This touring program from LUX and British Film Institute explores Britain’s film and video scenes in a post-punk moment under the influence of the New Romantics, Derek Jarman’s iconoclastic auteurist debut, and agitprop punk through a wealth of newly preserved work from 1979 to 1985. The New York premiere of This Is Now is presented in conjunction with Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983, providing an evocative counterpoint to Club 57’s look back at the same period in New York City. Newly available as a mode of expression and experimentation for artists, filmmakers, musicians, and club kids alike, inexpensive and direct technologies, from Super8 to VHS, allowed them to explore such themes as the intertwining of performance and identity on screen and the subversion of mainstream Thatcherite society and its image systems. From John Maybury’s lyrical tableau of Siouxsie Sioux and assemblages from the Scratch Video collective to early work by Isaac Julien and Cerith Wyn Evans, this energetic mix represents a pioneering period from an alternative scene that still resonates three decades later.
Presented in in partnership with LUX and British Film Institute. Organized at MoMA by Sophie Cavoulacos, Assistant Curator, Department of Film.