Volume 3 | Issue 8 | Winter 2008


Volume 3 - Issue 8 - What Is to Be Done: The Ways we Live Now

By Gareth Evans

So we come to the threshold of the years and, even if we don’t feel a particular attachment to the imposed, unanchored calendar of dates and grids, it’s hard not to make assessments, to consider the perennial questions raised by Paul Gauguin’s famous painting of 1897, ‘Where Have We Come From, What Are We? Where Are We Going?’ To these, in an age of vanishing seasonal differences, of endemic conflict, of systemic abuses and failing machineries, we might add, What Is To Be Done?
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Without a Mask: Liv Ullmann in Conversation

By Jone Karres Azurmendi

Ingmar Bergman's muse, collaborator and lover, Liv Ullmann became the emblem of arthouse cinema throughout the 1960s and ’70s. In recent years she has moved behind the camera, directing two of Bergman´s scripts, the drama Faithless and in 2003 Saraband, Bergman’s final telemovie.

Just Do It

By James Merchant

Over the past ten years barriers of access and control of entertainment have been broken down by the likes of YouTube and MySpace. Low-budget works now not only have varied outlets for exhibition but are also becoming increasingly recognised by the cultural establishment.

Berlin, Spain

By Jone Karres Azurmendi

Lou Reed recorded the album Berlin in 1973. It was a commercial failure. Over the next 33 years, he never played from the album live. Then, for five nights in December 2006, at St. Ann's Warehouse Brooklyn, he finally performed his masterwork about love's dark sisters; jealousy, rage and loss.

Disreputable Behaviour: The Hidden Politics of the Thai Film Act

By May Adadol Ingawanij

One of the consequences of the royalist coup that ousted the tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand in September 2006 was the surge of ‘silent’ anger against what quickly came to be seen as an outrageous act of power grabbing for the benefit of the military...

The Last Words of Antonin Artaud

By Stephen Barber

At the very end of his life, in 1946-8, the legendary French Surrealist film-theorist and director Antonin Artaud created a sequence of 406 notebooks, the pages relentlessly damaged by knife-wounds and cigarette-burns, and incorporating elements of image and text in hostile interaction.

Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves

By Rachel Millward

The Birds Eye View Film Festival, now in its fourth year, is a celebration of international women filmmakers. Birds Eye View was originally launched back in 2002, with a programme of short films by emerging women filmmakers.

An Infinite Amount of Choices: Wim Wenders and a Life Inside Cinema

By Jason Wood

Almost 40 years on since his professional debut, German film-makers Wim Wenders continues to use images as a means of evaluating and processing experience and of understanding our place in the world.

Tributaries of Surprise

By Nigel Morris

Few filmgoers would acknowledge similarities between Steven Spielberg’s blockbusters and Ingmar Bergman’s brooding art films. What could be further from the Swedish master’s obsession with death and longing than the southern Californian suburban consciousness underlying Spielberg...

Interior: Night

By The Brothers Quay

The 1921 Swedish silent film classic The Phantom Carriage, directed by Victor Sjöström, is handsomely presented now on dvd with a powerfully evocative new film score by KTL, the sonic collaboration between Stephen O'Malley and Peter Rehberg.

To See, If Only Once: Eurydice - She, So Beloved…

By James Rose

The Quay BrothersEurydice - She, So Belovedis a new work commissioned to mark the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi’s Orfeo – the first opera ever produced. This tragic narrative tells of Orfeo gaining entry into the Underworld in an effort to bring his wife, Eurydice, back to the land of the living.

Anthanasian, Under the Magic Lantern

By Fernando Birri

To the ‘Birth Act’ of EICTV – read on the twilight of the 15th of December 1986 in the presence of Fidel Castro, to all the film colleagues of the Fundacion del Nuevo Cine Latino Americano...

The History that Keeps Coming Back

By Antoine de Baecque

Heartbeat Detector (La Question humaine) is a radical and unsettling new French feature that explores the current political, economic and social landscape at a level way beyond the tired analyses of majority commentary.

Filmosophy: Re-imagining the Moving Image

By Tereza Hadravova

The eloquent Filmosophy by Daniel Frampton aspires to become, as one learns from its subtitle – a manifesto for a radically new way of understanding cinema. Speaking of understanding, Frampton refers both to its theoretical and practical sense.

Andrei's Childhood

By James Norton

You don’t expect to find Andrei Tarkovsky in a hotel lobby off Oxford Street and yet, here he is, youthful and elegantly attired... “I talked to Andriushka today in Moscow. He is 1m 68 now – exactly the same height as I am!” the film-maker wrote in his diary.

The Sins of the Father: Andrei Zvyagintsev in Conversation

By James Norton

Andrei Zvyagintsev’s feature debut The Return was widely acclaimed in 2003 as the greatest Russian film of the past few years. His follow up, The Banishment, is a metaphysical film noir... 

Re-store, Re-mix, Re-play: Moving Image Culture in the Digital Era

By Julia Knight

The way we access and consume moving image work is changing. That’s not to say that we don’t still go to the cinema or rent a film for home viewing, but rather that we now have access to a far greater amount of material.


By Nicola Woodham

If you can hear the sound of cracking that may be several noses being put out of joint in contemporary film circles due to Duncan Reekie’s new book for Wallflower Press, Subversion, The Definitive History of Underground Cinema. But that’s nothing new.

Chaos Theories

By Mar Diestro-Dopido

Spanish film-maker Julio Médem’s highly charged, now instantly recognisable cinematic universe began taking shape back in 1992. That year saw the release of his debut feature film, the historical epic Vacas (Cows) which, although thematically rooted deep in Basque ancestral identity...

Hard Currencies

By Robert Chilcott

In Romanian film-maker Cristian Mingiu’s Cannes Palme d’Or winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a young student helps her roommate organise an abortion in the final days of the Soviet bloc.

Fires Were Started

By Jerry White

There is a lot of concern these days, and with good reason, about the cost of seeing on video work which was shot on film and meant to be projected. That much is lost in this particular translation – size of the image, sharpness, intensity of colour, etc. – practically goes without saying.

Truth 24 Times a Second: DocLisboa 2007

By James Norton

Documentary has rarely had as high a profile as it does at the present moment. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth has just won him the Nobel Peace Prize.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or Stalker

By Daniel Stuyck

Cross-media synergy is a recent addition to the ever-growing English dialect of capital jargon, alongside gems like ‘brand architecture’, ‘social media’ or ‘image messaging and promise’. And perhaps the field where this new dialect is most prevalent is in ‘interactive media’...

The Image and the Witness: Trauma, Memory and Visual Culture

By Frances Guerin | Roger Hallas

The Image and the Witness: Trauma, Memory and Visual Culture is a timely interdisciplinary collection of original essays concerning the ethical stakes of the image in our visually-saturated age. It explores the role of the material image in bearing witness to historical events...

Mondo Jodo: Anarchy and Alchemy: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky

By Ben Cobb

Alejandro Jodorowsky remains one of cinema’s most controversial and influential filmmakers. Until recently, though, he was also one of its best-kept secrets.

A Winter’s Tale

By Graeme Hobbs

It’s Winter begins with one man’s look that sends another on his way to unpaid uncertainty and sets the film’s events in motion. It is a look that understands the hardship that will follow, accepts the regret and the sorrow, and knows there is no other way forward.

From Tangiers to Tehran: Cinema, Women and the Middle East

By James Neil

Given that the Middle East has largely been offered in Western cinema as a landscape that excites and terrifies, our engagement with the territory is both limited and frequently disinterested.

Kinoteka: Notes Towards London’s Sixth Polish Film Festival

By Nancy Harrison

Begun in 2003, a year prior to Poland’s arrival in the expanded EU, the Polish Film Festival was initially conceived as a showcase for the young Polish filmmakers that were beginning to emerge from the wreckage of Poland’s earlier film industry.

Pécs: New Waves from the East

By Steven Yates

In the southern Hungarian city of Pécs the local film festival completed its third programme of East European Films last October under the banner “Moveast”; the name inspired by a 1990s periodical from the Hungarian National Film Archive...

Screaming Queens

By Gareth Buckell

Revolutionary movements prize history above all else. Their narratives are constructed carefully: the most powerful interests determine key battles and individuals, intending to maintain their prominence by emphasising their radical commitment from the outset into – implicitly – the future...

Germany in Autumn

By Pepe Petos

There’s something fresh and new coming out of Germany, something that has actually lasted 56 years: the Internationales Filmfestival of Mannheim-Heidelberg, a festival dedicated to Auteur cinema with a special support for newcomers.

Fort William: Remote Digital Enlightenment

By Norrie Maclaren

The weather today is one of those classic West Coast deluges, less frequent now the Highland mist –an effect of Global Warming? I’m trying to get to grips with the M&E requirements; the current picture width (1.85 ratio) of 3,655mm if increased will have an impact on the sightlines and reduce the bottom picture line...

Underground, Overground: OMSK and tank: Stories of our Times

By Philip Ilson

Hot on the heels of Subversion, the Wallflower Press book on underground cinema by Exploding Cinema co-founder Duncan Reekie, comes another volume with its roots in the mid ’90s alternative film scene in London.

Genteel, Accessible, Revolutionary

By Roger Luckhurst

In 2006, the filmmaker Patrick Keiller was commissioned to produce an installation at Le Fresnoy in Lille. He used 30 screens to reproduce in virtual form the concourse of the old Victoria Terminus in Bombay, a Gothic edifice (see Vertigo vol 3, no.6, Summer 2007).

High Hopes

By Jon Sanders

The idea for Low Tide came about out of the frustration my partner, Anna Mottram and I were experiencing trying to get our next film project off the ground – our first feature film Painted Angels, released in the UK by Artificial Eye in 2000, about the lives of prostitutes in the American West...

The Belgrade Manifesto 2007

By Jon Sanders | Nora Hoppe

There is a crisis in cinema today, a deep malaise, a feeling of artistic exhaustion, of pointlessness. The evolution of cinematic language that is so vital to the continued well-being and relevance of the medium has pretty much come to a standstill.

On Being Paulette

By Dai Vaughan

The death is that of Paulette’s parents, killed when their refugee column is strafed by Nazi aircraft. Paulette, who is little more than a toddler, displays only a disinterested curiosity towards her parents’ immobility - though she seems at least to understand that they will not walk again.

Cultural Policy Moves Centre Stage

By Holly Aylett

On November 30th 2007, the UK Government finally ratified the UNESCO Convention for Diversity of Cultural Expressions. It has joined 75 signatory states who jointly represent over half the world’s population.

Roots and Shoots

By Jerry White

For an unreconstructed auteurist such as myself, few figures in contemporary American cinema are as vexing as Gus Van Sant. How can the filmmaker who crafted My Own Private Idaho also have made Finding Forrester (or, for that matter, Good Will Hunting)?

No-one’s Not from Everywhere

By Nick Stewart

Nick Stewart has exhibited video and video installation pieces internationally since 1991. More recent text based work derived from consideration of his Irish background and extensive research into TV news archives of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Swifts Turn in the Heights of the Air

By Philippe Jaccottet

Swifts turn in the heights of the air;
higher still turn the invisible stars.
When day withdraws to the ends of the earth

Volume 3 – Issue 8 – Winter 2008

This issue is dedicated to Brian Haw, activist against conflict and for justice, Parliament Square, London (www.parliament-square.org.uk).

“Re-examine all you have been told.,
Dismiss what insults your soul.”
Walt Whitman

Managing Editor: Holly Aylett
Editor: Gareth Evans
Assistant Editor: Nancy Harrison
Website: Chris Lane
Marketing Manager: Peter Fraser
Publication Manager: Nancy Harrison
Online Editor: Robert Chilcott
Newsletter: Louise Hurtel

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

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, Kevin Rockett, Keith Shiri, Sarah Turner.

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

Printed by: Cambrian Printers Ltd.

With Special Thanks to: Yoram Allon, Bad Idea Magazine, Tom Bell, Sarah Bemand, Natalie Brady, Peter Chappell, Curzon Cinemas, Steven Eastwood (OMSK), John Gianvito, Antonia Hazelrigg (UKFC), Ed Husayko (Facets), Steve Lewis (Artificial Eye), Julie Lomax (ACE), Tona McFarling, Rachel Millward (BEV), Mehelli Modi (Second Run), Onagono, Alice O’Reilly (tank. tv), Gautham Ravindran, Jill Reading (BFI), Paul Smith (Tartan Video), Sylvia Stevens, Verena Von Stackelberg, Anya Stonelake.

Original Print Edition published with financial assistance from: Arts Council England, UK Film Council