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Subject:

Women at the Essay Film Festival 2017

From:

"Cobb S." <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Cobb S.

Date:

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:29:52 +0000

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

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text/plain (1 lines) , women@EFF2017.doc (1 lines)

Dear WFTHN-members



The 2017 Essay Film Festival, http://www.essayfilmfestival.com/ is about to launch at the end of March. Highlights this year include a number of women filmmakers. See below and attachment for more details.



Women @ EFF 2017



“The essay film is a hybrid form that brings together elements of documentary and experimental filmmaking into a highly personal and often politically engaged mode of expression.” Now in its third year The Essay Film Festival continues to showcase the cutting-edge practice of this peripatetic form. Highlights of the 2017 festival include essay films directed by women : cinematographer and director Babette Mangolte, artist and filmmakers Zoe Beloff, and Deborah Stratmen, and journalist and film director Jocelyne Saab, as well as a curated programme by Catherine Grant and artist filmmaker Sarah Wood, which will feature her latest work. Experimental, often using the image to shed critical insight into the political, but always thought-provoking and challenging.





SESSION #3: THE CAMERA: JE, OR LA CAMÉRA: I, IN THE PRESENCE OF BABETTE MANGOLTE

Saturday 25 March 2017



Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

8:00-10:30 | Cinema 1 | [Book here]



Filmmaker Babette Mangolte will be in conversation with Laura Mulvey



The first of two programmes devoted to the essay films of the great filmmaker, cinematographer and photographer Babette Mangolte, this session focuses on the act of looking through the camera, questioning the notion of “subjectivity”, the role of the spectator, and the relation between vision and power.



The Camera: Je, or La Caméra: I is a self-portrait about the process of taking photographs. Shifting from the artist’s studio to the streets of New York and back into the workshop, the film’s rhetorical structure acts as a form of self-portraiture of the artist during the years 1976-1977. Exploring the technique of “subjective camera”, the film offers a reflection on ways of seeing, and the interpersonal and power dynamics involved in producing images.

The short film Je, Nous, I or Eye, Us is, in Mangolte’s own words, “a mini essay that replies to a question about subjectivity in the 1970s while I was making my film The Camera: Je, or La Caméra: I about taking photographs. The new film from 2014 uses footage shot at the time of The Camera: Je but never used in 1976 and 1977 and adds to the 16mm film a series of titles about a photographer’s subjectivity then and now.”



The Camera: Je, or La Caméra : I , Babette Mangolte, USA 1977, 16mm (on HD video), 89 mins
+



SESSION #4: THREE LANDSCAPE FILMS BY BABETTE MANGOLTE + FILMMAKER IN CONVERSATION

Sunday 26 March 2017



Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

2:30-6:00 | Cinema 1 | [Book here]



Filmmaker Babette Mangolte will be in conversation with Laura Mulvey and Lucy Reynolds.



This second programme devoted to the work of Babette Mangolte focuses on her trilogy of films about landscape: There? Where?, The Sky on Location and Visible Cities. These essay films are both studies of specific locations and a sustained reflection about the art of landscape cinematography.

The filmmaker describes the first film, There? Where?, as “a naive look at Southern California by an outsider, and/or an essay on displacement through the disjunction of Californian images and off screen voices. Where is the location of these voices, here or there? Are the images near or far in relation to the voices? Are the images commenting on the images or vice versa?”

Documenting seasonal changes across the American West, from Wyoming to Oregon, the second film, The Sky on Location, is an affecting meditation on untamed nature and the atmospheric effects of climate on the landscape. Weather and ambiance, the wilderness and the Sublime, Mangolte articulates the shifting ways of looking at Nature, from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries, and her keen cinematographer’s eye captures an awe and reverence for the American wilderness. The Sky on Location confronts us with a vision of the natural world, translated into a palette of ambient colour and visceral mood.

Finally, in Visible Cities, two women looking for a home in Southern California realise, in Mangolte’s words, that “the single-family home [is] the locus of the exclusion of the other. It is also unaffordable. They both feel as if they are invisible citizens. They witness how the architectural landscape imposed on the California desert appears as a reversal of nature, where exclusive living, gated communities and segregation go hand in hand. They dream of escape.”



There? Where?, Babette Mangolte, USA 1979, 16mm, 8 mins
+
The Sky on Location, Babette Mangolte, USA 1982, 16mm, 78 mins
+
Visible Cities, Babette Mangolte, USA 1991, 16mm, 31 mins



SESSION #5: ILLUSTRATED TALK BY ZOE BELOFF, INCLUDING SCREENINGS OF THREE FILMS, AND CONVERSATION WITH ESTHER LESLIE & LAURA MULVEY

Monday 27 March 2017



Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

1:30–4:30 | [Free event: Book here]



In these three recent films, A Model Family in a Model Home, Two Marxists in Hollywood, and A Glass House, Zoe Beloff returns to and resurrects the greatest exponents of dialogue between radical politics and radical aesthetics: Bertolt Brecht and Sergei Eisenstein.

The pair come together in Two Marxists in Hollywood, which tells the very different stories of their paradoxical, and ultimately unsuccessful, aspirations to collaborate with the Hollywood film industry. But, as Beloff, points out: if their utopian projects ended in failure, “what if they did not [fail], what if their ideas were merely lying in wait for us?” As she interweaves the two men’s histories, anecdotes of their Hollywood experiences, with their theoretical principles, Beloff also interweaves visually and cinematically different levels of time. The film is shot in its Hollywood ‘now’ of 2015, emphasised by the presence of DJ Rapture in the soundtrack, but the ‘interviews’ with the two characters are played out against Beloff’s exquisitely painted backdrops of Hollywood ‘then’, also juxtaposing theatricality with the actuality of the locations. These distanciation-effects are accentuated by the casting of Brecht and Eisenstein as twelve-year-old boys.

In Two Marxists in Hollywood, both Eisenstein and Brecht mention projects that were inspired by their time in the USA: Brecht describes ‘A Model Family in a Model Home’; Eisenstein describes ‘A Glass House’. Beloff’s film reconstructions of these ‘failed’ projects will also be screened as part of this special event. Both projects revolved around very different mediations of the politics of architecture, but, through Beloff’s films, they have found a dialectical relation to each other.

Two Marxists in Hollywood, Zoe Beloff, USA 2015, HD video, 26 mins, with Bryan Yoshi Brown, Ben Taylor
+
A Model Family in a Model Home, Zoe Beloff, USA 2015, HD video, 22 mins
+
A Glass House, Zoe Beloff, USA 2015, HD video, 21 mins, with Kate Valk, Jim Fletcher



SESSION #9: THE ILLINOIS PARABLES + FILMMAKER IN CONVERSATION

Tuesday 28 March 2017



Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

6:30-8:30 | Cinema 1 | [Book here]



Filmmaker Deborah Stratman will be in conversation with critic and film essayist Kevin B. Lee.



Described by the artist as “a suite of Midwestern parables that question the historical role that belief has played in ideology and national identity”, The Illinois Parables proposes a critical and timely reflection on history and the landscape. Arranged into 11 chapters, spanning migratory settlements in 600CE to European colonisation and the political struggles of the 1960s, this exemplary essay film excavates fragmentary histories and collective memories of exodus, forced displacement and natural disaster. Stratman unearths the metaphysical themes of the American sense of self, to reveal the tangled, but rearticulated histories of the dispossessed buried deeper in the layers of the Midwestern soil. “A dense weave of found and original sights and sounds, […] at once an experimental documentary, a work of historical excavation and an insistently moral ideological critique” (Manohla Dargis).



The Illinois Parables, Deborah Stratman, USA 2016, 16mm, 60 mins



SESSION #10: PERFIDIOUS ALBION, A PROGRAMME CURATED BY CATHERINE GRANT AND SARAH WOOD

Wednesday 29 March



Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

1:00–6:00 | [Book here]



What does it say about British identity that from as early as the 13th century foreign states have shared a single Anglophone slur to describe British double-dealings overseas? Perfidious Albion: the name for Britain when its government operates dishonourably, is treacherous, or betrays a promise.

The promise of British identity has been much discussed in the last twelve months. Two versions are in competition. Britain in the world, outward looking and open. Britain as an island nation, insular, self-interested, maybe closed. In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, as Britain floats off the coast of mainland Europe and dreams its future, this programme looks at how essay filmmakers have analysed the promise represented by modern Britain and estimated to what degree the country lives up to its perfidious reputation. Curated by Catherine Grant and Sarah Wood, it features two recent works by Wood, alongside works by Derek Jarman, Humphrey Jennings, Margaret Tait, Isaac Julien and the Sankofa Film and Video Collective, and Cordelia Swann.

In collaboration with the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex



SESSION #16: SCREENINGS AND DISCUSSION WITH FILMMAKER JOCELYNE SAAB

Saturday 1 April 2017



Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

1:00–6:00 | [Book here]



Filmmaker Jocelyne Saab will be in conversation with Tim Markham (Birkbeck) and Stefanie Van de Peer (Exeter)



An extraordinary opportunity to see Jocelyne Saab’s Beirut trilogy of essay films made during the civil war in Lebanon in the 1970s and 80s. Having started her professional life as essentially a television journalist, Saab turned to a more personal and essayistic mode of filmmaking as her native city and country were torn apart by civil war. These beautiful and moving films infuse their powerful documentary footage of daily life amid destruction and displacement with a poetic intensity that transcends the conflict and reaches beyond despair. After the civil war, Saab went on to make numerous films, including documentary and fiction, both in Lebanon and around the Middle East and the Arab world, and more recently she has worked in gallery settings as well as creating her own cultural festival in Beirut.

Beyrouth, jamais plus, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1976, 16mm (transferred to digital), 36 mins, English-language version
+
Lettre de Beyrouth, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1978, 16mm (transferred to digital), 52 mins, English-language version
+
Beyrouth, ma ville, Jocelyne Saab, Lebanon 1982, 16mm (transferred to digital), 52 mins, English-language version



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