Close Up

16 - 25 September 2019: Ringroads: Playfulness in British Psychogeography


"Ever wanted to get lost? Ever wanted to submit to the blissful boredom of an endless motorway? Ever wanted to walk around inside the flat 2D landscape of Google Maps, or the plastic beauty of 16mm? You have arrived at your destination. Psychogeography, the act of drifting through and mentally reorganising of a space, may feel like a daunting or dusty old term, but join us for a journey through the word’s history, as we look back to the it’s playful roots with the Situationist International, a movement from the mid-20th century who focused on avant-garde and often humorous means to criticise the world. Ringroads looks to illicit the tongue-in-cheek nature of the Situationists out of the British wandering film. The programme is for dedicated psychogeographers and rookie ramblers alike, including classics of the genre such as Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital, as well as lesser seen gems like David Gladwell’s Requiem for a Village. Ringroads looks to explore the teasing and often impish nature of psychogeography in British moving image, be that through narrative, form, or simply the feel of the film. The programme drifts through time, space, and some of your favourite CityMapper locations, to deliver an eclectic and exciting array of some of the finest psychogeographic films ever made." – Joel Whitaker

Programme 1: London Orbital

"A companion to Sinclair’s book of the same name, this psychogeographic-classic explores the hidden depths to London’s circular motorway – the M25. The film drifts through the motorway’s locations and histories creating a disjointed map of London’s outer regions. This is much more than a documentary about a road." read more

Programme 2: Yeet Me Down the Information Superhighway

"This digital shorts programme allows you to dive into a selection of formally fun works created by a diverse range of artists. The programme looks to explore how new digital technology has been and continues to be used to push the boundaries of psychogeography. What’s more fun than playing with new toys? Looking at the amazing things artists can do with them, probably. This programme contains the works of one Turner Prize nominee and two Turner Prize winners." read more

Programme 3: Ghosts of Landscapes Present

"This programme of 16mm shorts provides some little seen works by psychogeographic heavyweights such as Patrick Keiller and John Smith. Enter a world filled with dancing buildings, eerie church bells, and walking games galore. Ghosts of Landscapes Present looks into past and present uses of formal fun to characterise and often change our perceptions of familiar landscapes." read more

Programme 4: Requiem for a Village

"Directed by master cinematographer David Gladwell, Requiem for a Village explores the provincial past of a Suffolk town, poetically drifting through eras, allowing us to experience the portent of a place and its history all at once. Like an interactive tour through suburbia, the film is an experience like no other." read more

Supported by NFTS