheryl Dunn, Mike Mills and Harmony Korine.

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THE LACEY RITUALS

The Lacey Rituals
d. Lacey Family /  1973 / UK / 63 mins
VT1 @ BFI Stephen Street (London, UK)

Bruce Lacey, 1970

There’s something glorious, something quietly revolutionary about this underrated gem of 1970s documentary experimentation. Bruce Lacey – artist, filmmaker, inventor, urban spaceman, pagan ritualist and Beatles lawnmower – guides his young family in a demonstration of the quotidian rituals that are largely written out of everyday cinema.

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AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY

American: The Bill Hicks Story
d. Matt Harlock & Paul Thomas / 2009 / UK / 102 min
Viewed at: Downstairs @ the Prince Charles Cinema (London, UK)

Promotional Still for American: The Bill Hicks Story

Part of the selling point for this documentary was the way that photographs were re-animated, supposedly to bring the story – as told by Bill Hicks’ nearest and dearest – to vivid life. In essence, it was also a way to paper over the fact that, aside from a few glimpses of Super-8mm home movies shot by Hicks’ father, there was understandably little footage of Hicks until he started performing stand-up comedy as a teenager in the late 1970s.

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