April 8, 2020

London Short Film Festival: A Night of Celluloid @LSFF

The LSFF London Short Film Festival opening night took place at the ICA on the 4th January.

“A night of celluloid” was the name of the session taking place on the 6th January 2013 at Roxy Bar & Screen. It was a night to celebrate the screening of three shorts. “Screen Bandita” a super-8 styling from Edinburgh, “Kino Bingo” a multiple 16mm projection of David Leister and “The Florestine Collection” a Suitcase Cinema UK premiere, presenting a powerful 16mm short directed by Helen Hill and Paul Gailiunas, a 30 min. piece produced in the US in 2011.

The successful showing of “Screen Bandita” was supported by The One Ensemble. It is a live road movie in super 8 and sound. A super 8 film, with custom slides and a live score, courtesy of the topsy- turvy Glasgow quartet The One Ensemble. It incorporates traces of Eastern European folk and string-laced chamber psych. This was a Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival Commission, returning to LSFF for a second year.


Douglas Hart: Long Distance was the session played on Saturday 12th January at the  ICA. Douglas Hart was the bass guitarist and founding member of the Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain, and played with the group from 1984 to 1991. While in the band, Hart started to direct music videos for other acts. He went on to found his own video company and has directed over 80 music videos. His work includes promos for My Bloody Valentine, The Pet Shop Boys, and The Libertines as well as the concert videos for Stone Roses. Hart’s latest short film, Long Distance Information, is his first drama, a dark comedy exploring the relationship between a father (Peter Mullan) and his son (Alan Tripney). The screening showed for the first time at the Glasgow Film Festival in early 2012, featured a selection of Douglas’s best and iconic music videos, alongside his 1991 documentary short Brazil’70 The Sexiest Kick-Off.


Douglas Hart was there to introduce his own music video productions. 10 short films and 3 brief pauses to introduce and answer questions about shorts. Douglas Hart has achieved his own videoclip aesthetic, a formula that has been studied by many cinema universities. This aesthetic resembles commercial advertisers from the 80s and 90s. Short, impressive and cheap. That type of production focuses on a very particular style. Projecting waves, double images, shapes as ovoid, ovals and oculus, also play a sense of criticism and focus of resistance.  Paul Weller, from The Jam, was also portrayed in the videoclip “You do something to me” where the pictures accompany the lyrics, with a minimal expression, not to simplify but to realize an unique sense, an aesthetic synthesis and a basic unit.

Also, thinking about the audiovisual industries, artists still argue about the matter of life in cinema. As Baudelaire states, life is art, an art belongs to life. But when you go through the Sex pistols videoclips, you realize how raw the production is. Hand held camera, no script, just live, live recording, no plan. This is a formula that allows the achievement of talent and equality. Contrary to Top of the Pops, it is a most powerful structure and sometimes difficult to gain, its exclusivity of production is far different from the independent labels. Pete Doherty in The Lovers shows a live act. It remembers Jean-Luc Godard, in nouvelle vague, but also references glass culture.

Begin and end in a loop. The opposite style is used in the aesthetic of primary colours, The Horrors hit See within a sea features them in the studio in a fixed position. It also used colours, stripes, shapes, geometry to display waves, the colour of feeling, and the belonging of senses from inside out. The use of strobes, projectors, and other optical devices is not at all a matter of technology, but a result of tekné, and art. Douglas Hart has also said that one of its main references and influences is video art, film books, eg, Kenneth Anger and Stan Brakhage. And finally reveals its taste for the spontaneous truth. Among the best works he has made are those for the BBC and Primal scream.


by Lara Pearl

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