Decasia by Bill Morrison. Music by Michael Gordon
“Created by award-winning avant-garde director Bill Morrison, DECASIA was edited entirely from found film footage left in archives that had decayed over time. The severe emulsion deterioration reveals the film stock in its basic chemical form and the images are stripped to their most primitive emotional state. The film was shaped to Michael Gordon’s moving symphony performed by the 55-piece basel sinfonietta. The soundtrack is decaying itself: Gordon took the orchestra to musical extremes by detuning the instruments and using prepared pianos to further emphasize the powerful hallucinatory visual experience. ” text via plexifilm website
UK 81 minutes
London is neither feature film nor documentary but a provocative essay in the form of a journal, recording fictitious journeys through a very real city. Writer, director and photographer Keiller shot the film during 1992, a year which witnessed the re-election of John Major, the continuation of the IRA bombing campaign and the beginning of the ‘fall of the house of Windsor’. The narrator employed by the enigmatic and unseen Robinson, gives many wry insights into the city and its mysteries.
UK 38 minutes
A man and his gay friend Robinson, are recruited as spies. They set out on seven trips around England - to the west and east of London; Oxford and Bristol; the West Midlands; Birmingham and Liverpool; Manchester and Hull; Scarborough and Whitby; and Blackpool and Sellafield.
White Line Square - mix by Jason Coburn, July 2011.
Featuring: Higamos Hogamos, Padded Cell, The Bowling Green, Jack Dangers, Muscleheads, David Bowie, The Caretaker, Saint Etienne, Boards of Canada, The Focus Group, Chris Clark, Ametsub, The Jet Age Of Tomorrow, The Russian Futurists, Untitled
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (2011) - Ep. 2 by Adam Curtis
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (2011) - Ep. 1 by Adam Curtis
Prior to being a studio building for artists, Foundation Bad was a girls school from the 1950s until the mid 1980s. Here’s a slideshow with some choice pictures from the building’s girls school days - Thanks to Bert Krus for finding these
The Living Dead: Three Films About the Power of the Past was the second major documentary series made by British film-maker Adam Curtis. This series investigated the way that history and memory (both national and individual) have been used by politicians and others. It was transmitted on BBC Two in thespring of 1995.
On the Desperate Edge of Now (30 May 1995)
The title of this episode comes from a veteran’s description of the uncertainty of survival in combat. It examined how the various national memories of theSecond World War were effectively rewritten and manipulated in the Cold War period.
For Germany, this began at the Nuremberg Trials, where attempts were made to prevent the Nazis in the dock, principally Hermann Göring, from offering any rational argument for what they had done. Subsequently, however, bringing lower-ranking Nazis to justice was effectively forgotten about in the interests of maintaining West Germany as an ally in the Cold War.
For the Allies, faced with a new enemy in the Soviet Union, there was a need to portray World War II as a crusade of pure good against pure evil, even if this meant denying the memories of the Allied soldiers who had actually done the fighting, and knew it to have been far more ambiguous. A number of Americanveterans related how years later they found themselves plagued with the previously-suppressed memories of the brutal things they had seen and done.
You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough (6 June 1995)
The title of this episode comes from a paranoid schizophrenic seen in archive film in the programme, who believed her neighbours were using her as a source of amusement by denying her any privacy, like a goldfish in a bowl.
In this episode, the history of brainwashing and mind control was examined. The angle pursued by Curtis was the way in which psychiatry historically pursuedtabula rasa theories of the mind, initially in order to set people free from traumatic memories and then later as a potential instrument of social control. The work of Ewen Cameron was surveyed, with particular reference to the Cold War theories of communist brainwashing and the search for hypnoprogammedassassins.
This programme’s thesis was that a search for control over the past, via medical intervention, had to be abandoned and that, in modern times, control over the past is more effectively exercised by the manipulation of history. Some footage from this episode, an interview with one of Cameron’s victims, was later re-used by Curtis in The Century of the Self series.
The Attic (13 June 1995)
In this episode, the Imperial aspirations of Margaret Thatcher were examined. The way in which Mrs Thatcher used public relations in an attempt to emulateWinston Churchill in harking back to Britain’s “glorious past” to fulfil a political or national end.
The title is a reference to the attic flat at the top of 10 Downing Street, which was created during Thatcher’s period refurbishment of the house, which did away with the Prime Minister’s previous living quarters on lower floors. Scenes from the psychological horror film The Innocents (1961) (a film adaptation of Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw) are intercut with scenes from Thatcher’s reign.
Stuart Maconie on Delia Derbyshire. Broadcast 15th November 2010 on BBC1 West Midlands. New Material from 7:20
‘The World According to Ion B’ trailer
Ion Bârlădeanu is a homeless man living in a garbage-strewn alleyway in Bucharest when he is discovered by a gallerist and lands his first art show at the age of sixty-two. After decades of toiling in obscurity, amassing thousands of image clippings, Ion’s collages are now being curated and collected. An outsider turned ingénue, he goes from being a “useless piece of junk” under communism to a big success—with his own home and bicycle—within capitalism. Living under Ceausescu’s regime forced Ion to create art in the truest sense—for himself, as a means of self-expression. His scathing and provocative political collages make statements that could never have been made in Romanian society until now. Proving Hippocrates’ adage that “art is long, life is short,” filmmaker Alexander Nanau chronicles one man’s complete transformation at the end of his life, and shows how his art will outlive us all.