Film Archive

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    For the Spring 2014 issue of Printed Pages we went out to six of London’s finest galleries and museums to interview their invigilation staff about the works of art and antiquity they take care of, and what they mean to them personally. We hit the Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, White Cube Bermondsey, The Saatchi Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery, and in this film we meet Neide Gentelini, a gallery assistant at the V&A, who explains her love for a piece of Renaissance sculpture.

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    I have to confess, I’m wholeheartedly averse to public displays of affection. It doesn’t even matter if I’m bathed in a rose-tinted mist myself, all it takes is a pair of slurping snoggers on the Tube and my reflex is to double up immediately and start making violent and theatrical retching sounds, the likes of which are rarely seen outside of children’s telly programmes. With that in mind, this short film by Tatia Pilieva, in which 20 strangers meet each other and then proceed to kiss for the first time, took me completely by surprise with its simple and strangely transfixing approach.

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    “Reclaim the Forgotten, cherish the neglected, treasure the abandoned, encourage the overlooked, adore the unfashionable, re-invent the unwanted, champion the unloved, value the rejected” reads the copy on the souvenirs page on the Museum of British Folklore site. When visiting this particular page, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this museum was already up and running, but sadly it is not. And that is where filmmaker Tom Chick has stepped in – to encourage donations and support for one of the worthiest causes I’ve certainly ever read about.

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    We talk a lot about simple pleasures on It’s Nice That, but this very short little film kind of takes the biscuit (sorry) in the sense that it’s pretty much an eyeball massage from start to finish. First of all, While you were Steeping is a great project: asking creatives to do something in the time it takes for their beverage of choice to be prepared. I had a kind of personal veto against any tea-related project until we saw this yesterday, because frankly anything Geoff Mcfetridge wants to do that’s tea-related is completely, 100 percent fine by me. In this case he’s painting a white table in such a beautifully gentle, skilful way that it made me zone out and clumsily spill my own tea all over my desk. Thanks a bunch, Geoff!

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    I often feel that lyric videos were made for me and my fellow kids of the 80s and 90s . If you turned teenager in Smash Hits’s heyday then you too will recall tearing eagerly at the perforated edges of the lyrics to various Sean Paul belters and trying desperately (but to no avail) to learn every word so that you could sing along to Top of the Pops come Friday.

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    Three cheers for directorial duo Stephen Ledger-Lomas and Phoebe Arnstein for their work on Jamie Isaac’s new song, She Dried. Together they take us to a stark, monochromatic room where we are third wheel to a curious dinner date between Jamie and a fascinatingly beautiful older woman. This peculiar little love story is spliced with shots that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end – a lightbulb in a vice, white thread (or hair?) dragged between rusty nails, dark liquid dripping on to a calloused hand – the stuff of short, sharp nightmares or the more bloodcurdling scenes in Twin Peaks. What’s so refreshing about this video is the simplicity of it, as it serves as a reminder that for a great video all you really need is a few props and two very, very talented filmmakers.

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    I see you all, standing on the train platform with your fat little thumbs scrolling into oblivion as you wade through all your “friends” showing off their artisan lifestyles on their mobile phones. Hey, who am I kidding? I flipping love Instagram, and my artisan lifestyle. Retro video parody-making team SquirrelMonkeyCom have meshed the social media de rigueur with the 1980s. Sure back then they had speedboats, rolled-up sleeves and enough cocaine to dry up the Pacific but did they have the World Wide Web? They did not. What this video does is spell out just how lucky we are to have an easy way to show off our boring photos to our friends with just one click, because back then it would have taken about four days. Check out the rest of the series over on their YouTube channel.

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    We first came across young filmmaker James Aiken almost a year ago when his Icelandic surfing film captured our imagination. His unerring eye for cinematic scenery and ability to create and manipulate atmosphere in even a few short minutes was genuinely exciting, and we’ve been lucky enough to work with James on a couple of occasions in the past 12 months.

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    It was only recently we were singing the praises of Tate’s video content in the form of Horrors’ frontman Faris Badwan’s tour of the Paul Klee exhibition. Clearly though this was no fluke, Tate appear to be an institution which has taken to the world of online film like a Monet to water(lillies). Their Unlock Art series (with Le Méridien hotels) is a case in point; short introductions to the ideas and movements which have shaped the art world. The themes range from the nude in art to performance, Pop Art to purchasing and they are each fronted by a famous face (like comedian Sally Phillips or Peter Capaldi, aka Dr Who).

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    To show off the latest features in Sony’s new lens-style QX100 camera-phone, Wieden+Kennedy Portland have put together a stonker of a campaign that combines childlike wonderment with cutting-edge miniature film-making.

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    Hoorah! Three cheers for i-D for actually bothering to look into a model’s extra-curricular life and find out what she’s really into. In the latest episode in their More than a Model series, we meet powerful woman Rosie Tapner (who may or may not be rather well brought-up) a countryside-loving outdoors kind of lassie who likes to follow rogue lacrosse balls into the distance via bicycle, Flyknits or passing horse. Brill!

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    We said no Valentine’s Day posts but here we are publishing a romantic video made by a couple. Love-based it is, but cheesy it is not. This video for French band Petit Fantome L is a collection of spine-tinglingly great archive footage (what is it about seeing people jumping into lakes that makes you pine for summer and kissing?) that has been collated in an interactive format.

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    There’s a reason why this French film has gone viral, and that’s because it’s bloody brilliant. A perfect example of a very simple idea executed to perfection, director Eleonore Pourriat has taken us to Paris where we follow a man around his normal day. As he goes about his chores the realisation slowly creeps in that this guy isn’t just a house-husband, he’s living in a world where the role of men and women has been switched. We watch him deal with prejudice, be sexually abused verbally and physically, and struggle in a relationship which he has little to no control over. So well-shot and perfectly timed it gives you goosebumps and spot-on enough to change your views on gender forever, this is an absolute triumph of a short film, and must be watched by everyone.

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    There’s a lot of great process films out there that take you behind-the-scenes in the studios of fashion designers, illustrators, artists and designers. There’s absolutely shed-loads that demonstrate a specific print technique in real depth, but there’s really not many that show the intricacies of a process with enough detail to allow you to have a crack at it yourself while simultaneously captivating your imagination with the simple poetry of the process on show.

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    We’ve taken the opportunity to sing the praises of Pulse Film’s best filmmaking duo Fred&Nick before when they made the astounding promo for Laura Marling’s recent album. Now they’re back with something much less whimsical yet no less haunting, a documentary set to be aired on Channel 4 entitled PAYDAY. The Croydon-based program “delves into the finances and wallets of four 20-somethings that came of age in the financial crisis, a generation blighted by debt as well as overwhelmed by consumerism.” Fred&Nick were kind enough to answer a few questions about the making of such a timely and important piece of film.

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    Archigram was an avant-garde architectural group and magazine formed in the 1960s which sought to stop modernist ideas becoming safe and sterile. Its members continuously pushed the boundaries of their practice in fun and unusual directions, and did so by working only on hypothetical projects; things that would or could never be. The group’s ideas were also the starting point for this blisteringly good piece by Universal Everything. Matt Pyke and his team were inspired by the “utopian visions” of the Archigram adherents, and so created Walking City, a seven-and-a-half-minute video study of modernistic evolution.

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    In honour of the relaunch of Carl Burgess’ More Soon site (the home of his team’s phenomenal work) I’ve gone through and watched every single piece of film and 3D animation to choose the “best bit” to post today. I’ve seen in-store visuals for Prada, a stunning collaboration with Jonathan Zawada, Thomas Traum, Tom Darracott and Pharell Williams, re-watched his video for Ratatat’s Drugs and enjoyed some lovely fashion films for Kenzo.

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    When your gym looks like Warhol’s Factory without all the drugs and weird shit everywhere, you’ll probably enjoy exercise a little bit more than when you begrudgingly drag your potato physique that place in Croydon. And as much as it would be terrifying to actually be filmed whilst exercising by a cool guy like Tyrone Lebon, if your bod’s as hot as these guys is, there wouldn’t be that much to worry about.

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    One of the great things about having niche interests in Japanese comics that nobody else in the office cares about is that sometimes I stumble across a piece of historic gold. This time round I came across an archive of behind-the-scenes stills from various Godzilla films, shot between the mid-1950s and early 1960s, while on the hunt for some god-awful Manga. And because it’s Friday, how could I not share these gems with you. Look at that shirtless man tramping around a tiny Tokyo with his lizard legs! Thank me later.

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    We’re not really sure why any opportunity to get into the guts of the printing process is so intoxicating, but this tremendous short film provides yet more proof for the prosecution. It features Perrott Bespoke Printing in north London, a die-stamping specialists where father Steve is currently handing over the reins to daughter Catherine, who will be the fourth generation of the same family to operate its presses. We caught up with Evan Gildersleeve – who created the film’s score – to find out a little more about it…

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    To be totally honest, I didn’t expect to enjoy this film when I started watching it. There’s a long and inglorious tradition of “celebrities” being shoehorned into seemingly random contexts to the point it all starts to resemble an Alan Partridge programme pitch (“Youth Hostelling With Chris Eubank”). But as it turned out I was engrossed for the full four minutes of The Horrors frontman Faris Badwan showing us around Tate Modern’s Paul Klee exhibition. Firstly because Faris studied illustration at Central Saint Martins in the early 2000s and speaks with passion and intelligence about Klee’s work. And secondly the film links to his own artistic endeavours, so we aren’t just told that Klee influenced his pictures but are actually shown how.

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    What do you get if you combine the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of O’ahu, some pro-surfers and a quadrocopter with GoPros attached? (This isn’t a joke by the way, the answer isn’t even funny). You get the most mind-bending surf film you’ve ever laid eyes on. This four-minute snapshot of (tubular) genius is the work of Eric Sterman, a young Hawaiian surf film-maker, and is a compilation of the best wave rides of the 2013 season. Not much else to say here apart from just continuing to babble on about how great this is, so just sit back and enjoy!

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    Just when you think you’ve seen artists and filmmakers do everything that could possibly be done on the theme of time, another brain-box swans in and turns everything on its head to make the subject completely new again. Enter Adam Magyar, the artist/filmmaker who will make you look at crowded commuter train platforms in an entirely new way.

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    This week editor James Cartwright laments the loss of ham-fisted cinema and urges us to let Kickstarter revive it. As always, you comments are encouraged below.

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    If you’ve ever walked down Shoreditch High Street you’ll be familiar with a man and his dog that sit opposite Tesco. The man, John, is almost always sketching the buildings surrounding him as his dog, George, sits calmly by him watching people go by. John has been the subject of many conversations in Shoreditch, but not many people really know who he is, why he draws and where he’s from.

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    Messing around with paper folding at school didn’t get me much further than a ratty looking origami rose for my mum on Mother’s Day, so Jule Waibel’s incredible dress creations have got me absolutely stunned. The RCA graduate first won us over back in August with her project Enfaltung, and this brand new time-lapse film – which shows the making of one of her Tyvek skirts for Bershka’s 25 Dresses for 25 Cities project – proves that she’s got plenty more ideas tucked away now that she’s out of uni. We can’t wait to see what she’ll magic up next.

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    We like Cass McCombs. For his name, mainly, then his music, then for his ability to make powerful songs like this one that pay tribute to spectacular actresses like the late, great Karen Black. Karen was one of those oddly sexy women who commanded every film she was in with a magical kind of electricity and force, she was a mysterious dark horse that never really got the level of notoriety she deserved. Cass penned a track with Karen, then asked her husband Stephen Eckelberry to help make an extraordinary video to accompany it.

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    Hate to be the bearer of bad news guys but films ain’t made like they used to be. I like to imagine that films are produced how they were in the 1960s, with movie stars being shipped out to Geneva, pet dogs and all, to spend a few weeks chilling on a sun-dappled set and sipping martinis in between takes. Turns out times have changed and now almost every single thing in a film is made on a computer.

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    Have you ever been more charmed by a character in a short documentary film than you are by Umit, in The Way of the Dodo by Liam Saint-Pierre? The film’s subject is a Londoner and film fanatic whose shop houses his entire life’s collection of analog films and projectors; and there are a fair few in there. Starting out as a “rewind boy” in London’s then-new Rio cinema, Umit’s collection grew rapidly and was eventually moved to a little store named “Umit and Sons” in which he sells films and items from his collection, alongside groceries and other bits and pieces. It’s still there, and if you ask nicely he’ll play a little screening for you.

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    This week editor Liv Siddall looks at the BBFC’s announcement that they are cracking down on explicit music videos and wonders if that’s really a good idea after all. As always, all comments welcome below.

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    Polina Soloveichik has such a cool job. In her words “Someone approaches me with a wall or I find a location that is begging for a painting, and then I transform it.” Originally hailing from Russia, Polina is new to Berlin but has already made her mark (literally) all over the city. Despite describing it as a “cold Paradise,” Polina absolutely loves her new home, even more so now she is using her painting skills to create enormous murals all over it. In this nicely-shot film we learn about the life of a mural painter from the first sketches to the magnificent final outcome. I don’t know about you, but I had never even considered that could actually be a job. Turns out it is, and we’re all super-jealous.

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    Here in London, the end of the London Collections: Men means the end of revelling in sartorial male brilliance right? Wrong! Guinness has created a superb short film which features the Sapeurs, a group of people from the Republic of the Congo who embrace stylistic individualism in a truly inspiring way. It’s part of the Guinness Made Of More campaign, which celebrates those who live their lives with real integrity and character.

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    King Krule has blown up over the past twelve months. The 19-year-old one-man band has smashed into music’s collective consciousness with a decidedly arrogant swagger and a selection of tunes that belie his tender age. In fact he’s so popular that even the late, great Alfred Hitchcock wants to appear by his side, topping and tailing his gravity-defying new video in which the young south Londoner (with the help of director Jamie-James Medina) pays homage to the legendary British director’s infamous cinematic quirks with a video that plays out like one big MacGuffin.

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    Job Wouters is a calligrapher, artist and illustrator based in Amsterdam, who has made creating large-scale typographic murals his thing. His aesthetic combines traditional craftsmanship with a contemporary minimalist edge, which might explain why Italian brand Canali chose to collaborate with him to celebrate their anniversary in this short video for Nowness, in which he creates 80 calligraphic pieces – one for every year of the brand’s existence. The slick simplicity of the video’s composition paired with his unfaltering brush makes for dangerously dreamy, almost hypnotic watching which makes even glancing down at the predictability of your keyboard again entirely unappealing. You’ve been warned.

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    In times gone by, Dan used to go by the moniker of Daniel has Potential for all his creative sign-offs. Now, in the new year he has stripped it back to his actual name, Daniel Brereton, to turn over what looks like a very professional new leaf. He’s been featured on the site more times than we have fingers to count on, and consistently delivers the wittiest and most watchable music videos we get to sit back and enjoy. So who better to kick off our new weekly music video feature than Dan himself? Here he is on his favourite music video, Spike Jonze’s masterpiece for Daft Punk’s Da Funk.

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    Fancy taking a walk through a fuchsia world of palm trees, ancient runes and digital architecture? Follow us, friend. The soundtrack to this journey will be a thrilling, shiveringly good cover of Animal Collective’s worldwide party hit My Girls. As well as being a song that will easily soundtrack any good memory you have stored in your brain at any time, it’s also a treasured amulet of modern music and cannot be covered or remade without some kind of fuss being made. In my opinion, both the cover and video of this remake are spectacular. 80s crooners Tears for Fears have done a smashing job on the vocals whilst American musician and artist Vinyl Williams (real name Lionel) has made a very impressive if mildly headache-inducing video for it. Also, turns out they do say “adobe slats”.

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    Bombay Bicycle Club have had some pretty impressive music videos of late and it’s largely thanks to the creative vision of Anna Ginsburg. The London-based animator has lent her talents to their last few promos that have included stop-motion puppetry and hand-drawn imagery over live-action shots. For their latest single, Luna, Anna’s ditched the animation in favour of straight film, using her meticulous attention to detail to create a few minutes of footage that are utterly captivating. I’d be loathe to spoil the surprise of watching this so all I’ll say is that the costumes, choreography and cinematography are all top notch and accentuate the song beautifully. So props to Anna and her team for their impeccable work!

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    As content combinations go Adam Buxton + David Bowie + LEGO is pretty much a dream formula. Animator Chris Salt has taken Adam’s brilliant sketch explaining how Bowie’s transformation from Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane (might have) happened, and brought it to life using everyone’s favourite Danish toy. Reminiscent of Eddie Izzard’s superlative exploration of how on earth Gerry Dorsey became Engelbert Humperdinck, it’s a super-silly but affectionate take-down of one of pop culture’s most iconic figures. We can only guess how the history of music might have been different had Cobbler Bob won out though…

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    The year is 1998, the place is The Lake District, you’re sat at the pub with your mates about to head to the bangingest(!?) rave of your young adult life in a wood somewhere… and at the is point I’d like to pass you over to the polymathic Daniel Brereton and Erol Alkan who will take you by the hand and lead you through the rest of this ultra-euphoric, pill-free upper of a Monday Morning Music Video. Expect beautiful panoramic shots of English countryside and a brilliantly on-point set of subtitles. Perfect.

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    Long before the days of the Nintendo Wii and Hug Me Elmo there was the zoetrope; a very cool old-school gadget which creates the illusion of motion from a series of images which you spin around rapidly on an axis. It may have been sadly shunted to the toy-store sidelines but in December RAMP Ceramics collaborated with Jim Le Fevre to bring the humble zoetrope back into the limelight, stepping it up a notch by creating a ceramic pot which works in the same way.