European Film/Video

2005
Petrolia

Petrolia takes its name from a redundant oil-drilling platform set in the Cromarty Firth, Scotland. The film looks at the architecture of the oil industry along the Scottish coastline where oil and gas supplies are predicted to run dry in the next forty years.

2003
Poster Girl

As if trapped inside a nightmare, the main protagonist of Poster Girl is haunted by disturbing visions, thoughts and fantasies, which the viewer is privy to. She is joined at various points in the video by another woman, whose role in the narrative remains unclear – is she meant to function as a guardian or a demon? The video further complicates the matter by representing both women as simultaneously wounded and wounding, inviting and threatening, vulnerable and menacing.

2011
Daniel Eisenberg, POSTWAR: The Films of Daniel Eisenberg

This three-disc DVD box set contains Eisenberg's four thematically connected films - Displaced Person, Cooperation of Parts, Persistence, and Something More Than Night - made between 1981 and 2003, exploring the ongoing implications of the Second World War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, as well as the relationships between the past, present and future, and how the meanings of events transform over time.  The disks are accompanied by a booklet with a contextualizing essay by Scott Durham and an artist interview with Domieta Torlasco, along with titl

2010
(Posthume) (Posthumous), Ghassan Salhab

This program presents different approaches to looking at war, and to using images of war. My Friend Imad and the Taxi is an unfinished work from two amateur filmmakers, both passionate about film, who lived in Beirut in the eighties when the city looked like the set from a war film. Samir’s work looks at the intersection between (H)istory and (h)is story as lived at home.

1999
Regression

A portrait of the artist as a not-so-young man. The filmmaker attempts to enter the digital age by making a new video version of one of his old films.

"The award of the Short Film Festival goes to a video in which the reflection of artistic work becomes a form itself. John Smith manages to give us a self-ironic humorous experiment about art and time."

—Prize of the International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen 2000

This title is also available on John Smith: Program 2.

2007
Respite

Respite consists of silent black-and-white films shot at Westerbork, a Dutch refugee camp established in 1939 for Jews fleeing Germany. In 1942, after the occupation of Holland, its function was reversed by the Nazis and it became a 'transit camp.'  In 1944, the camp commander commissioned a film, shot by a photographer, Rudolph Breslauer.

2007
Return of the Black Tower

Return of the Black Tower was conceived as a 'response' film to John Smith's 1987 classic short experimental film, The Black Tower.

"Barmy, baffling and weirdly funny,... an elliptical, satirical examination of contemporary belief, as much as it is about the problem of art as an incommensurate, incommunicable experience."

— JJ Charlesworth, Time Out London

2001
River Sky

Three people are taken for a short ride on the River Thames hanging upside down on the back of a speedboat. The journey is both a test of endurance and a simple way of forcing people to see differently. Upon reflection, the participants talk about their childhood and the places where they used to like to play and hang out. The very nature of the event leads the participants to remember and think about themselves and the ways they have changed.

2007
Sahara Chronicle

Sahara Chronicle emcompasses an undefined number of short videos documenting the present sub-Saharan exodus towards Europe. Taking a close look at the modalities and logistics of the migration system in the Sahara, the project examines the politics of mobility, visibility and containment which lie at the heart of current global geopolitics. The material is gathered during three fieldtrips to major gates and nodes of the trans-Saharan network in Morocco, Mauritania and Niger where migratory intesity is bundled. No voice-over narrative strings these stories together.

2012
Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 2

In her overt challenge to conventional modes of femininity and sexuality, Hester Scheurwater confronts the viewer with her own body. The distorted, doll-like characters she plays in her video performances balance between fantasy and reality shifting between being vulnerable, violent, inviting and threatening. Scheurwater's characters are portrayed as isolated, confused and damaged—physically and emotionally—and unable to connect to their surroundings. Scheurwater’s provocative and unsettling works address relationships, notions of decorum, and the portrayal of women in the media.

2000
SHARONY!

This is the story of two young girls who dig up a tiny woman from the back garden. They incubate her in their mouths, in their bed, they lock her in a dolls house wallpapered with pornography to make her grow up faster, feeding her through a tube in the door. When she is life-sized and ready to play they take her to the disco. A dark, comic, experimental fantasy on the implications of Little Girls Toys — with the existential melancholy of Frankenstein's monster.

"A compelling exploration of a child's inner life and logic. Impressive and distinctive."

2007
Six Years Later

Ireland, October 20th 2007

The filmmaker returns to the city where he made the first video in the series and looks back at the events of the past six years.

Six Years Later is the eighth episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world’s hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

1991
Slow Glass

A nostalgic glazier shows off his knowledge and expounds his theories. Taking glassmaking processes and history as its central theme, Slow Glass explores ideas about memory, perception and change.

2014
John Smith: An Interview

John Smith, throughout his 40-year career, has approached the moving image from film, video and installations, generating a tremendous body of work that’s as diverse in its topics as it is in its methods. Weaving between early structuralist film and more personal, diaristic, documentary approaches to the places in which he lived, most notably London, his output is both broad and varied.

2002
John Smith: Program 1

"The films of John Smith conduct a serious investigation into the combination of sound and image, but with a sense of humour that reaches out beyond the traditional avant-garde audience. His films and videos move between narrative and absurdity, constantly undermining the traditional relationship between the visual and the aural. By blurring the perceived boundaries of experimental film, fiction and documentary, Smith never delivers what he has led the spectator to expect."

—Mark Webber, Leeds International Film Festival catalogue 2000