All entries for Friday 21 March 2008
March 21, 2008
Mobile Cinema in the UK
In these days of hyperspace and broadband internet mobile cinema still has an important place in Britain's rural communities. The concept of mobile cinema is an old one. It was used during the Soviet Revolution to help give the illiterate peasants speaking many different languages a sense of what was happening. Importantly funding is available to help out for cinema is best experienced on a big screen which it was designed for and of course an appreciative audience helps.
In 2004 the National Lottery recognised the importance of cinema as a powerful medium and decided to stimulate cinema in rural areas through the use of mobile cinema:
The Lottery fund has given £500,000 to the initiative. Successful applicants will receive up to £5,000 to spend on portable digital film equipment. (BBC Film Report)
A mobile film initiative was carried out in Wales in 2002. The project, called Wyred, was held in five venues in Monmouthshire and Powys, including village halls, pubs and cafes:
A series of short films are being shown by a mobile touring cinema at venues along the Wye Valley.
The programme of 11 films includes a number of Oscar-nominated and Bafta award-winning movies made by Welsh-based directors. (BBC Wales)
Flicks in the Sticks
Flicks in the Sticks is a mobile cinema which provides films to people in Shropshire and Herefordshire.
The company has a choice of hundreds of films which are shown in village halls in 70 areas across the two counties. (BBC 2003)
Flicks in the Sticks gained support from Screen West Midlands in 2007:
Flicks in the Sticks 2007
Flicks in the Sticks tours Big Screen cinema to rural venues. Flicks works with local people, setting them up as promoters who choose what film to show, when to show it, and undertake all venue preparation and publicity. Flicks in the Sticks was one of the first projects in the country to deliver cinema in this way.
In 2007, Flicks worked with 59 venues in rural Shropshire and Herefordshire, delivering over 545 films to an annual audience in excess of 25,000 people.
Moviola is a small charitable organisation which provides screenings in villages across several South Western Counties. It is providing alternatives and developing film culture.
This Moviola What's On provides you with current and past screenings to show the range of films screened.
Mad Cornish Projectionist who seems to be well linked.
This was an entirely refreshing find for a Good Friday Morning when I didn't have to get up early. Check this site out and send them some sponsorship money this is such a great idea!!!! Architecturally ands in terms of urbanism this has to be a good 'parafunctional space'.
Guerilla Cinema: The 'Other' of Contemporary British Cinema
I have entitled this posting 'guerilla' cinema because it is there to signify that ongoing tension or little war between mainstream cinema which is primarily about creating an ongoing business which feeds the creation of a cycle of stars, festival goings, critics and articles and slots in TV wotz'on this weekend on Friday nights. The more "artsy" it is the later it is broadcast. Film festivals by themselves or as a part of larger festivals are increasingly a part of the shift towards a "cultural industries" agenda which seeks to 'colonise the lifeworld' as the social theorist Habermas might describe it. For those of us who attend these things you are doubtless overburdened with evaluation forms given out to gain audience feedback on the event space etc. Of course these are done as much as anything to cover the bums of the events organisers as anything else. They can be used to justify the event and to argue for "quality improvements" next time around. Of course this kind of surveillance of culture can kill any poetry in an event stone dead.
The idea for the posting came from reading an article in the latest Sight and Sound about the difficulties of distribution and exhibition for British independent filmmakers when even the "Arthouse" cinemas are increasingly showing the same fare, in a sort of mainstream for the middle-classes. Some of these issues of control are already covered elswhere in the blog. combining this perception with flicking through an issue of Architectural Design entitled Poetics in Architecture reminded me of how staid, sterile and boring everything which smacks of the 'New Labour' is or has become. This whole blog started out as an aid to Open Studies Learning which has emerged as "Lifelong Learning" in the New Labour lexicon of control terms. Whilst under the aegis of extra-mural studies this form of learning wasn't controlled in terms of having to make the students perform some work. The space of learning was poetic in as much as an enthusiast delivered a course and a group of people interested came and interacted with the content and in that specific learning space in a dynamic and performative way which wasn't subject to measurement and control. If people were disatisfied then they would move on. Many of the attendees had good qualifications in other areas but simply wanted to extend their ideas and knowledge base into different areas at a more informal level without writing essay etc. Now this form of education has become instrumentalised. Humans on the whole are inquisitive if they are not browbeaten into accepting false limitations.
The increasing commercialistion of spaces of alternative cinema at the same time create a residue 'a surplus' in which expressive and creative acts and desires find no menas of expression. The exponential explosion onto the web of YouTube and similar sites bears witness to this surplus of creativity which is largely outside of the commercial. Yet this is still unsatisfactory for cinema in its origins was a social space of F2F interactions amongst the audience. Here cinema intersects with architecture. This posting is the beginnings of an investigation into the possibilities of creating spaces of exhibition for an ever expanding multi-media consciousness which like many popular music forms seeks recognition but is also part of an unfolding cultural dynamic in which a search for 'poetry' which is defined here as a resistance to the rationalisation and control of all aspects of social life. It is a search for performative cinematic space which is 'parafunctional' in the words of Nikos Papastergiadis.
The term parafunctional space:
Refers to zones in which creative, informal and unintended uses overtake the oficially designated functions. In parafunctional spaces social life is not simply abandoned or wasted; rather it continues in ambiguous and unconventional ways.
Now Papastergiadis was thinking of older industrial cities where areas are becoming rundown or corners where people resist the instrumentalism of everyday life under New Labour by glue sniffing -See This is England. But as he points out this fits in with Bachelardian notions of poetics of space because it is dreaming and an attempt to break free of colonisation.
The Campaign over the Dalston Cinema is a good example of a parafunctional space.
7 Inch Cinema as Parafunctional Space
What they say about themselves:
Two things helped give birth to 7 Inch Cinema: masses of good films out there, particularly shorts, that never get near our cinemas or TV screens; and more and more people choosing to watch film online or on beefy home entertainment systems. We are firm believers in the old-fashioned communal film experience. Our job is to sift through festivals, archives, DVD submissions and the web for interesting work and then to screen it in a relaxed setting for people to enjoy, perhaps alongside a discussion, a bit of music or a quiz. The setting could be a pub, an art gallery, a church, a warehouse, a military decontamination tent. It could even be a cinema. The main thing is to create a sense of occasion, and to show people something they wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Flatpack Festival Birmingham
Good news for Flatpack
Monday 16th Jun 08
The UK Film Council have selected Flatpack Festival as one of the seven recipients of their national Festival Fund. Whoop! If you don't believe us you can get it straight from the horse's mouth, and there's also some info on the 7inch blog.
Here are some interesting links when I used the search term "Guerilla Cinema".
Cannes in a Van (Seems togive a nice sense of the general ethos)
It's not British Cinema but its a great Idea. Check out this Parasite site for a metro projection system in Berlin
Well my search turned up Moviola which is a small charitable organisation which provides screenings in villages across several South Western Counties. OK it's not exactly the normal concept of Guerrilla but it is provinging alternatives and developing film culture.
Well I found the above link on Mad Cornish Projectionist who seems to be well linked.