What's on at Hackney Picturehouse - Film Course
- Wednesday 9th Jan
2018, 120 mins
Six Weeks on Wednesdays from 9th Jan, 7-9pm The course will take place in the Education Room at Hackney Picturehouse Lecturer: Keith Shiri This course will introduce students to the history of African cinema, its politics and aesthetics and offers an opportunity to study Africa through the cinematic output of different countries. You will be introduced to the most significant pioneers of African cinema including Ousmane Sembene, Lionel Ngakane and Jean-Pierre Dikongue Pipa. We will consider African films within the social/historical context in which they were made considering themes such as regional experiences of colonialism, the role played by film in nation building and anti- colonial liberation and recent discussions of sexuality and gender. The classes will be in a seminar style and will feature the screening of selected clips and trailers of films spanning a little more than 50 years. Week one: An Historical Overview of African Cinema This week will look at the pioneering work by Ousmane Sembene a major figure in postcolonial African cinema. His film Black Girl a searing account of racism and isolation of a young black girl transported from Senegal to work as a maid was the first feature film directed and produced by an African. Suggested Viewing: Black Girl, dir. Ousmane Sembene (Senegal) Week two: The Look of Africa: Aesthetics of African Film Week 2 will compare and contrast creative styles of 2 celebrated films by filmmakers of different generations so as to build an understanding of visual style in African Cinema. We will examine films by Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety such as Touki Bouki and Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako’s film Timbuktu. These films will inform a discussion on the particular aesthetics of African film. Suggested Viewing: Timbuktu, Dir. Abderrahmane Sissako Week Three: Film as a Tool of Anti-Colonial Liberation This week will consider the politics of representation. We will look at how Africans have been portrayed in the colonial period and the ways that film was taken up in Africa as a tool of cultural and political liberation. Suggested viewing: Darwin’s Nightmare dir. Hubert Sauper Africa Addios. Dir. Gualtiero Jacopeti and Franco Prosperi. A controversial, racist film that violently slanders Africa. Mama Colonel dir. Dieudo Hamadi (DRC) Week four: Cinema in the fight against apartheid In this week we will look at how cinema became an important tool of resistance against apartheid in South Africa. Suggested viewing: Dry White Season dir. Euzhan Palcy (Martinique). Adapted from South African writer André Brink’s novel, A Dry White Season focused on the politics of South African apartheid. It was such a compelling project brought Marlon Brando out of retirement to fulfil the project’s vision. Week Five: Nollywood: Building new African identities. Nollywood is a colloquial name given to Nigerian film industry. This week we look at the creative energy young Africans have brought to drama by embracing digital technology and their dynamic approach to dramatized film and TV. Suggested viewing: Fifty dir. Biyi Bendele (Nigeria): A riveting exploration of love and lust, power and rivalry, and seduction and infidelity, set in Africa’s most populous city, Lagos. Week Six: Gender and Sexuality We will discuss issues of gender and sexuality by drawing attention to the current debates on homoeroticism in African Cinema. Suggested viewing: The Wound, dir. John Trengove (South Africa): The Wound is a tender and intimate film that explores sexuality, masculinity and cultural identity against the backdrop of the Xhosa initiation ceremony. Tickets are £70 for the full six week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).
- Wednesday 27th Feb
2018, 120 mins
Six Weeks on Wednesdays, 7pm, from Feb 27 - 3rd Apr The course will take place in the Education Room at Hackney Picturehouse Lecturer: Jon Davison This course will explore the many ways clowning has developed in and impacted upon cinema. We will explore the work of the classic creators from early silent comedy such as Chaplin and Keaton and consider the continued, yet underappreciated, influence of the clowning in modern comedy. The course will consider the restrictions as well as opportunities offered by the medium of film for the creation of physical comedy and will consider; the structure of gags, narrative styles, visual and verbal humour. Each week will focus on a key aspect by examining film clips leading to open discussion driven by participants’ interests. The course will end by asking how visual comedy works within the new technological arena of the internet and social media. The course is aimed at all those with an enthusiasm and curiosity for the mechanics and history of clown comedy in film, from those working or studying in the profession as comedy writers, directors or performers, to those with an academic or personal interest in the art form. Week one: The Origins of early onscreen Clowning The ideas for early comedy in cinema didn’t just spring out of nowhere. The most known example is the repertoire and knowledge that Chaplin brought to California from Enlish Music halls and his work with Fred Karno, but earlier precursors such as the Hanlon-Lees had honed slapstick skills in mid-19th century circus which would prove to be transferable to film. Week two: Action Gags and Emotional Narratives While some, such as Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, were reinventing old-school physical clowning for the 20th century world of speed, danger and machines, others were exploring the balance between non-action-based narratives. Chaplin led the way with emotion-driven narrative, often at the expense of gag-density. Week Three: Clowns and Technology The impact of the talkies on cinema clowning would prove fatal for some but a blessing to others. Laurel and Hardy grasped the opportunity at first cautiously, but their use of short dialogues inserted into otherwise purely visual footage changed the pace of clowning radically. Week four: Clown Biopics We are all familiar with some of the common myths about clowns (the sad clown, the poor clown and, more recently, the scary clown), but curiously it has often been the performers themselves who have done most to propagate those myths. We will look at some self-presentations of clowns as hero on film, such as the Soviet clown, Leonid Yengibarov. Week Five: Clown Theorists on Screen Due perhaps to the presentation of the clown as an idiot, one might assume that there is no thinking lying behind the persona. Of course, this is nonsense. Clowns have frequently sought to articulate their theories of the artform, both in print and more commonly on film itself. The comedy lecture is not just a joke but also a vehicle for the author’s ideas. These ideas are, additionally, often disputed. The most telling dispute of all is perhaps Tati’s argument about the merits of his own comedy above those of Chaplin, which reveals an interesting insight into gag structures. Week Six: The Internet Era The way we watch clowning on screen has changed rapidly and radically in recent years due to new technology. Here we will survey the current terrain of clown comedy as determined by the immediacy of the internet and social media, ranging from practical jokers, through online clowning, to animals as clowns. Tickets are £70 for the full six week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).