Programme 5, The Bartlett Screening Room (2022)

Director Various, Country Various,

The Bartlett Screening Room is a series of events addressing questions around critical urbanism through the screening of short films and moving image, curated by Henrietta Williams and Open City Documentary Festival.

International short films and moving image artworks are screened for collective viewing online and followed by a conversation with the artists and/or filmmakers. Sessions are open to the public as well as students and staff across UCL. The screenings may be especially interesting to those studying architecture, anthropology and related arts and social sciences.

PROGRAMME 5.1 – Wed 26 Jan – 13.00-14.00

Signal 8, 2019

Simon Liu

‘They said a storm is calling this way but we’re still waiting. Lives carry on in Hong Kong as traces of civic upkeep morph into sites of remembrance. Decorative structures mimic nature then occasionally malfunction – transforming common spectacle to warning signs. The light urges to tell us something but can’t quite get its point across, patience tested for another day’. SL

Happy Valley, 2020

Simon Liu

‘British Colonial-era structures overlook scenes in the aftermath of civil unrest as Hong Kongers work to retain some semblance of normality. The sound of petty arguments from local TVB soap-operas of the 1980s are put in concert with captive animals, political graffiti and desolate highways. Suspension cables and ship anchor lines reveal a fragile urban anatomy; the structures that keep the city moving along. As civic functions grind to a halt, the limits of our empathy and control come into question’. SL

PROGRAMME 5.2 – Wed 9 Feb – 13.00-14.00

Every Rupture, 2020

Sasha Litvintseva

A cruise ship during the Brexit referendum. A colony of birds unwittingly killing the forest they call home. A world in a pandemic. Nothing is a closed system. In moving through these three ecologies the film questions what old images can mean after a rupture and offers a space of mourning.

Exile Exotic, 2015

Sasha Litvintseva

Steeped in elliptical history and historical simulacra, Exile Exotic is set at a hotel that is a replica of the Kremlin. Narrating the exotic beginnings of my mother’s and my exile from Russia, the film serves as a platform for us to visit the Kremlin again, albeit by the side of a pool. Soundtracked by an operatic score reminiscent of the song of the sirens making Odysseus stray on his long journey home, our story reverberates throughout the scope of Russian history’s limiting of free movement of individuals. This film is a pilgrimage. This film comes in waves.

PROGRAMME 5.3 – Wed 23 Feb – 13.00-14.00

The Lake and the Lake, 2019

Sindhu Thirumalaisamy

with Maxell Mutanda as invited respondent.

Artist filmmaker Sindhu Thirumalaisamy’s work cuts across moving image, sound and text as way to to explore common places in her home country of India such as hospital, parks, streets, temples, mosques, and lakes. These are considered as multivalent sites that hold possibilities for collective resistance and care.

‘In the peripheries of Bellandur lake in Bangalore, “India’s Silicon Valley”, the act of observation is interrupted by flying foam, noxious gases, daydreams, and questions from passers-by. Despite its spectacular toxicity, the lake remains a valuable resource and refuge for counterpublics. Standing alongside fishing communities, migrant waste workers, security guards, street dogs, and children, it is evident that there is no nature that doesn’t also include all of us’. ST

Credit: Image from The Lake and The Lake (Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, 2019)

Booking for this event has now closed.

“The Bartlett Screening Room is a series of events addressing questions around critical urbanism through the screening of short films and moving image, followed by discussion.”