Close Up

16 September 2017: Sue Clayton & Laura Mulvey: Towards Other Cinemas


Launching their series Towards Other Cinemas, writer and filmmaker Sue Clayton and film theorist and writer Laura Mulvey will present some of their early works. They will be joined by Helen de Witt to discuss these, and their recent editorial collaboration on the book Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and Experimental Film in the 1970s. They will discuss the boundaries between making and writing, and consider the ways in which histories are reconceived over time. An anthology of essays, Other Cinemas includes voices both established and new and explores strands, theories and politics as well as works important to this rich context. As a series, Towards Other Cinemas, aims to re-activate conversations about experimental film and video making in 1970s Britain which are both historical and new, recognising the diverse achievements of this time.

Sue Clayton and Laura Mulvey will be in conversation with Helen de Witt following screenings of The Song of the Shirt and AMY! 

Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen
1980 | 30 min | Colour | Digital

“A tribute to Amy Johnson, is a more accessible reworking of themes previously covered by Mulvey and Wollen, but it is ponderous and slow. Far from a conventional biopic, the aviator is used as a symbolic figure, her journey exemplifying the transitions between female and male worlds required by women struggling towards achievement in the public sphere.” – Eleanor Burke

The Song of the Shirt
Sue Clayton & Jonathan Curling
1976 | 135 min | B/W  | Digital

An investigation into the position of working women in the 1840s, the effects of protectionist 'philanthropy' and the resistance to it. Explores the plight of a group of women working in the new 'sweated' clothes trade in London. “While it addresses ideas of feminist history and Marxist theory, it can also be read as a more ambitious project that fuses the history of fashion, literacy and sexuality. (This) combination of political content and a dislocated and disruptive presentation makes it stand out from its contemporaries in its ambition to present a genuinely feminist independent film. Co-director Sue Clayton, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, has continued to explore these themes through her work with the Independent Filmmakers' Association and Screen magazine.” – Emma Hedditch

This event is followed by three screenings, curated by Laura Mulvey, Sue Clayton and Claire M. Holdsworth, on Sunday 17 September 11am - 6pm at the Whitechapel Gallery cinema:

Sue Clayton is a UK feature and documentary film writer and director. Her cinema films include The Song of the Shirt, The Last Crop, The Disappearance of Finbar, Hamedullah: The Road Home and Calais Children: A Case to Answer. She has made award-winning documentaries for Channel 4 and ITV including How to Survive Lifestyle, Japan Dreaming, and Turning Japanese. She is a Professor and Founding Director of Screen School at Goldsmiths University of London. 

Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of: Visual and Other Pleasures, Fetishism and Curiosity, Citizen Kane and Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image. She made six films in collaboration with Peter Wollen including Riddles of the Sphinx and Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti. With artist/filmmaker Mark Lewis, she has made Disgraced Monuments and 23 August 2008.