La vida en un film

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  • Publicado : 19 de enero de 2012
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‘Life in Film’, an ongoing series, frieze asks artists and filmmakers to list the movies that have influenced their practice.

Peter Doig, Baad asssss Cinema (2005)
When I moved to Port of Spain in Trinidad five years ago, there was a small Caribbean film festival on, which I went to see. They showed a documentary, A Hard Road To Travel(2001, directed by Chris Browne), on the making of TheHarder they Come (1972, directed by Perry Henzell, Browne’s uncle), the classic film starring Jimmy Cliff. I realized that many people of a younger generation in Port of Spain had never seen The Harder They Come. As there’s no cinema in town that shows old films, I decided to screen it. It was a one-off idea, but it was popular, so we started the StudioFilmClub. I now run it with a Trinidadianartist, Che Lovelace. Initially we wanted to show films that we thought were appropriate to a Trinidadian audience, where the narrative might have some connection to the place, but in the end we realized that was somehow patronizing; instead, we decided to show films that we simply liked or thought important or interesting – we only do one film a week and jump around between genres and countries anddirectors, covering the spectrum from art-house to mainstream. For example, the second film we showed was Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners and I (2000), and after that Jim Jarmusch’sGhost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999). I don’t think we’ve ever put on a bad film.
It usually takes about a day of discussion to work out what to screen. Presenting a film of your own choosing is such an incredible thing tobe able to do: it’s like a fantasy. Although DVD has opened up a big back catalogue and made a lot of old or obscure films accessible, I much prefer watching films with a group to watching on my own. For instance, we showedPan’s Labyrinth (2006, directed by Guillermo del Toro) recently in the film club, and the atmosphere was incredible; you could have heard a pin drop.

The Harder TheyCome (2005)
My studio is in Caribbean Contemporary Arts in Laventille. It’s a large warehouse where they used to make Fernando’s Rum, which was the most popular rum in Trinidad. The warehouse is huge, but I don’t need that much space as I like painting in a small room. So I use a section to paint in, and we have the makeshift cinema and a viewing area for my paintings in the rest of the space. On averagewe get about 60 people, but sometimes we have around 100, and one night we had well over 400 for a screening of Calypso Dreams(2004, directed by Geoffrey Dunn and Michael Horne) – a really great documentary on the history of calypso. Anything with local content is really popular, as not many films have been made in Trinidad and the region.
We have shown a lot of older films, but fewer peoplecome to those nights. I don’t mind if five people come or 100, as long as they enjoy it. I met a guy recently, though, who used to run a film club in Trinidad in the 1940s that showed Jean Renoir films and had about 800 members, which is a lot more than we have. We’re coming up to our 200th film and are hoping that Anton Corbijn will come out and screen his filmControl (2007) for us. As Jeremy Dellersaid when he visited Port of Spain, Control is the least Trinidad-like film you could possibly imagine, but I think there will definitely be an audience for it. People in Trinidad read about films that are being shown around the world, but they don’t have a chance to see many of them, despite the fact that there is a great tradition of cinema in the country. A lot of the early steel bands werenamed after characters in film noir gangster movies from the 1940s or famous war films, which were mainly from Hollywood and, to a lesser extent, Britain.
Growing up in Toronto was great, in that there were so many cinemas there. But going to see movies then wasn’t just about the films: it was a social scene as well. Early Punk bands would play there; we would go to the cinema to drink and smoke...
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