Sun 1 Mar 2020 / 2pm
Nighthawks was Britain’s first explicitly gay film made within the gay community. This quietly revolutionary film gives us one of cinema’s first complex, fully realised gay protagonists.
The screening of this rare film will be followed by a conversation between Director Ron Peck and artist Ian Giles.
Nighthawks is set in a post-Stonewall and pre-AIDS London. In the evenings Jim, an out geography teacher hits the bars, where the dance floor becomes a space of lusty liberation, dispiriting ritual and social connections. Peck made Nighthawks with a cast of mostly non-professional actors, advertising for roles in newspaper classifieds. Jim’s worlds collide when he’s confronted by his students. When asked if he is “bent” Jim gives the schoolboys a resounding lesson in tolerance that still reverberates today.
Nighthawks has been selected by Ian Giles as part of the Communal Curriculum for his Jerwood New Work Fund project ‘On Railton Road’ – Giles is developing a play about the Brixton gay squats in the 1970s. Communal Curriculum is a series of public events produced as part of the play’s devising process and includes: the Nighthawks screening, a queer tour of Brixton and other related discussions. His resulting collaborative play will be presented at Brixton Base on April 17th and 18th 2020. More details: onrailtonroad.com
Supported by Jerwood Arts and Arts Council England
Nighthawks, colour, 113 mins, 16mm transferred to DVD, 1978
Followed by a Q&A with Ron Peck and Ian Giles
Ron Peck, born 1948 is best known for Nighthawks (1978), which he made in collaboration with Paul Hallam. His film output and other activities are diverse. He has made documentaries about artists (Edward Hopper, 1981) and boxers (Fighters, 1992), a personal film about naked men and censorship (What Can I do with a Male Nude?, 1985), and the feature Empire State (1987). Rather than choosing to work within the traditional film industry, which may have meant compromising his vision and his principles, he has always worked collaboratively and sought to share his filmmaking knowledge and resources.
Ian Giles born 1985, completed his MFA in 2012 at the Slade School of Fine Art. He was a LUX Associate Artist 2012/13. Recent exhibitions and screenings include: Outhouse, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Studio Four, OUTPOST, Norwich; Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag, presented by Gasworks at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, London (all 2019); After BUTT, NY Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1, New York; Video Club: Sex Talks, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; After BUTT, Chelsea Space, London (all 2018). Ian was an inaugural winner of the Shannon Michael Cane Award in 2018. He was a New Geographies commissioned artist 2018-20 and is currently a recipient of the Jerwood New Work Fund.