Friday, June 29, 2007

Paris is burning (itself out)

Paris, Paris, Paris. Were it not enough to have to read about Paris Hilton everywhere, it seems like the film world is having a little love affair with the French capital of the same name as the Hilton one. I caught the virus and published a review of Paris Mon Amour, another unrefutable evidence of cinematic Paris renaissance, not to mention the resurrection of French female icons like Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose and the recently confirmed, yet untitled biopic of Coco Chanel, to be played by Audrey Tatou.

Zoe Cassavetes' (the daughter of John) directorial debut, Broken English, which opened in the U.S. last week, sees a love-seeking Parker Posey go to Paris à la Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City with a French boyfriend (Melvil Poupaud) only to find that she was all right by herself in the first place (sounds familiar and, well, very clichèd). You can watch the trailer here.

Julie Delpy's debut, which did well at Cannes in terms of distribution and is slated to open in the UK on 31 August, is called 2 Days in Paris. You can watch an interview with Delpy talking about her film here.

Bon weekend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fresh Moves launch at the ICA

Tank TV is launching on Thursday, 28/6, at the ICA in London, its compilation DVD of artist's films called Fresh Moves. So what is it about? I'll let Tank TV do the talking:

"Showcasing new moving image work since 2003, presents its first DVD anthology. This collection contains 24 film and video pieces by 24 UK based artists, each around three minutes long, and reflects the creativity, innovation and wide variety of subject matter for which has become known and respected. It also includes five new, specially commissioned interviews pieces between feted curators and artists.
Fresh Moves was compiled by a panel that included Hans Ulrich Obrist, director of the Serpentine Gallery, and Stuart Comer, curator of film and video at Tate Modern. Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller and infamous philosopher Slavoj Žižek both make an appearance in the series of interviews.
The DVD features recent work from some of the most important artists working in moving images today, such as Cerith Wyn Evans, Daria Martin, Runa Islam, Spartacus Chetwynd and Andrew Kötting, as well as emerging artists like Torsten Lauschmann, Anja M. Kirschner and David Blandy. Rather than a comprehensive overview, Fresh Moves aims to provide an anthology encompassing animation, fictional narrative, digital film, montage and installation-based film work. The works explore a wide variety of subjects - from politics to identity and aesthetic practices, all tempered with a healthy measure of humour - and so celebrate not just the artists featured, but the art of moving images as a whole."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sheila E, she's always going to be the best

I bumped into this TV commercial Sheila E did in the 1980s for a Japanese electronics company. So charming!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The art of video art becomes a hit on

My latest video, The Art of video art, the one you can see on the sidebar of this page, is one of the top five downloads from the Prelinger Archive Mash-ups this week. It was downloaded 333 times last week. The total number of downloads so far is 1,441. I'm utterly surprised as I have done nothing but upload it. Cool.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Interview with Anthea Kennedy and Ian Wiblin

Check out the interview I made with Anthea Kennedy and Ian Wiblin about their film Stella Polare, which is the subject of's first screening on 05 July, which I curated.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

News from

My friends who publish the website have written to say the site has recently been updated. There's an article about Lightcone's 25th anniversary, Leuven's short films DVD, and Hidden Treasures. Check them out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ousmane Sembene, Senegalese filmmaker, dies at 84

It just came to our attention at Kamera that Ousmane Sembene, the Senegalese filmmaker and pivotal figure of African post-colonial cinema, died at his home in Dakar, Senegal, on 9 June. He was 84 and one of the finest directors in the world.
Sembene was born in 1923 in the Casamance region of southern Senegal. At 14 he moved to Dakar and then to France. His experience as a docker in Marseilles furnished him with the material for one of his books, the acclaimed The Black Docker (1956). His film career stretched back to the 1960s as an expansion of a literary career. He turned to film because he saw in the medium a potential to reach more people.

"Black Girl" (1965), his debut feature, is seen by many as the first African film. It combines realism and traditional African narrative to tell the story of Diouana, a young woman who commits suicide after traveling to Europe with her French employers. This is a theme he pursued in his films: the tension between tradition and modernity and women's role in society. He exposed colonial damage with tenderness and a profound respect for African culture.

His last film, Molade (2004), dealth with the subject of female circumcision, a heavy subject by any account but which Sembene managed to handle with typical warmth and humour.

Pier Paolo Pasolini

I have published an article about Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of my favourite film directors ever, here+. This is in connection with a new DVD boxset launched by my chums at Tartan and it also includes two super rare documentaries where you can catch some action by Pasolini himself. A must-must-must-have.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Watch: John Cassavetes

There’s no such thing as a “good actor.” What it is, you know, is an extension of life. How you’re capable of performing in your life, that’s how you’re capable of performing on the screen.
John Cassavetes

To celebrate the re-release of Cassavetes's Opening Night (1977) on 15 June at the NFT, I did a bit of trawling around YouTube for Cassavetes clips and we found there is quite a lot there. The film tells the story of a famous actress (played by his wife Gena Rowlands) who, after viewing the accidental death of a devoted fan, re-examines her professional and personal relationships.

Rowlands speaks:

London hotel scene in Husbands (1970)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The art of video art selected to Slowtime 2007 - Quicktime as an artistic medium

One of my new videos, The art of video art has been selected to screen at Slowtime 2007 - Quicktime as an artistic medium

Monday, June 04, 2007

Screening: Stella Polare

I have curated a screening for, the independent film website I edit, which will take place on 05 July at the Fleapit on Columbia Rd in London's E2 (the Sunday flower market road). The first programme is dedicated to the feature film Stella Polare (DV, 76', 2006) by London-based directors Anthea Kennedy and Ian Wiblin who I had the pleasure of meeting at the European Media Art Festival in Germany in 2006. It's a very poetic DV feature dealing with memory, metaphysics and psychogeography. I love it. We have set up a page with all the information so please take a look. It will be great to see you there. Entry is free.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

News: Video Graffiti selected for One Minute festival in Switzerland

One of my latest videos, Video Graffiti, has been selected for a Swiss video festival dedicated to works lasting up to 60 seconds. More info when the programme is ready in mid-July.

Miranda July in London

Performance artist and writer, director and star of the quirky film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera d'Or at Cannes in 2005, Miranda July (pictured), will be in London tomorrow (4 June) being interviewed live at the Serpentine Gallery in connection with her short stories book, No one belongs here more than you. July will also be reading from her book. At 8:30pm, free.