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Towards Other Cinemas: A critical re-assessment of 1970s independent film and video

Sat 16 - Sun 17 Sep 2017 / 6pm & 11.30am - 6pm

Close-up Film Centre & Whitechapel Gallery

Towards Other Cinemas is a series of screenings and discussions, exploring renewed interest in diverse strands of experimental film and video works made in 1970s Britain. With an opening event at Close Up cinema, followed by a day of screenings at the Whitechapel gallery, this series brings together works made in 1970s Britain, exploring how younger generations re-activate this recent past. The series coincides with the publication of Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and Experimental Film in the 1970s (IB Tauris, 2017), edited by theorist Laura Mulvey and writer and director Sue Clayton.

Curated by Sue Clayton (Professor at Goldsmiths University London), Claire M. Holdsworth (Research Fellow, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University London) and Laura Mulvey (Professor in Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck, University of London) in partnership with LUX, London and the Whitechapel Gallery.

Tickets for each event (Saturday / Sunday) sold separately (via the Whitechapel and Close Up).

Close-Up: £10 / £8 conc. (£6 Close-Up members)
Whitechapel: £15 / £12 concession

Download the full programme here.

From a Liberation Films project, photo documents community campaign for a pedestrian crossing in Balham, London (circa 1973), subsequently included in the film Starting to Happen (1974). Courtesy of the London Community Video Archive (Goldsmiths University London).

Saturday 16 September, 6pm

Other Cinemas in Context
Close-up Film Centre

Book your tickets here.


Chaired by Helen de Witt, Sue Clayton and Laura Mulvey talk about their new edited collection Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and Experimental Film the 1970s (IB Tauris, 2017). With screenings of Clayton/Curling’s The Song of the Shirt (1979) and Mulvey/Wollen’s Amy (1980).

Sunday 17 September, 11.30am – 6pm

Whitechapel Gallery

Book your tickets here.


11.00 – 11.30 Registration

11.30 – 13.00 Activated Spaces
With Sue Clayton and Steve Presence

Amber Films, Last Shift (1976)

Ian Breakwell, The News (1980)

Cinema Action, Arise ye workers (the dockers’ fight) (1974/5)

Esther Ronay, Mary Kelly, Mary Capps, Humphrey Trevelyan, Margaret Dickinson, Brigid Seagrave, Susan Shapiro, Women of the Rhondda (1972)


13.00 – 14.00 lunch break


14.00 – 15.30 Listening In
With Claire M. Holdsworth and Lucy Reynolds

Lis Rhodes, Light Reading (1978)

Anthony McCall, Andrew Tyndall, Claire Pajaczkowska and Jane Weinstock, Sigmund Freud’s Dora: A Case of Mistaken Identity (1979)

Stuart Marshall, Go through the Motions (1975)


15.30 – 14.00 afternoon break


16.00 – 18.00 Time and Place
With Laura Mulvey and Kodwo Eshun

Isaac Julien / Sankofa Film/Video, Who Killed Colin Roach? (1982)

William Raban, Angles of Incidence (1973)

Chris Welsby, Anemometer (1974)

David Crosswaite, Man with a Movie Camera (1973)

Screening followed by an overview/discussion of the Other Cinemas project (17.30 – 18.00)

About the Speakers

Sue Clayton is a UK feature and documentary film writer and director. Her films include The Song of the Shirt (1979), The Last Crop (1990), The Disappearance of Finbar (1996), Hamedullah: The Road Home (2012) and Calais Children: A Case to Answer (2017). She has made award-winning documentaries for Channel 4 and ITV including How to Survive Lifestyle, Japan Dreaming, and Turning Japanese. She is a Professor and founding Director of Screen School at Goldsmiths (University of London), and co-author with Laura Mulvey of Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and Experimental Film the 1970s (IB Tauris, 2017).

Dr Steve Presence is a Research Fellow in Film and Television Studies at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol. He is a founder member of the Bristol Radical Film Festival, and founding member and convenor of the Radical Film Network (RFN) – an international network of organisations involved in politically-engaged and aesthetically innovative film culture, which has claimed the IFVA Independent Film and Video Makers’ Association, formed in the 1970s) as one of its formative influences. Steve is also Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded research project, ‘Sustaining Alternative Film Cultures’.

Dr Claire M. Holdsworth is an archivist and writer. A Research Fellow at Kingston School of Art (Kingston University London) specialising in British artists’ moving image (1970s/1980s), her research explores sound, the voice, authorship and oral histories in relation to archives and historiography. Holdsworth assisted with research and editing of the anthology Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and Experimental Film in the 1970s (eds. Sue Clayton and Laura Mulvey, IB Tauris, 2017), to which she also contributed as an author.

Dr Lucy Reynolds is Senior Lecturer and researcher at Westminster University. She has published extensively and curated exhibitions and programmes for a range of institutions, most particularly focused on questions of the moving image, feminism, political space and collective practice, and is currently editing an anthology on Women Artists, Feminism and the Moving Image (IB Tauris, 2018). As an artist Reynolds’ films and installations, which include the ongoing sound work A Feminist Chorus, have been presented in galleries and cinemas nationally and internationally.

Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of Visual and Other Pleasures (1989, new edition 2009) Fetishism and Curiosity (1996, second edition 2013) and Death Twenty-four Times a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (2006). She made six films in collaboration with Peter Wollen, including Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) and Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (1984), as well as Disgraced Monuments (1996) with artist/filmmaker Mark Lewis.

Kodwo Eshun is Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths University London, Visiting Professor, Haut Ecole d’Art et Design, Genève and co-founder of the Otolith Group. He is the author of More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction (1998) and co-editor of Post Punk Then and Now (2016), Harun Farocki Against What? Against Whom? (2010) and The Ghosts of Songs: The Film Art of the Black Audio Film Collective 1982–1998 (2007).