This program surveys experiments in narrative and genre within the British moving-image scene that echo what BFI curator William Fowler identifies as a wider cultural fascination with fantasy and a corresponding “emphasis on subjectivity, investigating a crisis of the self, how the body fits into an increasingly technological world.” Lost for Words is a take on science fiction by painter, filmmaker, and video artist (and London Film-makers’ Co-op member) Anna Thew. Thew conjures a post-apocalyptic urban landscape against which breakdowns in communication across languages and plotlines are enacted to great effect. Grayson Perry’s folkloric tale, which follows a woman, cursed with an actual tail, from the countryside to post-punk London, resonates with the artist’s lifelong artistic and personal investigations of gender. Featuring imaginative production methods, including claymation and a score that morphs from choral to industrial, The Green Witch and Merry Diana is a lo-fi taste of the Brothers Grimm on Super8. Finally, occult and gothic influences converge in Catherine De Medicis Part 2, created by future music video and commercial director Steven Chivers, through the use of multiple film stocks and dramatic staging featuring glistening chandeliers and period dress.
Program 74 min.
Lost for Words. 1980. Great Britain. Directed by Anna Thew. With Yehuda Safran, Alexei Sayle, David Medalla. Digital video from 16mm. 26 min.
The Green Witch and Merry Diana. 1984. Great Britain. Directed by Grayson Perry. With Paula Haughney. Digital video from Super8mm. 20 min.
Men Without Hats: “The Safety Dance”. 1982. Canada. Directed by Tim Pope. Video. 3 min.
Catherine De Medicis Part 2. 1984. Great Britain. Directed by Steven Chivers. With Princess Julia, Holly Warburton. Digital video from Super8mm. 25 min.