Volume 3 | Issue 3 | Autumn 2006


Volume 3 - Issue 3 - Editorial

By Holly Aylett

All stories begin with a place. Or rather, the telling of the stories (is there a difference?) begins, whether spoken or not, with this place. Once upon a time… As if time was first a hill from which the landscape of the story might be viewed, and from which its topography conveyed to the story’s listeners. And from such a point, with the wind’s message and high light in mind, just as the story surrounds the hill, so the time of the story, its moments, lie also like fields, pastures; its past, present and future exist for the teller as one. They are all seen, heard and held (that is not to say they are all known by the teller, but she knows them to be present). This is implicitly understood by the audience, who volunteer themselves to be led by the teller and, in doing so, both become and change the story. They are all now. In French this is maintenant, hand holding.
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A Letter to a Boy from his Mother

By Tilda Swinton

Boy, my darling, You asked me the other day, just as you were dropping off, what people’s dreams were like before the cinema was invented. You who talk blabberish and chase rabbits in your sleep, hurrumphing like a dog... you who never watch television...I’ve been thinking of your question ever since.

Seeing in the Dark

By Robert Chilcott | Gareth Evans

“In a dark time the eye begins to see…” The words are poet Theodore Roethke’s but could almost serve as the distilled imperative of the singular cinema of Germany’s Fred Kelemen.

Stalking the Stalker

By James Norton

Andrei Tarkovsky died twenty years ago, in December 1986, leaving a body of work richer in its understanding of the soul and the mysteries of creation than any recent artist, a cinema of elemental beauty and the fierce struggles of belief.

Marco Ferreri

By Bruno Di Marino | Maurizio Grande | Enzo Ungari | Stefania Parigi

Marco Ferreri’s films, strongly influenced by Buñuel via the screenwriter Rafael Azcona, are characterised by a mix of realism and a surreal sense of humour.

Pier Paolo Pasolini

By John Berger

If I say he was like an angel, I can’t imagine anything more stupid being said about him. An angel painted by Coso Tura? No. There’s a St. George by Tura which is his speaking likeness! He abhorred official saints and beatific angels. So why say it?

Ratcatcher / House of Mirth

By Sophie Mayer | Lady Vervaine

Lost in Glasgow, looking for canals and staircases. Ways out & into a city that has hosted so many film shoots that Scottish Screen have a guidebook. It gets us more lost, looking for the film, not the location.

Hell at the Ocean's Edge

By Vaughan Pilikian

Vaughan Pilikian and Justin Meiland’s film about the shipbreaking yards of India, Hammer and Flame, was made in 2005 for Screen South and the UK Film Council.

Norfolk Broadside

By Adam Pugh

There are two words which I find have begun to grate over the past year or so; perfectly serviceable words in their own right but which give me a sinking feeling when used in the context of a film festival. They are ‘industry’ and ‘technique’.

Nik Houghton 1955 - 2006

By Michael Mazière

With Nik Houghton’s untimely death in April, film and video art has lost one of its most original and prolific voices. Houghton was a gifted writer whose reviews and essays throughout the 1980s and ’90s chronicle the rise of video art and its move toward the mainstream.

Vertigo and RePossessed

By Nick Haeffner

Surely, every film student knows by now that Hitchcock had every shot in his head before he filmed it. It is common knowledge that he obsessively storyboarded his movies, down to the last frame.

Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves

By Jason Wood

Sisters in Law, the latest film from internationally acclaimed filmmaker Kim Longinotto (Divorce Iranian Style, Dream Girls) is an uplifting and enlightening slice of life, focusing on justice in the Muslim town of Kumba, Cameroon.

Hideyhole and the Innersanctum

By Andrew Kötting

Maps are useful
They tell you where you are and help with plotting the journey.
Where are you?


By Gareth Evans

“Daydreamers are knowledgeable about thousands of things which are hidden from those who only dream while sleeping.” – Wols

Death Cultures, the Occupied Territories and Film

By Avi Mograbi

Avenge but One of My Two Eyes started in the beginning of 2002. There was a wave of suicide bombers inside Israel, Palestinian suicide bombers, and there was an international discussion following September 11th about the death culture of Islam.

Peak Experience

By Graham Coleman

Tibet: a Buddhist Trilogy was first released in 1979. One of the most remarkable documentaries made about the place, in all senses, of belief within an individual, a community and a people, it is now available on DVD.

Cinema Of Prayōga: Indian Experimental Film & Video 1913-2006

By Tanya Singh

Launched at Tate Modern, Cinema of Prayōga is a UK tour of historical and contemporary Indian experimental film and video organised by artist film and video lab ‘no.w.here’.

Filming in Russia

By Hannah Collins

Two years ago I showed La Mina, a film made with the gypsies of la Mina, a marginal barrio of Barcelona, at Rotterdam Film Festival. At the festival I met a Russian Romani, writer Edouard Chiline, who was responsible for a programme of Romani cinema at the festival.

Notes on the New

By Maysoon Pachachi

The Independent Film & Television College is the first of its kind in Iraq. It was set up in Baghdad in 2004 and provides free-of-charge intensive short courses in film and television technique, theory and production.

If you Go Down to the Shops Today...

By James Norton

JG Ballard’s latest novel Kingdom Come brings his narrative obsessions back closer to home than in any of his recent fiction. The book’s theme is the potential for consumerism to mutate into fascism, and is perhaps his most explicitly political work.

Site Specific: Spain

By Metin Alsanjak

When considering Spanish cinema, most foreign cinema enthusiasts would think of Almódovar, Enrice, Amenábar, Medem, and the great Luis Buñuel.

Till the Cows Come Home...

By Nick May

The Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001 was particularly devastating to the proud and traditional stock rearing areas of Cumbria. Here, at least one and a half million animals were slaughtered, more than half of which were healthy – due to exclusively slaughter based policies adopted.

Nokia-isation of Scottish Film Policy

By Mark Cousins

On November 20th 2003, the First Minister made a key speech to address what many felt was a culture gap in the ruling New-Labour–Liberal Democrat coalition’s policy portfolio.

The Return of Robert Nelson

By George Clark

The Californian filmmaker Robert Nelson (1930- ) has been troublingly busy in recent years. It has been nearly a decade since this underground pioneer and co-founding of Canyon Cinema (along with Bruce Connor and Larry Jordan among others) has had work in circulation.

Seasons Past: The Films of Michael J. Ham

By William Fowler

At the time of writing, the only canon Michael Ham’s intriguing films belong to is one of the geographic; the East Anglian Film Archive is looking after them. Their video of his last, Her Village Summer (1966), is introduced with an interview with the father of the deceased Michael Ham...

Forgotten Cities

By Stephen Barber

As we waited for the greatest intensity of darkness to occur, at 3am in the morning, in order to project the contents of the third of the ten rusted film-cans onto the cracked surface of the disused digital-image screen, the projectionist boy and I watched as a scattering of lost souls...

Something in the Interval

By Marina Vishmidt

In The Brain Is the Screen, Gregory Flaxman proposes a Bergsonian ontology of the image to trouble habitual divides between matter and perception: “There cannot be a difference in kind but only a difference in degree”.

Ann Course and Paul Clark Tell us What they Like and Why…

By Ann Course | Paul Clark

The film Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor has residing resonance for Paul and me. Her: “What a dump”. His: Burgin joke. Did they ever really make a golden haired boy together?

Dmitri Shostakovich and the Free Space of Music

By John Riley

The most important syllable of the word ‘independent’ is the first, signifying freedom from constraint – political, social, economic or other, making it a counterblast to controlling situations. For film-makers the most controlling may have been Stalin’s Soviet Union where permissions were needed at every stage...

A Filmosophy of the Dardennes

By Daniel Frampton

The Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have bled their documentary foundations into a mesmerically pure fiction style. Their films absorb us in a recognisable world, that nevertheless shows us ordinary things in a new way, makes us look again at what we thought we understood.

Fading of the Light: Sven Nykvist Remembered

By James Norton

Arguments as to who was the world’s greatest cinematographer never really had much of a chance before September 20 when the light finally faded from Sven Nykvist’s incomparable vision.

Escape to the Cinema [And Reconnect with Reality]

By Amy Hardie

In Vertigo three years ago I described an untapped audience for documentaries, and why documentaries deserved to be in a public place. Docspace grew out of that brash assertion, and documentaries have bigger audiences than ever before.

Singapore Sings

By Ben Slater

On the morning of 30th of March 2005 I walked through my flat in Singapore with a mug of instant coffee, sat down, attached a tiny contact mic to my telephone receiver and dialled a number in New York. Moments later I was asked politely if I could hold for a few minutes, the voice, smooth and mellow, was incredibly familiar.

Here and Elsewhere

By George Clark

Radical Closure looked at work that relates to or emerged from “situations of closure resulting from wars and/or political territorial conflicts.” Assembled by Lebanese artist and curator Akram Zaatari’s thematic programme at the 52nd International Short Film Festival...


By David Rudkin

Dreyer is one of a handful of 20th century giants, among all artists of any art. But he is no gentle giant. In transforming the boulevard actress Falconetti into the martyred Joan of Arc, he treated her with a directorial severity that has become legendary...

Viva Mexico!

By David Jenkins

With a major season just finished at London’s National Film Theatre and new films from Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu in the pipeline, Mexican cinema is currently riding a huge wave of both domestic and international appreciation.

Hello Fruitfulness

By Simon Cropper

Noticed the evenings drawing in? We’re now, according to the sky-watchers at Masters of Cinema, into the ‘golden autumn of the DVD format’. The Masters’ interpretation of the signs is offered merely as a passing remark...

Ivan Passer's Intimate Lighting

By Graeme Hobbs | Mehelli Modi

It is appropriate to think of Intimate Lighting as the memory of a visit. Conversations cut across each other, children disrupt mealtimes and a meeting between two old colleagues has to take place among the confusion of preparations and events of the day.

Nineteen Hopes for an Activist Cinema

By Jem Cohen

1. That it tells me something I don’t know and questions as much as it answers.
2. That it holds a mirror to the broken world.

House without a Door

By Bernd Behr

House Without a Door enters a replica Berlin housing tract, built by the U.S. Army in 1943 in the Utah desert. Designed by émigré architects Erich Mendelsohn and Konrad Wachsmann, and furnished by the Authenticity Department of Hollywood studio RKO Radio Pictures, this “German Village” was used to test and develop incendiary bombs...

Godard as God?

By Emilie Bickerton

It’s hard to keep your concentration for long at the new installation in Beaubourg from Jean-Luc Godard. Even his chosen title encourages your thoughts to splinter off into various directions as you imagine what it might involve: Voyage(s) en utopie: JLG, 1946-2006. À la recherché d’un théorème perdu.

From a Letter to Professor Oftinger

By Jung

Noise is welcome because it drowns the inner instinctive warning. Fear seeks noisy company and pandemonium to scare away the demons.

Volume 3 – Issue 3 – Autumn 2006

This issue is dedicated to Eugène Green, for his unique sense of place and purpose.

I look not only at tongue and speech;
I look at the spirit and the inward feeling. 
I look into the heart to see whether it be lowly…

Enough of phrases and conceits and metaphors!
I want burning, burning… 

Light up a fire of love in thy soul,
burn all through and expression away!

Moses, they that know the conventions are of one sort;
They whose souls burn are of another.

Jalal al-Din Rumi

Managing Editor: Holly Aylett
Editor: Gareth Evans
Assistant Editor: Nancy Harrison
Online Editor: Metin Alsanjak
Original Website: Chris Lane
Marketing Manager: Peter Fraser
Publication Manager: Nancy Harrison
Student Network: Pepe Baena and Daniel Gonzalez Cabrero
Special Projects: Will Hui and Adam Jones
DVD Editor: Simon Cropper

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

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

Original Print Design: Tomasz Zarebski, www.zarebski.co.uk

Printed by: Alderson Brothers Printers Ltd.

With Special Thanks to: Yoraam Allon, Natalie Bear, Nenad Bogojevic, Natalie Brady, Chris Chandler (UK Film Council), Peter Chappall, Curzon Cinemas, Jean Michel Frodon, Pinky Ghundale, Helen Idle, Rob Kenny, Joan Leese, Steve Lewis (Artificial Eye), Tina McFarling, Mehelli Modi, Mark Norton, Kalina Owczarek, Julien Plante, Thomas Ponsonby (The Jerwood Charity), Gautham Ravindran, Michelle Scolari (Arts Council of England), Sylvia Stevens, Andy Townsend and Verena Von Stackleberg.

Original Print Edition published with financial assistance from: Arts Council England; UK Film Council - Lottery Funded; Jerwood: Charitable Foundation