Close Up

15 October 2018: Vertigo! All Power to the Imagination


On the occasion of Vertigo magazine's 25th anniversary we're thrilled to host this celebratory event featuring a very special guest appearance from Andrew Kötting.

Founded in 1993 by the late Marc Karlin and a collective of key independent film-makers, thinkers, writers and activists associated with the golden age of the early radical Channel 4, Vertigo magazine established itself as a key reference for the discussion of film culture and history. It offered a diverse range of critical views, committed to inspire and engage with audiences, academics and practitioners alike, featuring essays, interviews, discussions, portfolios, scripts and hybrid work. Underpinned by a strong sense of internationalism and committed to innovative and imaginative film across genres, Vertigo existed in print until 2009.

Now, as London property pressures grow ever more absolute, it is time to circulate the last remaining print copies of this beloved and influential publication to those honourable audience members and readers who value and require them. Everyone attending this evening's event will receive free as complete a set of the entire print run as exists, as well as the opportunity to purchase the remarkable 300 page, fully illustrated publication Look Again, on the life and work of Marc Karlin, at a significantly reduced price.

The evening is hosted by Gareth Evans, Vertigo co-editor 2002-2009, and includes three short films made by Marc Karlin from 1985-1998.

A Dream From The Bath
Marc Karlin
1985 | 22 min | Colour | Digital

Originally broadcast on 24 April 1985, Channel 4 (Visions). A response to the government marking its entirely negative Films Act of 1985, with the grandiosely titled ‘British Film Year’. Shot in Karlin’s own home, the camera glides over iconic images of Britain’s film past and questions their role in structuring our sense of belonging.

The Serpent
Marc Karlin
1997 | 40 min | Colour | Digital

Originally broadcast on 21 August 1997, Channel 4 (Films of Fire). Filtered through Milton’s Paradise Lost, Michael Deakin (a Tony Blair supporter by day and Ken Livingstone fan by night) decides to rid Britain of Rupert Murdoch and all his works. But ‘The Voice of Reason’ has other plans. The Serpent is a passionate fantasy docu-drama that not only reveals our own culpability surrounding Murdoch’s rise to power but is also a pertinent reminder of the way democracies construct their own monsters.

The Haircut
Marc Karlin
1998 | 10 min | Colour | Digital

Originally broadcast on 6 December 1998, BBC2 (Millennial Fever). The Haircut is a playful indictment of New Labour and Blairism. Using Princess Diana's funeral as a theme, Karlin presents a vision of a twenty-first century ‘Teardrome’, paid for by the Millennium Foundation to assist those unable to weep at state occasions.Marc Karlin

On his death in 1999, Marc Karlin was described as Britain’s most significant, unknown filmmaker. For three decades, he was a leading figure within Britain’s independent film community, actively contributing to opening up television through Channel 4. He was a founding member of the Berwick Street Film Collective; a director of Lusia Films, a key influence in the Independent Filmmakers Association, and a creative force behind the group that published the independent film magazine, Vertigo (1993-2010).

With thanks to Andy Robson, Holly Aylett and Hermione Harris

Presented in partnership with the Marc Karlin Archive:

The entire Vertigo archive, including special digital issues produced until 2012, is now held online by Close-Up and is available here: