Current Events

Babette Mangolte / 2017 / United States /

The first of two programmes devoted to the essay films of the great filmmaker, cinematographer and photographer Babette Mangolte, this session focuses on the act of looking through the camera, questioning the notion of “subjectivity”, the role of the spectator, and the relation between vision and power.

The Camera: Je, or La Caméra: I is a self-portrait about the process of taking photographs. Shifting from the artist’s studio to the streets of New York and back into the workshop, the film’s rhetorical structure acts as a form of self-portraiture of the artist during the years 1976-1977. Exploring the technique of “subjective camera”, the film offers a reflection on ways of seeing, and the interpersonal and power dynamics involved in producing images.

The short film Je, Nous, I or Eye, Us is, in Mangolte’s own words, “a mini essay that replies to a question about subjectivity in the 1970s while I was making my film The Camera: Je, or La Caméra: I about taking photographs. The new film from 2014 uses footage shot at the time of The Camera: Je but never used in 1976 and 1977 and adds to the 16mm film a series of titles about a photographer’s subjectivity then and now.”

The Camera: Je, or La Caméra : I , Babette Mangolte, USA 1977, 16mm (on HD video), 89 mins
+
Je, Nous, I or Eye, Us, Babette Mangolte, USA 2014, HD video, 6 mins 30 secs 

After the screening filmmaker Babette Mangolte will be in conversation with Laura Mulvey

Esssay Film Festival: The Camera: Je, or La Caméra: I, in the presence of Babette Mangolte

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 18:00
ICA
£11
Babette Mangolte / 2017 / United States / 117"

This second programme devoted to the work of Babette Mangolte focuses on her trilogy of films about landscape: There? Where?, The Sky on Location and Visible Cities. These essay films are both studies of specific locations and a sustained reflection about the art of landscape cinematography.

The filmmaker describes the first film, There? Where?, as “a naive look at Southern California by an outsider, and/or an essay on displacement through the disjunction of Californian images and off screen voices. Where is the location of these voices, here or there? Are the images near or far in relation to the voices? Are the images commenting on the images or vice versa?”

Documenting seasonal changes across the American West, from Wyoming to Oregon, the second film, The Sky on Location, is an affecting meditation on untamed nature and the atmospheric effects of climate on the landscape. Weather and ambiance, the wilderness and the Sublime, Mangolte articulates the shifting ways of looking at Nature, from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries, and her keen cinematographer’s eye captures an awe and reverence for the American wilderness. The Sky on Location confronts us with a vision of the natural world, translated into a palette of ambient colour and visceral mood.

Finally, in Visible Cities, two women looking for a home in Southern California realise, in Mangolte’s words, that “the single-family home [is] the locus of the exclusion of the other. It is also unaffordable. They both feel as if they are invisible citizens. They witness how the architectural landscape imposed on the California desert appears as a reversal of nature, where exclusive living, gated communities and segregation go hand in hand. They dream of escape.”

There? Where?, Babette Mangolte, USA 1979, 16mm, 8 mins
+
The Sky on Location, Babette Mangolte, USA 1982, 16mm, 78 mins
+
Visible Cities, Babette Mangolte, USA 1991, 16mm, 31 mins

Filmmaker Babette Mangolte will be in conversation with Laura Mulvey and Lucy Reynolds after the screening.

Supported by Open City Documentary Festival

Essay Film Festival: Three Landscape Films by Babette Mangolte + Filmmaker in conversation

Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 14:30
ICA
£11
Open City Docs: Rough Cuts

Open City Docs presents an evening of documentary and non-fiction works-in-progress where independent filmmakers and audio doc-makers are invited to present their current projects and test out new work at various stages of completion.

Open City Documentary Festival has provided a platform for established and emerging filmmakers since 2011 and to continue developing and nurturing new work and makers we are launching a monthly peer-to-peer show and tell in a welcoming and supportive environment, featuring constructive feedback from special guests and audiences. 

Special guest: Sophie Fiennes
Sophie Fiennes is a British director and producer. Her documentaries have included collaborations with Slavoj Žižek (The Pervert's Guide To Ideology; The Pervert's Guide to Cinema) and Anselm Kiefer (Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow). She is currently working on a collaboration with Grace Jones.

Hosted by filmmaker Isis Thompson

Want to present your work at a future session? Fill out this quick form: http://bit.ly/2ksjlf4

Open City Docs: Rough Cuts

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 18:30
£5 on the door

The Horse Hospital

Sea Tomorrow
Katerina Suvorova / 2016 / Germany/Kazakhstan / 88'

The disappearance of the Aral Sea is one of the most disastrous human-caused catastrophes in world history. It was once among the four largest lakes on the planet covering an area of over 26,000 square miles, but decades of over reliance on its tributaries for agriculture has turned it into an arid wasteland.

Sea Tomorrow takes us to this post-apocalyptic landscape where the sea is gone but the people are left: a fisherman who has no fish to catch, an old gardener with only saline soil to plant his trees, a hydro-biologist who does her daily studies in the mud of the former seabed and pirates who live in a shipwreck. The locals say that every 100 years the land renews itself. The sea is gone, but one day it might come back again.

Sea Tomorrow

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 18:30
£10

Past Events

A Family Affair
Tom Fassaert / 2015 / Belgium/Denmark/Netherlands / 110'

‘Marianne Hertz: Model and Perfect Mother’. This is how filmmaker Tom Fassaert’s grandmother was presented in a 1950s magazine. His father, uncle and aunt smile awkwardly when he makes them read it out loud: their childhood was far from perfect. Her two sons ended up in a children’s home at a young age, and the relationship with their now 95-year-old mother remains troubled. Not long after his father broke off all contact with her, Marianne invites Fassaert to visit her in South Africa, where she started a new life years ago. He accepts and takes his camera, hoping to find the missing pieces in the family history. But while Marianne eagerly embraces his interest in her, she refuses to discuss ‘that family affair’. While Tom tries to unravel her façade, he becomes deeper and deeper intertwined with his own family history.

Presented by Open City Documentary Festival, EUNIC London and Embassy of the Netherlands in the United Kingdom.

New European Documentary: A Family Affair

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 18:30
£10