SATURDAY 5 MAY
4:00pm – 5:35pm
MAIN AUDITORIUM – TOWER MILL
Questioning the authority of philosophical discourse, these two films examine and reposition philosophical sites of activity. Centred around fascinating dialogues on metaphor and resistance, they also foreground the esoteric linguistic conventions of exclusivity. In often bizarre and surprising ways, both films radically disrupt these forms of discourse and representation.
* Daniel Cockburn will be present for a Q&A.
The Argument (with annotations)
Daniel Cockburn / 19m 55s / 2017 / Canada / European Premiere
“The latest by one of Canada’s most ingenious auteurs is another astounding feat of cerebral and cinephilic dexterity.”
Jason Anderson, Toronto International Film Festival
The Argument (with annotations) is an appropriated-footage essay about metaphor. Its unseen narrator’s line of thought takes us on an unstraight path past the works of T.S. Eliot, Homer, Groucho Marx, John Carpenter, Terence Davies, and Carl Reiner, plus some lackadaisical astronomy and a 1960s television series with a very distinctive font. There is also a riddle about mirrors that’s either the best riddle about mirrors you’ve ever heard or the worst one. That’s what the film is for a while, anyway. Then something else happens.
Daniel Cockburn is a Canadian filmmaker living in London. A programme of his short works has been toured internationally by the exhibition group Pleasure Dome. His feature film You Are Here (Locarno, Toronto, Rotterdam film festivals) won the top prize at the European Media Art Festival, and has been compared to the work of Borges, Charlie Kaufman, and Philip K. Dick. He is currently a Fellow in Film Practice at Queen Mary University of London.
The Rare Event
Ben Rivers & Ben Russell / 48m / 2017 / Switzerland, France, UK / UK Premiere
The Rare Event is centred around a three day gathering of philosophers, focussing their discussion on the possibilities of ‘Resistance’, the title of a never realised exhibition by the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard. An apparently passive green man haunts the proceedings, the ghost of an ever present and disruptive virtuality, brought to life by the artist Peter Burr. The immersive soundtrack of creaking floors, in the Parisian recording studio where the ‘event’ took place, becomes increasingly and viscerally felt. An augmented world is emerging, as we bear witness to something strangely magical unfolding.
Ben Rivers studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, initially in sculpture before moving into photography and super 8 film. After his degree he taught himself 16mm filmmaking and hand-processing. His practice as a filmmaker treads a line between documentary and fiction. Often following and filming people who have in some way separated themselves from society, the raw film footage provides Rivers with a starting point for creating oblique narratives imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds.
He is the recipient of numerous prizes including: FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, 68th Venice Film Festival for his first feature film Two Years At Sea; the Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel 42, 2011; shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2010/2012; Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, 2010. Recent exhibitions include: Slow Action, Hepworth Wakefield, 2012; Sack Barrow, Hayward Gallery, London, 2011; Slow Action, Matt’s Gallery, London and Gallery TPW, Toronto, 2011; A World Rattled of Habit, A Foundation, Liverpool, 2009. Artist-in-focus include Courtisane Festival; Pesaro International Film Festival; London Film Festival; Tirana Film Festival; Punto de Vista, Pamplona; Indielisboa and Milan Film Festival.
In 1996 he co-founded Brighton Cinematheque which he then co-programmed through to its demise in 2006 – renowned for screening a unique programme of film from its earliest days through to the latest artist’s film and video.
Ben Russell is an artist, filmmaker and curator whose work lies at the intersection of ethnography and psychedelia. His films and installations are in direct conversation with the history of the documentary image, providing a time-based enquiry into trance phenomena and evoking the research of Jean Rouch, Maya Deren and Michael Snow, among others.
Russell received a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship, a FIPRESCI International Critics Prize (IFFR 2009) for his first feature film Let Each One Go Where He May. His second feature film, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (co-directed with Ben Rivers), premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2013. Curatorial projects include Magic Lantern (Providence, USA, 2005-2007), BEN RUSSELL (Chicago, USA, 2009-2011), and Hallucinations (Athens, Greece, 2017). He currently resides in Los Angeles. His recent feature film, GOOD LUCK has screened as a multi-room installation at Documenta 14 and at Tate Modern.