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posted by: Ian on:
September 30, 2008 @ 10:24 pm
Well, three months old; ancient by internet standards. PES is a master at reappropriating familiar objects, and somehow here he manages to get you salivating over pin-cushion tomatoes, parmesan wool and post-it butter…
Plenty more to see at eatpes.com, including classics Roof Sex and Game Over. The ‘Human Skateboard’ ad is great too.
As well as launching the Pram dvd this Sunday, we have another exclusive; the very first UK showing of a new animation by Stratford-based stop-frame siblings the Brothers McLeod. Codswallop is based on a series of postcards Greg McLeod sent to his son, and it’s similar in atmosphere to their Spamland shorts. Some nice mucking about with splitscreen and stereo sound too, so we’ll have to make sure we don’t get our left and right mixed up.
Towards Tomorrow was one of our most pleasurable event experiences. No major hitches, enthusiastic and friendly audience, a great little venue, a mesmerising Pram set and lots of support from our hosts A Thing About Machines. There was a palpable sense of gratitude and excitement from Cov-ites that something like ATAM was going on in their city, so kudos to Cormac and Jenna and here’s to number 2 next year. Some bugger did steal our carefully-compiled folder of archive materials (boo) but never mind; we’ve posted a lot of it in virtual form. There are a few event photos too. And for those still wondering what this Delia character did to merit all the attention, do check out delia-derbyshire.org, or Martin Guy’s excellent “audiological chronology“. Or press play below:
One of our favourites from the new batch of Animate shorts premiered last night was Stephen Irwin’s multi-flipbook film The Black Dog’s Progress; a midnight head-twister which would need several views to make head or tail of it. It can be seen on the new 4mations site (though at a resolution that doesn’t do it any favours). This Josef Albers poem which opened Tal Rosner’s film is also a handy mantra for festival-organisers:
Some unexpected discoveries today. We’re going to have a little reading room with some material relating to Delia Derbyshire at Towards Tomorrow on Saturday. I thought it would be nice to include a picture of the house where she grew up, so drove down to Coventry after lunch and knocked on what I thought was the right door. Not only was the man who lived there a musician, and extremely accommodating, but in the process of restoring the house he had also been carefully gathering material from the attic left by the previous residents. Like Delia Derbyshire’s gas-mask for example (above right). And a pile of her old school-books. (Typing this is not making it any more real.) Now, Derbyshire has been over-mythologised in some ways, and I probably shouldn’t treat these as relics of Tutankamun. But blitzed and battered Coventry helped shape the kind of music that she ended up making, so it was something of a buzz to touch and smell and read about the world that this woman grew up in. A massive thank you to Andi for sharing this material with us; if someone else had moved in, it might well have been lost. We won’t be exhibiting any of it on Saturday but there may be a few scans and extracts, and hopefully this box of delights will be making its way to an appropriate archive soon.
A brief postscript to our Len Lye event last Saturday; we should have mentioned that a couple of Lye films will be part of the BFI touring programme ‘Love Letters and Live Wires‘, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the GPO Film Unit.
(Including the fabulous N or NW, pictured.)
A gentle nudge from Jim himself has reminded me that I was going to tell you about Dummy Jim. This is a mooted feature film by Edinburgh-based filmmaker Matt Hulse, who regular Flatpack-goers may remember from his all-enveloping Audible Picture Show and the mysterious Harrachov Exchange. The film is based on the journals of James Duthie, a profoundly deaf Scotsman who cycled to the Arctic Circle in 1951, and this snazzy online portfolio includes a wealth of gubbins relating to his tale including cine footage, thought-provoking homilies (’Never let your sorrows rise higher than your knees’) and cake recipes. There are also details on how you can contribute to the production yourself.
Tusalava is Len Lye’s first film, made over the course of two years between 1927 and 1929. It doesn’t get shown much, and it seems to have put Lye off cel animation for life; he went on to pioneering work in direct film (scratching and painting straight onto celluloid), live action, puppet animation and many other techniques, but never used this laborious approach again. The film’s ‘characters’ are amorphous blobs, inspired by the witchetty grub and its mythical role in Aboriginal society. Lye summed up its message as ‘Don’t worry, everything is just the same’.
When first screened at the London Film Society in 1929 it was presented with a piano score by regular Lye collaborator Jack Ellitt. This score has since been lost, and when we show the film again on Saturday night it will be accompanied by a new score composed and performed by jazz pianist Alcyona (above right), co-commissioned by 7inch, Ikon Gallery and the British Film Institute. I first came across Alcyona Mick (the surname has since been dropped) when I was at Birmingham filmfest and she was studying at the Conservatoire. Someone recommended her as an accompanist, and after one viewing of Man With A Movie Camera she pulled off a terrific improvised score to the film at the Electric. Now she’s based in London and getting some good reviews. Mr Lye was a massive jazz fan (”the best popular artform we’ve got”) and we hope that he’d approve.
(You can also see Tusalava with Alcyona’s score at BFI Southbank on Tuesday. Background info on the film courtesy of Roger Horrocks’ brilliant Len Lye biography, out of print but well worth hunting down.)