Artists’ film is an area of growing importance at the London Film Festival, with the Experimenta strand in particular dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the best in the field. In addition, the Festival celebrates artist filmmakers through its talks programme (last year featuring Tacita Dean) and Awards (last year the Fellowship was presented to Steve McQueen).
This year’s world premieres in artists’ film include:
· DEAD THE ENDS by Benedict Seymour
A politically urgent film bookended by the 2011 London riots.
· LEK AND THE DOGS by ANDREW KOTTING
Combining science fiction, fairytale and archive, this story of a lost boy carries reminiscences of Tarkovsky.
· The remastered version of Isaac Julien’s acclaimed FRANTZ FANON: BLACK SKIN WHITE MASK
Frantz Fanon was an Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist, philosopher and revolutionary whose pioneering work of the 50s and 60s explored the psychopathology of colonisation.
· A BLEMISHED CODE by Anne-Marie Copestake
Poetic study of the life and work of artist Margaret Benyon, pioneer in the artistic use of holography
· World Festival premieres come from TRIPOLI CANCELLED by Naeem Mohaiemen (a haunting metaphorical take on the physical and mental isolation of the migrant experience. previously screened at Documenta14) and SPITE YOUR FACE (a grim re-working of Pinocchio for the neo-liberal era, previously screened at Venice)
Also of particular note are:
TONSLER PARK – This film has grown in political significance, as it is an observational documentary filmed in the Charlottesville, Virginia polling stations of the 2016 US election. In black and white 16mm Kevin Jerome Everson films the black volunteer invigilators, who are upholding a democratic process that will deliver results against their interests.
Everson will be in London for a retrospective at TATE, directly before the Festival, so will hopefully be available for interviews.
THE MÆRSK OPERA by Superflex, whose Turbine Hall commission opens at Tate on 3 October.
A work of staggering ambition in production and storytelling that matches the stature of its controversial subject. The Mærsk Opera is a musical reworking of the machinations behind the construction of Copenhagen’s new opera house.
The UK premiere of LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM, Iranian artist Shirin Neshat’s film-within-a-film about Oum Kultum, ‘the voice of Egypt’, widely considered the Arab world’s greatest vocalist.
The UK Premiere of Michel Hazanavicious’ biopic of Jean Luc Godard, REDOUBTABLE, which will be the inaugural Create Gala, a new Festival strand celebrating artistic expression in all its forms.
Adapted from the autobiographical novel Un an après by actor Anne Wiazemsky,Redoubtable portrays her marriage to Godard and its unravelling in the midst of his spectacular philosophical and artistic meltdown during the volatile moment of national protest in 1968
Another highlight in CREATE which could be of interest is Julian Rosefeldt’sMANIFESTO, which stars Cate Blanchett as thirteen different characters in this energetic tribute to artistic troublemakers.
Finally, we have just announced a series of events linked to the EXPERIMENTA strand. The Experimenta Salons offer audiences a chance to explore themes and concerns across different films in a relaxed and engaged atmosphere, and participating artists includeFilipa César (SPELL REEL) and Narimane Mari (LE FORT DES FOUS), Anne-Marie Copestake (A BLEMISHED CODE) and Shambhavi Kaul (HIJACKED), Chen Zhou (LIFE IMITATION) and Andrea Luka Zimmerman (ERASE AND FORGET).