Posts Tagged ‘ica’

This week’s highlights:

  • Until 3rd January @ ICA: Chasing Ice

Jeff Orlowski’s 2012 documentary gives a visual narrative to the work of James Balog, once-climate sceptic and founder of the Extreme Ice Survey in 2007. If the shots below aren’t enticing enough in themselves, Philip French from The Observer calls them “sensational in their beauty, terror and the irrefutable evidence they provide of the rapidity with which age-old ice packs are melting away.” Book tickets here for the ICA or visit the Chasing Ice website for a full list of screenings between December and April throughout the UK.

  • 17th-20th December @ Curzon Renoir: Dead Europe

This Tony Krawitz (The Tall Man, Jewboy) adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’ novel is not likely to get you in the Christmas spirit. However if what you’re after is “a bruising blast of intense drama” (Sydney Morning Herald) you’re likely to be enthralled by the story of Isaac (Ewen Leslie), an Australian photographer who travels to Greece to scatter his father’s ashes only to get caught in a political and preternatural inferno. Trailer and tickets available here.

  • 17th-20th December @ Curzon Mayfair: Babette’s Feast

Much more festive than the above, Gabriel Axel’s 1987 adaptation of Karen Blixen’s timeless classic will be a welcome Christmas treat to anyone for whom the holidays are first and foremost about culinary feasts. Book your tickets here.

Coming up:

  • 26th January @ DFG: A Short Guide to Short Docs – Saturday School

The folks at the Documentary Filmmakers Group share their passion and expertise during this one-day course, teaching you how to pitch your film and the “why, what, where and how” of what a successful “calling card” of a short doc should include. Price is £54 for non-members and £42 for members. Early booking is recommended.

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“War is partly madness, mostly insanity, and the rest of it is schizophrenia.”
– Don McCullin
 
McCullin
                                         Don McCullin, Grieving woman with young boy, Cyprus 1964
 

There were a variety of reasons to attend this week’s screening of McCullin at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The ICA’s  preeminent reputation consistently draws in distinguished panels, in this case McCullin director Jacqui Smith and world-renowned photographer Rankin.

The film’s protagonist, Don McCullin, is hailed as one of the greatest war photographers of all time and the first photojournalist to ever be awarded a CBE – yet the subject’s credentials are only of secondary importance to the subject matter of this (undoubtedly soon to be award-winning) documentary.

For all the discomfort triggered by these photographs and their brutally vivid portrayal of humanity, the narrated montage delivers on the promise made by the beautiful and haunting opening credits: this is a film that will stay with you for a long time.

From his first time as war correspondent in 1964 Cyprus through to ravaged Vietnam and the Congo, via the Troubles and the fall of the Berlin Wall, McCullin has captured many moments that were to become seminal emblems of their time.

The exceptional editing skills of Andy McGraw and David Fairhead manage to tie together the abrupt rhythm of depicted events in a mellifluous fashion, and take us through history via McCullin’s own extraordinary history of being in the right place at the right time – an esoteric trick of the trade intrinsic to good photojournalism.

McCullin however never abuses this power: a video clip of his work in deprived areas of Britain (he himself was born in Finsbury Park in 1935) shows him tip-toeing around a man, making sure he’s not “bullying” him in any way before he snaps his photograph.

Throughout his career McCullin has shown the same sensitivity to the plight of the inner-city poor as to the victims of conflict and the soldiers ordered to carry it out. Representing atrocity is clearly as difficult a calling to him as it is one of tremendous importance.

His own on-camera musings, alongside an interview with Harold Evans (editor of the Sunday Times while McCullin worked for the broadsheet’s magazine), bear witness to this internal struggle and offer a first-hand account of war reporting amongst differently-minded peers and a changing landscape in journalism.

McCullin doesn’t come across as a comment on journalistic ethics, but if it were, McCullin’s own conclusion is that it is better to choose to be “on the side of humanity”.

The passion of the protagonist is reflected in the passion of the filmmakers. The incredible archive research – which took an entire year for only three days of shooting – results in a treasure trove of difficult-to-find photographs all available in the same place (for those photographs that didn’t make the final cut, they will be available on DVD upon its release in February 2013).

Such commitment may rightly be the product of McCullin’s own incredible dedication (which apparently outstripped his technical skills: he “couldn’t light his way out of a paper bag” according to Jacqui Smith) and his quest to “delegitimise war”, as described by Harold Evans.

Whatever the motivation the end result is the same: Rankin thinks McCullin is “the most anti-war film ever made” and his claim certainly holds weight. “I think we’re drawn to war as artists or communicators”, he says. “People forget that about photography: you need that element of humanity and empathy.”

It is perhaps lucky that the film was ever made at all, both on account of McCullin’s self-effaced privacy and his recent coming out of retirement to cover the conflict in Syria. All the more reason to watch it in cinemas while you can.
 

For news about ICA screenings and events visit their website. You can also follow @McCullin_Film on Twitter. 

This week’s highlights:

  • 20th April – 3rd May: Palestine Film Festival 2012

See below for details of particular screenings and events.

  • 25th April @ Barbican: Promised Lands + The Beautiful Language (introduction by Ella Shohat)

A unique opportunity to view Susan Sontag’s 1974 post-Yom Kippur War documentary, alongside Mounir Fatmi’s visually groundbreaking The Beautiful Lanugage. Film scholar Ella Shohat will be presenting both films; catch her the following day discussing her book Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation. Tickets and information for both events which are part of the Palestine Film Festival 2012 are available here.

  • until 27th April @ ICA: Blank City

Fans of Jim Jarmusch, Nick Zedd and Gaspar Noe’s work, grab a ticket for one of the last few screenings of Celine Danhier’s 2011 documentary.  If you’re familiar with the No Wave movement, and more particularly if you’re not, this is a must-see.

  • 28th April @ Parsons Green: Film Fugitive Presents: Rear Window

If you’re not quite sure how an angel of the big screen (Grace Kelly), an unholy treatment of a terrifying subject (by Alfred Hitchcock), and painted glass and a pew (in St Dionis, Parsons Green) all fit together, why not find out for yourself? One of four pop-up cinema screenings by Film Fugitive for the Pull Up A Hitchcock Pew series.

For full programme and listings:

2012 London Palestine Film Festival

Coming up:

  • 2nd May @ ICA: BAFTA Masterclass: Cinematography with David Katznelson

 

This week’s highlights:

  • 12th – 15th April @ Prince Charles Cinema: Terracotta Far East Film Festival

The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is playing host to Terracotta’s third annual film festival. Lovers of extreme cinema and aesthetic perfection, check out this year’s full listing.

  • 12th – 15th April @ East London: Fringe!

Fringe! returns to various venues across East London for a second year running. The Gay Film Fest 2012 offers a more alternative selection than its BFI counterpart with innovative, outrageous and talented filmmakers showcasing films you’ll be sure to remember! Check out the full listing.

  • 12th April @ ICA: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised + Q&A

10 years after the coup which removed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from office, executive producer Rod Stoneman joins the ICA to discuss Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain’s 2003 celebrated documentary in the present political context. Tickets available here.

  • 12th April @ Curzon Soho: This Is Not A Film + Panel Discussion

In what is surely one of the most important films of the year in the ongoing struggle of filmmakers’ right to freedom and freedom of expression in certain parts of the world, Jafar Panahi turns the camera on himself while under house arrest in Tehran in 2011. Get your tickets here. This is unmissable.

  • 14th April @ Rich Mix Shoreditch: Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years

Screened as part of Fringe! this exceptional documentary about an exceptional woman, poet, activist, addresses issues of racism and sexuality – but most importantly celebrates life and its diversity. Tickets available here.

For full programmes and details:
Fringe Film Fest 2012
Terracotta Far East Film Festival

Coming up:

  • 19th April @ Hackney Picturehouse: Empire of Dust (Bram Van Paesschen, 2011)
  • 2nd-6th May @ Rich Mix Shoreditch: Best of British

 

This week’s highlights:

  • 3rd – 12th April @ Curzon Mayfair: Bill Cunningham New York (Richard Press, 2010)

Fans of fashion, The Great Gatsby, and quirky documentaries will enjoy this curious outlook on New York life spanning four decades. Showing all week at Curzon Mayfair.

  • 3rd – 12th April @ Curzon Cinemas: Trishna

Michael Minterbottom’s latest film characteristically delivers beautifully haunting images of a classic story of love and betrayal. If you’re no great fan of Tess of the d’Ubervilles, maybe the superb Rajasthan scenery will change your mind. Trailer and tickets available here.

  • 5th April @ ICA: The Cabin In The Woods

The Ultra Culture Cinema series at the Institute of Contemporary Arts presents a special preview of Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s 2011 horror comedy that will appeal to both fans and critics of horror and its latest cinematic manifestations. Click for trailer and tickets.

  • 8th April on Channel 4: 21 Grams (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2003)

For anyone who hasn’t yet seen this masterpiece, this is the perfect opportunity to watch Benicio Del Toro deliver a performance only nearly (but not quite) equalled by the superb Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Tune in at 1AM on Sunday 8th. Warning: this film will stay with you for a long time.

Coming up:

  • 20th April – 19th May: “Pull up a ‘Hitchcock’ Pew” with Film Fugitive