HELL DRIVERS Cy Endfield, 1957
Stanley Baker was the perfect new man for the 1950s: butch, beefy and all about gravel. In Hell Drivers, he broke straight out of the Rhondda, playing Tom, an ex-convict looking to make good as a driver for a gravel merchant. But Red played with wolfish menace by Patrick McGoohan is having none of it when Tom threatens his position as top dog. With a murderer's row of acting talent in supporting roles, from Sean Connery to Sid James to Peggy 'Gun Crazy' Cummins to Herbert Lom, this is a very British thriller that is unafraid to glamorise the world of gravel haulage.
Blitzed: A three film season about British Men, Masculinity and the 1950s
As Britain's 'finest hour' faded in the collective memory in 1950s, British masculinity stood at the crossroads. With the decline of Empire, a decimated home front and troubling youth menacing the headlines, what was a chap to do? This series explores the way that British men faced (or repressed) these ruptures. In Obsession, we a homosocial triangle forms as one man traps another in a Blitzed building. In Cast a Dark Shadow, Dirk Bogarde hints at his sexuality, murdering a series of brides for his own dark reasons. In Hell Drivers, Stanley Baker plays an ex-convict making good at a gravel company, showing a new masculinity that has nothing to do with honour and everything to do with commerce.
Join us for three films that show British men trying to control the queer forces in the culture and within themselves brought on by the rupture of the War and the start of a new, changed manhood.
other films in this season:
7 SEP BLITZED: OBSESSION
13 SEP BLITZED: CAST A DARK SHADOW
Tue 26 Sep
Horror film screenings.
Thu 12 Oct
Thu 9 Nov
Thu 14 Dec
introduced by Trevor Steele Taylor (Curator of the National Arts Festival and Director of Film Content at IMPAC) with guests TBC
South Africa in the seventies to the nineties must have appeared to the attuned ears of artistically-inclined people in the UK as a wasteland dominated by a Fascist White State, bolstering up a hideous national policy known as 'Apartheid' whose control of the arts was all-pervasive and administrated under the eyes of Censorship and the Stasi-like Security Police.
The perception is not incorrect but the chinks in the armour of State control were surprisingly legion.
From the founding of the countries first independent non-racial theatre the Space Theatre in 1972 and avowedly avant-garde Glass Theatre, through to the influence of The Weekly Mail & Guardian Film Festival, this programme traces and uncovers the beginnings of underground South African theatre and film-making. It focuses in on some of it's foremost exponents Christian Pretorius, Aldo Lee and Anton Kotze. These adventurous and challenging works spanning nuclear dystopia, eroticism, formal experiments in narrative, and the first Animist movie, often made on a shoestring, provide a fascinating portrait of a little known and rarely shown underground scene.
DIE MOORD / THE MURDER | Dir. Christiaan Pretorius | 1979 | 15 mins
A deconstruction of the conventional murder mystery, designed, in the intent to of the director to frustrate audience expectations by turning the camera away whenever anything important is about to happen. Shot in 16mm, a classic of South African underground filmmaking. Christiaan Pretorius (of Cape Town's Glass Theatre) was a prolific producer and filmmaker.
FUKUSHIMA MON AMOUR | Dir. Aldo Lee | 2013 | 35 mins
An erotic poem of natural disaster, nuclear dystopia and bondage as sexual desire by experimental film-maker Aldo Lee. Born in Durban, he began his career with a 30-minute movie called SACRIFICE which won 'Best Film' at the Weekly Mail & Guardian Film Festival. He now lives in France where he has made an array of short films including a collaboration with Genesis P Orridge called THE PANDROGENY MANIFESTO.
SAFARI OBSCURA | dir. Anton Kotze | 2009 | 65 mins
The first animist movie claims the director Anton Kotze and he might very well be right. Kotze having built up a vast collection of African fetishes and immersing himself in the high-roads and by-roads of African myth shot a truck-load of footage which is the visual basis of this film. Informed by Dziga Vertov's The Man with the Movie Camera and William Burroughs' cut up techniques, Kotze's African journey is a transcendental odyssey amongst primitive gods, zebra crossings, chaotic cities, bypassing Mr Kurtz to go a bit further to the Gods just beyond the fence.
Anton Kotze is a truly independent voice in South African filmmaking, he has worked for over twenty years in the feature film and television industry where he made the only documentary ever produced of South Africa's Beat Poet Sinclair Beiles THE SACRED FIX. He started his career as a newspaper Crime reporter and photographer at the age of 19 before beginning a nomadic life through Africa (as a filmmaker documenting just about every African country) and Europe. He was jailed for 5 months in an African dictator-state under suspicion of being a spy.
Fri 29 Sep
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