The London Film Society programme, 1937
By Liz Bruchet, on 10 May 2017
EVENT: Record of War: Film, History and the Art School
Saturday 10 June | 13:00-17:00 | Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image
This unique event offers a reconstruction of a seminal London Film Society programme of 1937. The original event was restaged in 1969 by Thorold Dickinson, Britain’s first professor of film (at UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art), and the director of ‘Gaslight’. It ‘dovetailed’ alternate reels from Italian and Soviet films of the recent Fascist conquest of Abyssinia. Titled ‘Record of War’, the original screening was a ground-breaking attempt to deconstruct official ‘alternative facts’ through the direct material confrontation of two radically opposed perspectives on the same events: one a glorification of militarism, one documenting atrocities which the other left out. ‘Our fashionable Sunday audience,’ Dickinson recalled, ‘with their broad brims and capes and a capacity for chatter, drifted out into Regent Street in dead, awed silence.’
The event’s (re)reconstruction in 2017, hosted at Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image and provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the long history of ‘fake news’. Two projectionists will make a live montage of the films on 35mm, followed by a panel discussion which explores the films’ new meanings in a postcolonial perspective. Discussions will be led by Sight and Sound critic Henry K. Miller, an Honorary Research Associate at UCL Slade School of Fine Art. This event has been organised by Henry K. Miller and Brighid Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the Slade.
The event is free but tickets need to be booked via Birkbeck/eventbrite.