Monday April 16th, 6.30 p.m. until 8.00 p.m.
This is an evening of films with the voice of the artist. Alia was born in Swansea and she enjoys both Welsh and Indian heritages. She works in film and on exhibitions and also teaches in Further Education. She now has three decades of film-making behind her.
The programme will include:
Points of Departure, 2014, video, 17min
Eating Grass, 2003, 16mm, 24min
Fatima’s Letter, 1992, 16mm, 19min
Alia will be there to talk about the themes and pre-occupations in her work. These include gender, colonialism, the diaspora and borders.
“I am interested in language; we construct ourselves through language; it creates the space where we define ourselves. Film can be a mirror—it can throw things back at us in a way that makes us question the ideas we have about ourselves and through this each other…I [am] interested in what happens when you hold more than one ‘culture’ within you at any given time.” [From a Q&A at an evening in L.A.]
Alia works within the experimental film discourse. You can get a sense of her approach by looking at one of her films [Points of Departure] on BBC Arts Online. Pavilion events are always worth attending; the Hyde Park Picture House has hosted a number; and this promises to be rewarding. It will be at The Swarthmore Centre on this Monday evening. Swarthmore is quite accessible. From the Picture House walk up through the park, and down Cardigan Road to Woodhouse Square.
Monday November 16th at 1300 and 1500
The Leeds International Film Festival offers a rich variety from the short film form. One programme that promises real quality is this selection made at the Polish National Film School. Friends who have seen the features in the Martin Scorsese Masterpieces of Polish Cinema will know that the school has been [and remains] a really fine training ground for young filmmakers.
There are two programmes of film, running for one hundred minutes each. The first includes the young filmmaker seen above, Roman Polanski. There is also an early film by Krzysztof Kieślowski. The first programme covers the 1960s until 1980s. The second programme offers current films and filmmakers.
Definitely worth getting along for on Monday afternoon. And going on past years all of the short film programmes should offer at least some distinctive and enjoyable filmmaking.
Friday 9th October 6:30pm, Leeds Town Hall.
This Friday it’s Light Night Leeds and the launch of the 29th Leeds International Film Festival. With so many interesting things happening as part of Light Night it sometimes feels like a waste to be sat in the town hall watching films, but there’s also a great sense of excitement as the festival programme is revealed.
Once again there will be a showcase of trailers for the festival films, followed by a 45-minute showcase of legendary Scottish-born, Canadian experimental film artist Norman McLaren. The screening’s line up includes McLaren’s three personal favourites Begone Dull Care (1949), Neighbours (1952) and Pas de Deux (1968) as well as Opening Speech: McLaren (1960), A Chairy Tale (1957) and La Merle (1958).
As for the festival programme, we’ll just have to wait and see what the team have put together this year. Will we get to see Oscar hopefuls such as Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl or Lenny Abrahamson’s Room? Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise feels like a perfect fit for Fanomenon and could we see a virtual return of Kevin Smith with Yoga Hosers? Of course the real delight of the film festival are all the films you’d never heard of and are unlikely to see elsewhere. Usually we’re not too keen on trailers but they can be great for highlighting these gems and making everything at the festival feel unmissable.
What are you hoping will make the programme this year? Let us know in the comments below.