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December at Close-Up: Grant Gee, Nina Danino, Samira Elagoz, animation, Alice in Wonderland

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December at Close-Up: Grant Gee, Nina Danino, Samira Elagoz, animation, Alice in Wonderland
by Tom Davies - Thursday, 1 December 2016, 5:20 PM

This month's programme features a wealth of artists' films, tapping into the rich vein of filmmakers from around the world to present both a cross-section of contemporary and historical works. Beginning with the largely unseen film works of New Zealand poet, painter, and filmmaker Joanna Margaret Paul, whose quiet Super 8 poems chronicle motherhood, domestic life, and her surrounding environment. Followed by a day of screenings surveying the films of Nina Danino - particularly known for their use of the female voice - mixing psychoanalysis, art and experimental film with aspects of her cultural and religious background to create elliptical narratives informed by literary texts, memoirs and her own writing.

Continuing our focus on artists into the second weekend, filmmaker and curator Karel Doing presents a special preview screening of Samira Elagoz' hybrid of documentary and performance based around encounters initiated through Craigslist. Further into the weekend we present two screenings as part of the Edge of Frame Weekend, which focus on process based and materialist experimental films, to explore the boundaries of animation and visual art; whilst Karel Doing returns to Close-Up with an array of contemporary filmmakers utilising film to critique and disrupt the current sociopolitical climate.

Following our three hugely successful cycles of his films, we mark the 30th Anniversary of Andrei Tarkovsky’s death with four pairings of the Russian master’s works and a selection of Eastern European masterpieces drawn from Second Run’s catalogue. Mehelli Modi has kindly chosen films that echo and contrast the auteur’s themes and philosophy – often in surprising ways. We also present a double bill of Tarkovsky’s films produced in exile, before finally ending on the actual day of his passing with a special night of poetry and remembrance, featuring his extraordinary, personal film-poem Mirror.

Elsewhere this the month we present two more installments of our literary adaptations series, with Grant Gee's unique film essay on the late-great British author WG Sebald, and a screening of Jonathan Miller's classic spin on Alice in Wonderland which will be 50 years old to the day. Finally we end the month on a festive note with a screening of Second Run's newly released Czech classic, Three Wishes for Cinderella.

As always, booking is strongly recommended for all of our screenings.


2 December 2016

Through a Different Lens: Film Work by Joanna Margaret Paul

Filmmaker and curator Peter Todd presents a programme of 12 films screened for the first time to an international audience by New Zealand poet, painter, and filmmaker Joanna Margaret Paul. Often shot and edited in camera, her films chronicle motherhood and domestic life, the worn traces of urban settlement and the persistent presence of the natural world. Todd’s accompanying essay places Joanna Margaret Paul work in the lineage of filmmakers Margaret Tait and Robert Bresson, and painter Frances Hodgkins. 


3 December 2016

Close-Up on Nina Danino + Q&A

We’re pleased to present a day of screenings focusing on the films of Nina Danino, including her most recent feature, Jennifer. Ranging from early 16mm works – which combine observational narrative with personal or subjective memory to inscribe and defer the representation of the woman – to her recent studies of the unseen women who dedicate themselves to enclosed monastic lives, Danino seeks to capture the ephemeral aspects of place through the medium of film. Particularly known for their use of the female voice, Danino’s films mix psychoanalysis, art and experimental film with aspects of her cultural and religious background to create elliptical narratives informed by literary texts, memoirs and her own writing.  

4 - 29 December 2016

Close-Up on Andrei Tarkovsky

To mark the 30th Anniversary of Andrei Tarkovsky's passing, Second Run selects films from their catalogue to pair with four masterpieces by the great Russian Auteur. Tarkovsky belongs to that handful of filmmakers who, with a small, concentrated body of work, created a universe. Though he made only seven features, thwarted by Soviet censors and then by cancer, each honoured his ambition to crash through the surface of ordinary life and find a larger spiritual meaning: to heal modern art's secular fragmentation by infusing it with metaphysical dimension. To that end he rejected Eisensteinian montage and developed a demanding, long-take aesthetic, which he thought better able to reveal the deeper truths underlying the ephemeral, performing moment. 


8 December 2016

Samira Elagoz: Craigslist Allstars preview + Q&A

For the past years Samira Elagoz has been collecting intimate encounters with strangers, committing these to film that strikes a delicate balance between fiction and reality. Through Craigslist, an internationally active internet network, Elagoz arranges one-on-one meetings with a wide variety of men in three different cities and explores how the camera influences intimacy between two strangers: The documentarian and the subject. The set up is simple – she brings a camera, and films how they get to know each other. Every encounter is real and unscripted. Coming from performance she weaves her own presence in and out, and becomes part of the narrative. Instead of making a film she enters one. The screening will be followed by Q&A with Samira Elagoz and filmmaker and curator Karel Doing. 


9 December 2016

Edge of Frame: Elemental Animation

Curated by Edwin Rostron, this programme presents a series of works which use the material of film itself as a canvas. These visceral, vibrant films feature camera-less techniques such as scratching, painting and printing onto the filmstrip, subjecting film to decay and decomposition, and affixing materials such as letraset or insects to its surface. The remarkable visions created through these diverse approaches fill the frame with dynamic textures and colour, and many will be presented on 16mm and 35mm prints. Seen in the cinema, these works achieve a powerful effect, immersing us in strange and previously unseen worlds, and displaying the breadth and scope of abstract film. 


10 December 2016


Karel Doing presents a programme exploring cinematic mischief, with a collection of works that undermine and disrupt contemporary political discourse whilst providing a counterpoint to aestheticism – a tonic for the modern malaise. This selection brings together films from across Europe to reveal surprising links between disparate makers and thinkers – followed by a discussion with the filmmakers about their outspoken and radical positions. Featuring works by Richard Ashrowan, Martha Colburn, Oliver Bancroft & Louis Benassi, Deniz Johns, Pim Zwier, Alia Syed, Thomas Chatard & Antoine Ledroit. 


11 December 2016

Push and Pull: Films by Lilli Carré and Alexander Stewart + Q&A

Working individually and collaboratively, Lilli Carré and Alexander Stewart share a particular fascination with the history, processes and artefacts of animation. Their work encompasses a wide range of techniques, from drawn and digital animation, to live-action film and video, printmaking, ceramics and comics. Edge of Frame presents a selection of their moving image works on video and 16mm. Alexander Stewart will attend the evening for Q&A after the screening. This programme is part of the Edge of Frame Weekend, which also includes a public seminar addressing questions around the context for animation practice, and further screenings at Whitechapel Gallery. 


16 December 2016

Adaptations: Patience (After Sebald) + Q&A

Gareth Evans presents a special screening to mark the 15th anniversary of the untimely death of WG Sebald with readings by his close friend, poet Stephen Watts. Evans will be in conversation with director Grant Gee following the screening. A richly textured essay film on landscape, art, history, life and loss, Patience (After Sebald) offers a unique exploration of the work of internationally acclaimed writer W.G. Sebald via a walk through East Anglia tracking his most influential book, The Rings of Saturn. Grierson award winning filmmaker Grant Gee directs the first film about Sebald, with contributions from major writers, artists and film-makers including Tacita Dean, Robert Macfarlane, Sir Andrew Motion, Rick Moody, Iain Sinclair and Marina Warner, with a haunting soundtrack by acclaimed composer and sound artist The Caretaker. 


28 December 2016

Adaptations: Alice in Wonderland - 50th Anniversary

Marking 50th year since it was first broadcast, we’re pleased to present a screening of Jonathan Miller’s darkly psychedelic rendition of Alice in Wonderland. Broadcast in the centenary year of the publication of Lewis Carroll's novel, Jonathan Miller's television adaptation is both a completely logical translation of the book, and a radical departure from convention. Almost all other versions of Alice in Wonderland are aimed squarely at children, but Miller's intended audience was not only adults but those so familiar with the book that they would still be able to recognise what was going on even when his film was at its most elliptical. 


30 December 2016

Second Run: Three Wishes for Cinderella

We’re thrilled to host Second Run for a screening of the Czech Christmas classic Three Wishes for Cinderella – a much-loved version of the Cinderella fairytale, re-worked through the lens of socialist feminism. Mehelli Modi will introduce the film in its original un-cut version. One of the most beloved films in all Eastern European cinema, Václav Vorlíček's reworking of the classic Cinderella tale is both delightful and unconventional. Deviating from the original story, yet retaining an air of real magic and beauty, Three Wishes for Cinderella takes the familiar fairytale and invests it with a feisty and rebellious Cinderella who – far from being some passive beauty – rides a horse, knows how to hunt and actively pursues her handsome Prince.