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This is Now: Film and Video After Punk (1978–85)

April 2 - April 3

| Free
LUX Identity Image LOW-RES

2–3 April (see screening schedule below)
Borlase-Smart Studio, Porthmeor Studios, St Ives
Free, please register for each screening via Eventbrite links below

LUX is pleased to present THIS IS NOW: FILM AND VIDEO AFTER PUNK, a major new touring project that looks at artists’ film and video from the post-punk era (1978–85). The project comprises seven screening programmes and is developed in partnership with the BFI National Archive.

The early 1980s saw an explosion in alternative and independent moving image production. Clubbers, art students, new romantics and members of the post-punk scene used cheap domestic technologies to subvert the mainstream media and to find new modes of expression. Independent VHS tapes were released, stridently bypassing censorship, and Super 8 film was embraced as a cheap yet lyrical new medium. The DIY approach of punk was powerfully reborn.

Artists defied conventional ideas about how film should be made and who should make them. Female, gay and black filmmakers pushed forward; squatting flats, clubbing and developing new styles and techniques together. Derek Jarman collaborators, John Maybury and Cerith Wyn Evans experimented with Super 8, casting friends Leigh Bowery and Siouxsie Sioux in fragmented, dreamlike scenarios. Isaac Julien and Grayson Perry explored the politics of cultural and personal representation, and major pop video director Sophie Muller (Beyoncé, Rihanna, The Strokes) printed and layered images on 16mm.

THIS IS NOW celebrates the diversity of independent moving image production from the UK in the 1980s, a unique moment when cheap new technologies enabled new voices to be heard. A new aesthetic developed that would shape the look of film, television, fashion and music for many years to come. The BFI National Archive has restored twenty Super 8 and 16mm films from this period and the majority of titles are presented for the first time in over three decades. Developed over several years, these programmes revisit a key period in the cultural life of the UK and reflect on the currency that this work has with internet video and artist filmmaking today.

The UK tour has been developed with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

Please visit the This is Now website for more information and resources related to the project.

*** These programmes contain explicit and potentially sensitive material that may not be suitable for young audiences. Please refer to our recommended ratings below ***

Saturday 2 April, 4pm
PERFORMING THE SELF – Film Screening + Q&A with John Scarlett-Davis and William Fowler, Curator of Artists’ Moving Image, BFI National Archive
Cert: PG

New ways of thinking about identity, the self and the body were all part of punk’s powerful legacy. This unlikely cocktail of visionary experimental films and bright, brash pop videos shows how visual culture changed radically at the start of the 1980s. Genre boundaries became blurred and the use of masks and make-up challenged the conventions of identity construction and representation – often to the sound of a catchy electronic melody.

Cerith Wyn Evans, Still Life With Phrenology Head, 1979, 14 min
Steve Barron, Human League: Don’t You Want Me, 1981, 4 min
John Scarlett-Davis, Chat Rap, 1983, 15 min
Mike Mansfield & Adam Ant, Adam Ant: Stand and Deliver, 1981, 3 min
Mike Mansfield & Adam Ant, Adam Ant: Prince Charming, 1981, 3 min
John Maybury, The Modern Image, 1978, 13 min
John Maybury, Solitude, 1981, 13 min
Grayson Perry & Jennifer Binnie, Bungalow Depression, 1981, 4 min
The Neo-Naturists, The Private View, 1981, 7 min

Admission free, please register via Eventbrite

Sunday 3 April, 12pm
Cert: 18

The mainstream media was treated like a giant library to be plundered for provocative play and subversion in the early 1980s. Whether filming their TV screen with a Super 8 camera or deftly copying tape-to-tape, artists grabbed and juxtaposed disparate material to disrupt the dominant ideologies of the age and create new visual music. The programme includes notable examples of the Scratch Video phenomenon.

Cerith Wyn Evans, The Attitude Assumed: Still Life With Still Born, 1980, 19 min
Jill Westwood, Skinheads and Roses, 1983, 7 min
Jeffrey Hinton, Pop Dolphinc.1983, 23 min
George Barber, Tilt, 1984, 6 min
George Barber, Branson, 1983, 2 min
Duvet Brothers, Blue Monday, 1984, 4 min
Gorilla Tapes, The Commander in Chief, 1984, 4 min
George Barber & George Snow, Art of Noise: Legs, 1985, 6 min
Cordelia Swann, Passion Tryptych, 1982, 4 min

Admission free, please register via Eventbrite

Sunday 3 April, 1.30pm
Cert: 18

The moral, political and symbolic integrity of the image itself is interrogated and overturned in these richly textured films. John Maybury casts Siouxsie Sioux and fashion designer David Holah in one of the singularly most stunning and ambitious Super 8 works of the era, the existential genderfuck Court of Miracles. Young filmmakers bring on the post-modern age.

John Maybury, The Court of Miracles, 1982, 44 min
Vanda Carter, Glory Boys? , 1983, 4 min
Isaac Julien, Territories, 1984, 24 min
Cerith Wyn Evans & John Maybury, Psychic TV: Unclean, 1984, 9 min

Admission free, please register via Eventbrite

Sunday 3 April, 3pm
Cert: 15

Grayson Perry, Anna Thew and Steven Chivers conjure strange, new, lo-fi worlds with the help of close friends and collaborators, resisting both modern, Christian patriarchy and the conventions of traditional movie-making. Folk tales and arcane beliefs are re-imagined on Super 8 and London is turned into a bleak, austere, post-apocalyptic world.

Anna Thew, Lost For Words, 1980, 26 min
Grayson Perry, The Green Witch and Merry Diana, 1984, 20 min
Tim Pope, Men Without Hats: Safety Dance, 1982, 3 min
Steven Chivers, Catherine De Medicis Part 2, 1984, 25 min

Admission free, please register via Eventbrite

Sunday 3 April, 5.30pm
Cert: 12

Early independent video releases were the revolutionary, DIY antidote to a television system that was only just gearing up to a fourth channel. They bypassed censorship and provided a platform to the marginalised and unsanctioned. This eclectic selection includes a very rare John Smith title and punchy, stuttering Scratch Video works by The Duvet Brothers, Kim Flitcroft & Sandra Goldbacher, Gorilla Tapes and George Barber.

John Smith, Echo and the Bunnymen: Shine So Hard, 1981, 32 min
The Miners’ Campaign Tapes: The Lie Machine, 1984, 16 min
The Greatest Hits of Scratch Video Volume 2, 1984, 28 min

Admission free, please register via Eventbrite

Sunday 3 April, 7pm
Cert: 15

Weaving together film and video, often utilising religious imagery and introducing colour effects and surface texture, filmmakers generated a new, vividly transcendental style by the end of the post-punk era. Key examples of this sensual, visually mature work are presented alongside other dynamic, hallucinogenic pieces that explore the dreamlike state.

John Maybury, The Technology of Souls, 1981, 11 min
Sophie Muller, In Excelsis Deo, 1983, 26 min
Cerith Wyn Evans, The Miracle of the Rose, 1984, 25 min
John Maybury, The Union Jacking Up, 1985, 18 min

Admission free, please register via Eventbrite


April 2
April 3
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Borlase-Smart Studio
Porthmeor Studios, Back Road West
St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1NG United Kingdom
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