Festival: LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Images, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, May 24-27 2012
© Courtesy Michael Robinson
For three years from 1997, Pulp guitarist Mark Webber ran Little Stabs at Happiness, an ultra-cool club at the ICA combining obscure cinematic masterpieces, live bands and a bit of dancing within a party atmosphere intended to be as far removed as possible from the aloof pretence of a typical screening or premiere.
The monthly meet became hugely popular before disbanding at the end of 2000, but it returns on Thursday, launching the only contemporary moving image festival of its kind by putting on The Machine That Kills bad People, a piece by Italian Roberto Rossellini about a camera which can kill the greedy and corrupt, made in 1952.
It’s a fittingly fantastical start to a four-day celebration which includes Super-8 king Luther Price, who re-edits old found footage and detritus in a “death drive” of “chaotic mental states”, soundtracked only by the grinding noise of the projector responsible for portraying them.
There are works on human nature by the ever-compelling, multi-award winning Ben Rivers, one of a string of guest curators alongside the likes of Elena Filipovic, the former Berlin Biennial co-curator who has picked a programme of films with names such as I Kiss Your Ectoplasm Like I Would a Shark V and These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us.
And the whippersnapper who might steal the column inches is Spartacus Chetwynd – hot property at the moment thanks to her Turner Prize nomination, and turning up here with Call of the Wild, a trip to the epicentre of the Outer Hebrides being shown as part of a programme selected by Firstsite Senior Curator Michelle Cotton.
The line-up is decorated with panel discussions, symposiums and in-depth question-and-answer sessions attended by many of the filmmakers whose works take centre stage.
- Visit the Biennial online for full details.
© Courtesy Laida Lertxundi
© Courtesy Claire Hooper
© Courtesy Emily Roysdon
© Luther Price
© Lux / Irm and Ed Sommer