European Film/Video

2002
John Smith: Program 2

"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

1999
Some Chance Operations

Shot in Naples, Vienna, and New York, Some Chance Operations explores the notion of an archival form, in this instance film, as an unstable memory receptacle that can vanish. History and how it is made is meditated upon as one of many chance operations. The filmmaker Elvira Notari, who had a film production company in Naples from 1906 to 1930, plays a significant role as an impetus for Some Chance Operations. Despite the fact that she was a prolific filmmaker, producing over sixty feature films, only three remain intact.

2011
Rosa Barba, Somnium

Rosa Barba produced a science fiction film based on interviews with local residents and individuals involved in the land suppletion project for Maasvlakte 2. Barba asked the interviewees to imagine what this new land could look like in the future. While we see images of the new land, the slufter: a storage reservoir for heavily contaminated sludge from the new Meuse river, the construction of the huge docksides, basalt blocks, empty containers and the mechanical movements of the transhipment process, we listen to a story apparently taking place in the future.

1999
The Spectacular Murder of Mervyn

An adaptation of the gruesome and fantastical ending chapter of the notorious experimental anti-novel Maldoror, first published in 1868 and written by a young man (who died soon after writing it) who called himself Comte De Lautréamont. A joyful return to the necessity of Super-8 film tricks, this is part of a larger Anglo-German collaborative feature film Maldoror, shot entirely on Super-8 in sections by 15 underground filmmakers working independently. Includes Super 8 Film, model animation, photo animation and live action.

2002
Sportello Quattro

Sportello Quattro, filmed during a residency at the American Academy in Rome, is about immigration, work and community among people of color in contemporary Rome, Italy.

Cast: Joseph Bayorha.

This title is only available on Broad Daylight and Other Times: Selected Works of Kevin Jerome Everson.

2009
Strike Anywhere

Strike Anywhere is a video essay that takes as its point of departure Swedish "Match King" Ivar Kreuger, whose privatization of financial crisis management strategies bears a direct relation to late-20th Century policies implemented by the IMF and WTO. Between 1917 and 1932, Kreuger capitalized on shifts in global financial markets to control over 200 companies and establish matchstick monopolies in at least 34 countries. At the height of his success, Ivar Kreuger was worth approximately 30 million Swedish kronor (the equivalent of 100 billion USD today).

2002
Jennet Thomas: 6 pieces from my head

"This compilation is a selection of six short films and videos, made in London over the period 1994 to 1999. These pieces develop my own fusion of experimental writing/monologues with underground film forms, playing with fractured forms of storytelling and film trick conceits. The compilation encompasses the period before I started editing digitally, using Super-8 animated film and monologue, as on Heady and Gorgeous Operation.

2004
Throwing Stones

As the camera looks out through a barred window and the clock strikes four in a Swiss city, the death of Yasser Arafat provides the starting point for a journey back in time.

 

Throwing Stones is the third 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.

2001
The Tower

Back in the days of hippy bliss, Ulrike and her husband used to believe that the world would be revolutionized by their activities, consisting mainly of smoking pot and having sex. Thanks to a large family fortune, none of them has ever had to work for a living. But the ‘three generation millions’ – one generation makes it, the second maintains it and the third generation blows it – are slowly disappearing. So now the burden of maintaining the tower falls on the children, of whom Sirius (the Latin form of Osiris) actually seems to enjoy making money.

2015
Unspeakable Freedom Device

A kind of warped Folktale, the video follows two women through a bizarre, broken landscape of collapsing signs and imploding meanings, on a pilgrimage to the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, to cure their green baby. In this fantastic, primitive-future world, the difference between technology and magic has become incomprehensible. Our characters become entangled in a cargo-cult of Margaret Thatcher, and buy a Maggie doll which spouts quotations to guide them when they pull its string.

1999
The Waste Land

A personal interpretation of the poetry and letters of T.S. Eliot that explores the ambiguities of language and space in a scenario built around an anagram. "A brilliant, absurd staging of Eliot’s The Waste Land in the local pub by the master of irony himself, John Smith. Smith’s use of the subjective camera tradition of independent film takes the viewer on a shaky journey from bar to bog and back again."

—UK/Canadian Video Exchange (touring program, 2000)

2017
George Barber "We Need to Speak Tony"

Five improvisers are asked to ‘channel’ the psyche of Tony Blair. George Barber asks questions, and also feeds the improvisers anecdotes from various sources about Tony Blair’s life and experience as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The work’s unifying themes are: Tony Blair landing in the Iraqi desert at night; meeting George Bush, and the regrets of his key decisions.

2007
Wedding

"Wedding takes its name from the predominantly Turkish neighborhood in Berlin where most of the footage of the film has been recorded. During the course of six months in 2006-2007, I have recorded the wedding ceremonies of Turkish and Kurdish immigrants in Berlin, which culminated in a large video archive. From this archive I have created a three-channel video piece.. But the experiences I have gathered during the course of this project and the archive later led me to include this subject in my current PhD thesis, on cultural performances, and crowd theory."

1996
"What are you doing with your fingers?"

"A piece about self-consciousness and the fearful noise of wind in the trees. Featuring myself as a woman who is lured into the garden by the cries of foliage, given a dinner she doesn't want by a mysterious organic being, and then turned into something else or maybe not.  My first foray into digital editing and special hand crafted frame-by-frame effects."

--Jennet Thomas

Digital video, live action, digital video effects, human pixelation and model animation. 

2004
What's That Sound?

George Barber doffs his cap to the 20th anniversary of Scratch Video with What’s That Sound?, a mesmerizing montage of questions, answers, and the cries and screams of people caught in a disaster movie. The work uses as its starting point, the film Airport '77 where, improbably, a jumbo jet sinks to the bottom of the sea. What follows is a clever amalgamation of absurd linguistics, cries and shouts, highlighting the artist’s permanent fascination with speech, and human reaction to out-of-the-ordinary situations.