Volume 3 | Issue 1 | Spring 2006


Volume 3 - Issue 1 - Editorial

Dark times indeed in which we move, but there are points of light, and eyes that refuse to close and, with news of Ken Loach’s Cannes triumph for The Wind that Shakes the Barley, it is clear there are reasons to be, if not always cheerful, then certainly optimistic that work of matter and integrity can survive the cull of the committed that seems ongoing. And what else can one do except resist and build, even temporary shelters, in the face of so much demolition? There is only stopping otherwise. It was Horace who, some time ago, observed that “who has begun has half done. Dare to be wise: begin”. And so we do, again. With this issue, the first of volume three, Vertigo becomes a quarterly publication. Our aim is to do all that we have done, but better; to fail better, as Beckett advised in last issue’s editorial.
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Penda’s Fen

By Victoria Childs

At certain times, the stars and planets seem to be in perfect alignment. Take for instance a particular time in the early 1970s when folk art abounded and films like The Wicker Man were being made.

''See You at Mass, Johnny''

By Iain Sinclair

Film writing went badly wrong when they started putting mug shots of critics at the head of their crimped columns: an assembly of defeated careerists like executed Jacobites displayed on Temple Bar. In truth, the business had been sliding downhill for a long time.

Standing on Earth

By Kieron Corless

Your first encounter with a Eugène Green film is always a memorable one. You’re stirred, possibly even shaken, but you’re not quite sure how, or why. What have you just seen, and where do you place it? It’s obviously the work of someone steeped in cinema history.

An Old Place

By Cyril Neyrat

“For many people of my generation, culture was the big idea, the big opportunity or the big invention, the big secular faith. I remember leafing through Elie Faure’s L’Histoire de l’Art and Malraux’s books at the town hall library, and they offered the promise of knowledge...

Cinémathèque Française

By Simon Cropper

Enlarged to the measurements of goliath, muscular as a navvy, a man walks naked, half a step at a time, through twelve stills across the glass front of the Cinémathèque Française: Chronophotography by Etienne Jules Marey, applied as a see-through transfer.

This Must Be the Place

By Robert Chilcott

From its base in north-west London, no.w.here, a production lab and centre for critical dialogue around the nature of the moving image, has become an essential part of the delicate support network for artist filmmakers in the capital and far beyond.

The Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival

By Hannah Patterson

This October will see the fourth incarnation of The Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival, a vibrant and diverse event housed in the city’s cavernous Culturgest centre for the arts.

Sound System

By Sharmaine Reid

I first discovered AfroReggae whilst attending the literary night Book Slam at Cherry Jam, West London. I’d come initially to hear Patrick Neate read from his new book Culture is Our Weapon, co-authored with Damian Platt.

Première Station: Jésus de Montréal- A Filmgrimage

By Sophie Mayer | Lady Vervaine

Premiere Station. The subway offers signs. Organising principles, a key to the unfolding map...

Reaching the Invisible Audience

By Cary Bazalgette

We have produced a resource for each stage of schooling from age 3 to age 14- that’s three in all- and we have five more in development. They’re so successful that the National Strategies for primary and secondary education have bought copies for every local authority in England...

That Luminous Medium of Desire

By Tanya Krzywinska

Romantic intimacies. The supple ripple of satin lingerie. A sculpted bare torso. A hand brushing a naked thigh. Furtive sex in a seedy hotel room. Passion in the embrace of nature. From the sanctioned to the forbidden, the suggestive to the blatant, evocations of the sexual have saturated cinema...

In the Wake of Deadad

By Andrew Kötting

Six years ago my father died, leaving behind him a legacy of love and violence meted out to his wife and family. I have been using his death as a catalyst into the making of work that deals with memory, autobiography and implied historical narratives.

Squaring the Circle

By Emilie Bickerton

Ricochets, not circles, should be Jafar Panahi’s motif. Whilst circles return to their point of origin, ricochets leave theirs behind, and in his five feature films to date, the Iranian director has made timeless and timely, provocative works of art.

Counterpoint: Three Movies, a Book and an Old Photograph

By Don DeLillo

The first film begins with a scene that lasts some forty seconds, a distant figure in a glacial landscape, alone with a pack of wailing dogs.

Again For Tomorrow at the Royal College of Art

By George Clark

At the centre of the exhibition Again For Tomorrow (17 March – 9 April), in a specially built auditorium, thickly carpeted in red, a show is about to take place. As the lights dim I catch the phrase Stories Are Propaganda spray-painted across the thick curtains before they are drawn.

Motion Sickness: Matthew Noel-Tod’s Nausea

By Steven Ball

Nausea’s impressionistic blocky abstracted video images are produced entirely with a mobile phone. Mobile media is everywhere.

Homecoming: Reflections on Moving Images that Move us to Reflection

By Tereza Stehlíková

There is a land, which was our home once, which we left- for what we thought was a real world- a long time ago. It is a mythical, timeless land of freedom, a place where capricious, brilliant imagining resides, boundless possibilities roll on and forward like the waves of a stirring sea...

Prayer Cushions of the Flesh

By Paul Tickell

Learned but erotic; in thrall to The Arabian Nights but aware that for the Westerner this also means the silken stranglehold of the exotic (ah, the pleasurable pains of Orientalism); a good yarn but no conventional narrative...

Long Live the Cinema: Policy for Specialist Films – An Exhibitor’s Wish List

By Linda Pariser

One of the favourite topics of broadsheets and the specialist film press over the last 12-18 months has been the anticipation of the death throes of cinema. If it’s not Bubble and simultaneous multi-format release mayhem, then it’s digital projection...


By Guy Westwell

Later this year a Hollywood movie directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Steven Spielberg will retell the story of US marines raising the Stars and Stripes on the remote island in the Pacific, Iwo Jima, at the end of World War 11.

Short Film Symposium at Cork Film Festival

By George Clark

Prompted by its 50th anniversary, the Cork International Film Festival held a symposium on the state of the short film last October. As with many such events the most telling elements were what was not said, as much as what was.

National Film and Television School: (Inter)national Bright Young Things

By Anna Higgs

As a student at this institution, I benefit enormously from both the world-class tutors and my talented peers with whom I make films and forge relationships at the school. However, my experience at the school has made me see some of the current ‘hot topics’ in the UK industry...

What Am I Doing at Film School?: A Rant in Three Parts

By Benny Fogg

Why? Why did they tell me to come here? Who was it advised me to submit myself to this? Happily to allow my nascent genius to be squeezed from me like the cheap, vaguely sandy hotel toothpaste that comes in very small tubes. But I will not be constrained.

''Hopscotch'': Production

By Ana Vianavb

Hopscotch was born from a dream. In the dream, I am a little girl playing hopscotch in the communal courtyard of the house where I grew up.

The Corn and the Devil

By Tibor Banoczki | Anna Higgs

Daniel (7) is standing in pyjamas at the road by the side of his house, looking across at the corn. He clutches a ragged hippo stuffed toy in the crook of his arm. Cars speed past. He is afraid and crosses gingerly.

Animation: Laden Angels

By Joseph Pierce | Chris Gooch | Simon Deshon

1st year Animation students are put through an extensive series of workshops throughout the year, designed to fine tune techniques, develop storytelling skills and form strong working relationships with students from other disciplines.

Culture Clash: On Editing and Korean Refugees

By Daniel Greenway

As a British student, currently mid-way through my second and final year at the National Film and Television School, I have found meeting and working with people from different corners of the world an exciting and greatly rewarding experience...

Real Fiction – Blurring Lines Between Documentary and Fiction

By David Balfour

Today, filmmakers of my generation have no qualms about using the conventions of any media in any way that we want. The result is an emerging new genre of films that interweaves elements from traditional fiction and documentary films...

A Family Affair

By Rob McCrae

“He was really masturbating,” Eva Green said of her Dreamers co-star. “I was very nervous for him, but he was so relaxed. He’s a very strong male.”


By Deborah Levy

Her husband who is going to betray her is standing inside Roma. She is talking to him over the wall because she is not invited inside. She says, “you’ve broken my heart“, in the way an actress might say it.

Grime Pays

By Philip Halloween

Since the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, kids have consistently picked up instruments of all kinds to create their own hybrid and revised versions of what’s gone before, therefore consistently changing a scene that forever moves on.

''What you get is exactly what you see'': Denis Lenoir, Director of Photography

By Jean-Michel Frodon

DoP Denis Lenoir has worked with a long list of French auteurs in the last 20 years, notably Olivier Assayas, and right now he’s shooting François Ozon’s new film in Europe; but he’s done most of his work in the US, where he now lives.

The Ghost of Goto: Walerian Borowczyk Remembered

By Daniel Bird

For two years I lived in Warsaw on Tamka Street, on the fourth floor of an apartment block looking out towards the Ostrogski castle.

End Zone: Moral Tales for our Times in Cristi Puiu’s The Death of Mister Lazarescu

By Robert Chilcott

Shot in close to real time, with bare-bones naturalism and cramped, claustrophobic night interiors, Romanian Cristi Puiu’s much acclaimed second feature observes several hours in the life of a sick old man bounced from hospital to hospital...

12 Questions to Government: Report from the Independent Film Parliament

By Holly Aylett

Only clear policy objectives and constructive intervention for public rather than corporate values will deliver a diverse film culture in the rapid digital expansion of our audiovisual environment.

Lodge Kerrigan

By Jason Wood

Writer-director Lodge Kerrigan made his feature debut with the engrossing ‘Clean, Shaven’ (1993), an intelligent and impressionistic study of schizophrenia.

The Vanishing Map

By Stephen Barber

From the western parapet of the bridge which Hitler had designed for the city of Linz at the end of the 1930s, I crossed the empty traffic-lanes and tram-tracks to the far side, and entered the Ars Electronica digital centre.

Living the Tale of Tales

By Tereza Stehlíková

Our lives are full of moments when ordinary interpretations of events, synchronicities and emotions do not seem to do them justice. It is as if the rational mind has hit a hard rock, and could go no further towards uncovering the secret of the earth.

Light Reading

By Gareth Evans

One of the enduring mysteries of cinema is how a medium so inherently pre-disposed to the metaphysical; dealing as it does in the telling of light and shadow has become all too often hijacked by the most prosaic and earthbound of rationales.

Channel Hopping

By Simon Cropper

A few basic principles to begin with. This column won’t spend much time on the technical aspects of discs it mentions, partly because I’d rather use the space to mention as many worthy titles as I can...

Second Run, First class

By Kieron Corless

The rapidly evolving DVD market is transforming the landscape of cinephilia. Films you’d thought you’d never see again, films you’d only heard of but never had the chance to see – these and many others are being released by specialist niche companies such as London-based Second Run...


By Jan Svankmajer

Remember there is only one form of ‘poetry’. The opposite of poetry is professional expertise. Before you start making a film, write a poem, paint a picture, create a collage, write a novel, essay etc.

Still Life Still

By Tereza Stehlíková

Without or almost without motion or sound or both…In painting, representation of inanimate things; deep silence…In painting, representation of inanimate things; deep silence…An ordinary photograph, as distinct from a motion picture… Grow calm…

At first we cannot see

At first we cannot see beyond the path that leads downward to dark and hateful things...

Volume 3 – Issue 1 – Spring 2006

This issue is dedicated to T, all life and light in a dark time…

The year’s doors open like those of language
towards the unknown. Last night you told me:
tomorrow we shall have to think up signs,
sketch a landscape, fabricate a plan on the
double page of day and paper…
Octavio Paz

Managing Editor: Holly Aylett
Editor: Gareth Evans
Publication Manager: Nancy Harrison
Online Editor: Metin Alsanjak
Original Website and Technical Manager: Chris Lane
Marketing Co-ordinator: Peter Fraser
Editorial Assistant: Pepe Baena
Events Producer: Di Robson
Intern: Michael Bridgeman

Editorial Board: Holly Aylett, Emilie Bickerton, George Clark, Michael Chanan, Gareth Evans, Gaylene Gould, James Leahy, Thessa Mooij, Hannah Patterson, Julian Petley.

Advisory Network: John Akomfrah, Asu Aksoy, Yossi Bal, Gill Branston, Robert Chilcott, Kieron Corless, Don Coutts, David Curtis, Margaret Dickenson, Catherine Elwes, Alan Fountain, Catherine Fowler,, Lina Gopaul, Keith Griffiths, Sylvia Harvey, Judith Higginbottom, Asif Kapadia, Ruth Lingford, Sarah McCarthy, Martin McLoone, Robin Macpherson, Kevin Rockett, Keith Shiri, Sarah Turner.

Original Print Design: Nenad Bogokevic, Thinkfarm (www.thinkfarm.co.uk)

Printed By: Alderson Brothers Printers Ltd.

With Special Thanks to: Yoram Allon, Griselda Bear, Manuela Cara, Sylvia Stevens, Natalie Brady, Kate Forde, Peter Hever, Peter Day, Margaret Dickinson, Matt Hamilton, Steve Lewis, Cary Sawhney, Gaylene Gould, Ben Cook, Mike Sperlinger, Mathieu Ravier, Mark Norton, Mike Warry, Raj Sagoo, Stephen Izatt, Barry Hale, Janet Garland, Tina Macfarling, Chris Chandler, Peter Chappall, Mark Chilver, Sasha Simic, Nicky Spice, Matt Watkins, Carole Tongue, Verena von Stackelberg, Sarah Wood, Thomas Ponsonby (Jerwood), Gautham Ravindran, Julian Plante, Natacha Antolini, Suzy Gilett, Don DeLillo, Lois Wallace, Cressida Connolly, Jean-Michel Frodon and Artificial Eye.

Original Print Edition published with financial assistance from: Art Council England; UK Film Council; Jerwood