Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall makes a natural cinema – which is fitting as it is currently the venue for Tacita Dean’s latest filmic output. FILM is a 35mm, 11 minute silent film set on a constant loop. It contains a startling montage of colour, black and white and hand-tinted analogue film, complete with sprocket holes along the vertical edges. Dean has rotated the normal anamorphic lens by 90 degrees to create an unusual vertical format. All of this is projected onto a white monolith which references the one seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Although British-born Dean is best known for her work in film – particularly 16mm film – she originally trained as a painter and has also worked in photography, sound, book art and drawing. She has become an ardent supporter of analogue film, whose very existence is being threatened by the digital format. Earlier this year she was instrumental in putting together an online petition aimed at keeping London’s Soho Film Lab’s 16mm print service (the only one in the UK at the time). Despite garnering 5,489 signatories the new owners discontinued the service.
FILM can be found in the Turbine Hall until 11 March and is free, so there’s no reason not to drop by. You might even find yourself being entertained by children using it as one giant silhouette screen – including climbing up the escalator projected in one of the scenes. And while you’re there you can take in Gerhard Richter’s excellent paying exhibition upstairs until 8 January if you have the cash.
'The Red Shoes', February 2011
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years you would have heard about Secret Cinema and their immersive film experiences around London. These events see patrons buy tickets for a secret movie to be shown in a secret (but relevant) location; a dress code is announced and performers help create a filmic atmosphere on the nights. Fancy seeing Blade Runner in an abandoned warehouse at Canary Wharf, or The Red Shoes in a fake Covent Garden Market in Wapping’s Tobacco Dock? Then Secret Cinema is just the ticket for you…
Anyhow, today the same team has announced that – no longer content with just exploring four senses – they are now running a Secret Restaurant in conjunction with their latest film offering (which is, of course, secret). The restaurant is located in the attic of the current venue, and the menu is also kept under wraps until the night. But seeing as this is being run in conjunction with the St. John crew (they have Michelin stars, don’t you know), presumably the food will prove a pleasant surprise.
Ticketholders of the current Secret Cinema event can email email@example.com to request reservations, and a new tranche of cinema tickets that also include the dining experience have just been released for the rest of December and January. For tickets see:
UPDATE: And on January 4th Secret Cinema announced that the final round of January tickets will be released tomorrow, Thursday the 5th, at 12:00 hours. For these hot little numbers go to:
'The Red Shoes', Secret Cinema, Wapping
One interesting thing about living in a city like London is the opportunity to get involved in quirky little one-off events. This is exactly what I got to do last weekend when I joined in the Institute of Contemporary Art’s (ICA) re-enactment of the Odessa Steps scene from Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin. That’s me in the top right of the picture above, in the dusty pink jacket, and isn’t it great that in my first appearance in my own blog I am playing dead!
This flash-mob style event was held as part of ICA’s fundraising day held on 26 November. Luminaries such as Tracey Emin (yes, she did chase me down the steps dressed as a cossack) and Andrew Logan joined in with us mere mortals to raise money and create a new version of the old classic scene. You can watch our creation at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLFr6YbcQfA&feature=channel_video_title
ICA are planning to hold further re-enactments in 2012, so keep an eye on their website for more details. This is also the kind of event that I plan to promote beforehand now that the Londonphile is up and running, so keep an eye out here too.