“John Smith is my favourite British filmmaker.” – Jarvis Cocker
The final programme in the independently curated and produced John Smith: Introspective (1972 – 2022) takes in eleven films made since 2012 by one of Britain’s most radical, best-loved and most influential artist filmmakers.
Dad’s Stick, dir. John Smith, UK 2012, 5 min., HD video Dad’s Stick features three objects shown to Smith by his father shortly before he died. Two were so steeped in history that their original forms and functions were almost completely obscured. The third seemed to be recognisable but turned out to be something else entirely.
White Hole, dir. John Smith, UK 2014, 7 min., HD video Inspired by Smith’s visit to communist Poland in 1980, White Hole questions the idealisation of life in other places while remembering a time when we could at least imagine that the grass might be greener on the other side.
Steve Hates Fish, dir. John Smith, UK 2015, 5 min., HD video Filmed from a smartphone using an app told to translate French into English, Steve Hates Fish deliberately confuses the software by instructing it to interpret English signage in a busy London shopping street.
Citadel (2020, 16 min., HD video) Filmed from the artist’s window during lockdown, Citadel combines fragments from Boris Johnson’s speeches with views of London. Recognising the government’s decision to place business interests before public health, it relocates the centre of power from Parliament to the City, contrasting faceless corporate power with the particularities of individual lives.
Who Are We? (2016, 4 min., HD video) A reworking of material from a BBC TV debate transmitted a few weeks before Britain voted to leave the EU.
Song for Europe (2017, 4 min., HD video) Inspired by a message for motorists on Eurotunnel trains, Song for Europe is an underwater celebration of Britain’s connection to the mainland.
Jour de Fête (2017, 1 min., HD video) The French village of Serviès-en-Val celebrates its annual fete each July, with a stage in the main square and fairground attractions in surprising locations.
A State of Grace (2019, 3 min., HD video) Enigmatic diagrams and the artist’s poor hearing trigger a radical interpretation of airline safety instructions.
Time and Motion (for A L Rees) (2021, 2 min., HD video) The filmmaker blames a pioneer photographer for his speeding fine.
Covid Messages (2020, 22 min., HD video) Based around broadcasts of Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 press conferences, Covid Messages is focused on the government’s attempts to eliminate the virus with magic spells and rituals. Exasperated by Johnson’s many mistakes, the spirits of the dead rise up and intervene.
Record (2021, 1 min., HD video) A larger-than-life portrait of Prince Philip, recorded in 2002 and completed on the day of his death.
Thu, 01 Dec 2022
All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.
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