To mark the release of the first UK edition of Joe Brainard’s cult classic I Remember, tonight we’re screening Matt Wolf’s short film I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard. The film combines audio recordings of Brainard reading from his book, as well as an interview with his lifelong friend and collaborator, the poet Ron Padgett.The result is an inventive biography of Joe Brainard, and an elliptical dialog about friendship, nostalgia, and the strange wonders of memory.
The screening will be introduced by poet Mark Ford, Professor of English at University College London, followed by a discussion featuring Mark Ford and novelist Adam Thirlwell.
After a prodigiously early start to his career – working for Jim Henson whilst still in his teens and directing a notorious music video for dance-pop powerhouse Frankie Goes to Hollywood in his early twenties – Bernard Rose gained recognition as a feature film director in the 1990s with a series of critical and commercial successes such as supernatural-slasher Candyman (1992) and Beethoven biopic Immortal Beloved (1994). Rose seemed set for a fully-fledged Hollywood career, but after an unpleasant experience with his 1997 adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina – Warner Bros. insisted the film’s running time be cut from 140 to 108 minutes – he shunned the studio system and returned to independent film production with his searing poison-pen letter to Hollywood: ivansxtc.
I started I am Dora as a somewhat a personal project.
It was much like an online journal, where I was able to express how I felt through the images and quotes. The publication and event series came out of my own experience of film curation. I work in the programming department of film festivals and often find myself in conversations about film where I feel at odds with the discussions that place what I feel is an arbitrary value judgment on the worth of a film. Sometimes my response to a film is anything but objective, and this is when I feel I most engage with film as a piece of art.
Still: Werckmeister Harmonies, Dir Bela Tarr, 2000
Béla Tarr is a director who divides the field. He makes slow, stark films about lives in which little happens, combining old-fashioned values and innovative methods. He records the basic elements of domestic life with incongruously sweeping, virtuoso cinematography and picks apart the rudiments of human role-play with elaborate subtlety, coordinating gritty detail and a sense of the universal in a way that some see as visionary and others find tedious. Jonathan Rosenbaum, the American film critic, has dubbed Tarr a ‘despiritualised Tarkovsky’. I find him a less lapsed and more conflicted creature: a hopeful cynic or scatological mystic, whose films are as aggressively earthbound as they are inspiring.
Our cinema programmer Jo Blair recently caught up with Gerry Fox, director and co-screenwriter of new film Mother’s Milk, which we’re currently showing in our cinema. We asked him few quick questions about his experience of making the film…