Volume 2 | Issue 6 | Spring 2004


Volume 2 - Issue 6 - Editorial

Good things come to those who wait, murmurs the adage. Now, if the late, great Derek Jarman is right (and he is), you don’t even have to wait any more. But is what you get any good? Whether it’s flowers, fruits or films, our society finds itself now on the strange threshold between constantly increasing anticipation – either reasonably harmless (next year’s holiday booked immediately after this one, etc.) or altogether more sinister (daily trumpeting of ‘imminent terrorist attacks) – and instant satiation of all sensual demands. Add in the prerogatives of the information age, the impacts of globalisation and the mind-altering insights of the new physics and it’s clear that time, or our perception of it, is now more complex and fluid than ever. But time, and experience as a register of its working, operates somewhere, in and on bodies and places.
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A Death Dream! Dizzying! Dizzying!

By Michael Brooke

The dramatic turn-of-the-century renaissance of Winnipeg fabulist Guy Maddin has been one of the most surprising yet heartening developments in recent cinema. Those who discovered his strikingly original Tales from the Gimli Hospital and Archangel over a decade ago had to suffer five-year gaps...


By Julian Petley

When critics complain that the Communications Act enables Rupert Murdoch to grab even more of the British media, the Government routinely replies that legislation cannot be framed to deal specifically with the activities of a particular company.

Blindfolded Architecture

By Alicia Guerrero Yeste

Architecture and film historian Andres Janser has observed that a history of the relationship of architects to the moving image is still waiting to be written. I would add that, in my opinion, the analysis of set designs should have little prominence in its contents.

Breaking Boundaries, Expanding Horizons

By Rumbi Katedza

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing trying times, with the spotlight on the nation for political reasons. In spite of all the negative press, there is a nascent film industry driven by several dedicated individuals. Local filmmakers are finding new and creative ways to produce films that tell their stories in their own ways.

Bringing it all Back Home

By Yto Barrada

Let me begin with a confession: I have a penchant for conversations in dark movie theatres. My untimely comments and interjections continue despite complaints from all sides. From the first moments of a film, I begin trying to guess the next shot, calling out to the actors if danger is lurking.

Cinema Eden

By Juan Goytisolo

There exists an almost extinct species of cinema whose auditorium, dense atmosphere and original setting stand out more strongly, more glowingly in the memory than the meandering plot of their films.

Cine Kazakhstan

By James Norton

The vast former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan hardly looms as large in our audiovisual consciousness as it does on the map of the world, and even then it is largely as the homeland of Sacha Baron Cohen’s spoof TV presenter Borat.

‘Distant’ Voice… Still, Life

By Metin Alsanjak

The most stylish and critically applauded Turkish film of 2003 (and most likely 2004), is Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Uzak. After winning the Grand Prix du Jury, and a joint Best Actor award for Muzaffer Özdemir and Mehmet Emin Toprak at Cannes 2003, Uzak has since won nine other international awards.

Dizzy with Possibility

By Metin Alsanjak

Vertigo Film Club is a remarkable place. Turned by its occupying squatters into both a living space and screening room complete with video projection, this previously derelict building in Leytonstone, East London now offers a radical exhibition environment entirely in keeping with its originating principles.

Dreaming of Arcadia

By Milan Babic

It’s worse now. When I woke up in a sweat at three o’clock in the morning, I was scared and breathless, not knowing what to do. It was the end of spring little more than a year ago, and in three weeks I was supposed to shoot my diploma film for National Film and Television School.

FACT not Fiction

By Kieron Corless

The Liverpool-based arts organisation FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) was founded in 1988 to commission and promote artists’ film and video and new media art within Liverpool and beyond.

Film in Cornwall

By Antal Kovacs

Is Cornwall a county of England or a country in its own right? Opinions are divided on this, particularly amongst the people who live here, and until we manage to answer this question satisfactorily, there is little point in discussing the future of a Cornish film industry.

First World Film

By Mark Cousins

The 1960s are rightly considered a time of upheaval in world cinema, but not until the early 1970s did film history become as dramatic as political theatre. So striking were the events of the new decade that it seemed as if a playwright with a keen sense of irony and a penchant for ideas was behind the twists...

Hungarian Cinema

By John Cunningham

Hungarian cinema has often been forced to tread a precarious and difficult path. Through the failed 1919 Revolution to the defeat of the 1956 Revolution and its aftermath, Hungarian film-makers and their audiences have had to contend with a huge range of social and political issues and challenges.

If you Couldn’t Be There the First Time…

By Paul Wells

History is back. The past is present. The maps to long forgotten places are being redrawn and, once more, journeys undertaken. Contemporary television is glutted with documentaries, travelogues, costume dramas and game shows retrieving the lost worlds of bygone eras...

Iraq Reels and Realities

By Maysoon Pachachi

During the Gulf War of 1991, like every Iraqi I knew in London, I sat transfixed in front of the television, morning, noon and night. Many of us hadn’t been back ‘home’ for years and the only images we had of our country were the ones we held in our memories.

Julio Medem’s Basque Balls

By Rob Stone

For those who attended the first screening outside Spain of Julio Medem’s Basque Ball: Skin Against the Stone during the 2003 London Film Festival, it was impossible to avoid seeing its director as someone in exile from Spain.

Northern Light

By Gregory Kurcewicz

Born in Sweden in 1931, Gunvor Nelson first went to America to study in the 1950s, settling in San Francisco in 1960. Her first foray into film took place within a mainly male avant-garde environment, headed up by the likes of Stan Brakhage, Bruce Baillie and Kenneth Anger.

Persistent Fallacy Gives Good Rhetoric

By James Leahy

“Persistence of vision”, according to the lead article in the last issue of Vertigo, “describes the optical illusion that makes cinema possible”. Nonsense. Movies move, and depend upon an illusion of movement.

Remote Lives?

By Peter Todd

Researching the Orcadian film maker Margaret Tait, I wondered sometimes what other film makers had worked on Orkney or Shetland or in Northern Scotland generally. I was curious to see what images they had made, what sounds they had recorded, how they might be organised…

Star Spangled to Death

By Florence Tissot

Star Spangled To Death is a six hour film containing a huge amount of found footage cut together with Ken Jacobs’ own work. The found sequences have been carefully selected from predominantly American moving images produced in the last century and span cinematic genres ranging from documentaries to fiction...

Stations of Desire

By Daniel Höpfner

When I was considering the theme of this issue, I couldn’t help thinking of the above scene from Wim WendersWings of Desire. The old Homer walks along the Wall on the Potsdamer Platz (as it was then), accompanied by his angel. His memories of the place don’t match with what he finds before him.

States of the Nation Cinema

By Jason Wood

If George Washington offered a tantalising first glimpse of an extraordinary talent, the Sundance award-winning All the Real Girls confirms director David Gordon Green as one of the freshest voices in contemporary American cinema.

Telling it Like it (Actually) Is

By Gabriel Carlyle

During the invasion of Iraq, the ‘embedded’ BBC journalist Gavin Hewitt spotted a truck through his binoculars. On a hunch Hewitt alerted the Captain of the military unit he was accompanying, telling the Captain, “I think these guys are going to attack us.”

The Cunard Yanks

By Sukhdev Sandhu

Whatever happened to Britain’s ports and rivers? Time was, they formed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of men. They were gateways to Empire. Around them – in Glasgow, Southampton, Cardiff – sprung up mixed-race communities, often reviled by commentators and local dignitaries...

The Feeling of a Story

By Mathieu Copeland

Anna Sanders is defined by her status as a film producer, registered with the National Centre for Cinematography in Paris, and by the films she produces.

The Future of Public Service Broadcasting

By Don Redding

The Communications Act 2003 appeared to protect public service broadcasting. It gave new regulator Ofcom a 'principal duty … to further the interests of citizens (and consumers) in relation to communications matters'...

The Poetry of Space

By Janet Harbord

Film has consistently been thought of as a time-based medium. In relation to many other art forms, the material of film is duration, an ephemeral substance we experience through time.

The Quiet Genius of Victor Erice

By Geoff Andrew

Victor Erice makes (or has been able to make) films so rarely, he is in danger of becoming one of contemporary cinema’s forgotten masters – shamefully, he wasn’t even given an entry in the most recent edition of David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film.

Theory and Practice at the Crossroads

By Clive Myer

Beyond the Theory of Practice (19 – 22 November 2003, Cardiff Screen Festival) was convened as the third in the CILECT* series of conferences investigating the role of theory in the teaching of practice at film schools.

Vision Machine: a Web of Stories, Networked Solidarities

Sharman Sinaga’s granddaughter looks bored as her grandfather demonstrates for the camera his favoured technique of market liberalization: holding union activists upside down in flooded fields. He mimics their gargles as they choke in the mud.

Independent Days: Remembering Derek Jarman

By Tony Peake

Shortly before Derek Jarman died from an aids-related illness in February 1994, he asked me if I would write his biography. I happily agreed, but didn’t properly start work on the book until many months after his death, by which time the prospect of it – how on earth to encapsulate and explain such a multi-faceted artist?

Film sans Frontières

By Metin Alsanjak

For the launch of the latest London Turkish Film Festival last October, one of Dalston’s many Turkish restaurants was heaving with people from across the capital who had come to support the event, from local business sponsors and London-Turkish politicians to photographers, journalists...

Brilliant, gorgeous, painted, gay

By Derek Jarman

Brilliant, gorgeous, painted, gay,
Vivid, flaunting, tearaway,
Glowing, flaring, lurid, loud

Volume 2 - Issue 6 - Spring 2004

Managing Editor:
Holly Aylett
Editor: Gareth Evans
Editorial Assistant: Metin Alsanjak
Events Producer:  Di Robson
Production Assistant: Tatiana Vargas

Editorial Board: Holly Aylet, Michael Chanan, Gareth Evans, James Leahy, Thessa Mooij, Hannah Patterson, Julian Petley

Advisory Network: John Akomfrah, Asu Aksoy, Yossi Bal, Gill Branston, Robert Chilcott, Don Coutts, David Curtis, Margaret Dickinson, Kate Elwes, Alan Fountain, Catherine Fowler, Keith Griffiths, Sylvia Harvey, Judith Higginbotham, Asif Kapadia, Ruth Lingford, Sarah McCarthy, Martin McLoone, Robin Macpherson, Kevin Rockett, Keith Shiri, Lana Turner, Sarah Turner, Nick Walker

Original Print Design: Kalina Owczarek, 4i Group (T. 020 7439 4399)

Printed by: Ernest G.Bond Ltd (T. 020 8858 8616)

With Special Thanks to: Geoff Andrew; Sarah Bemand; Leah Byrne (ACE); Manuela Cara; Chris Chandler (Film Council); Peter Chappell; Tom Charity; Ian Christie; Ben Cook; Alex Cox; Helen de Witt; Simon Field; 4iGroup; Michael Hayden; Sandra Hebron; Maren Hobein; Vedide Kaymak; Rob Kenny (Curzon Soho); Sarah Lutton; Lux; Jo Maurice & Tina McFarling (Film Council); Amanda Nevill; Clare Norton-Smith; Charles Rubenstein; Emma Sangster; Mike Sperlinger; Sylvia Stephens & Faction Films; Gary Thomas (ACE); Carole Tongue; Maggie Warwick (Canada House); Mark Webber

Original Print Edition published with financial assistance from: Arts Council England, Film Council