Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 7:30pm
Close Up

Close Up
Peter Gidal, 16mm, 1983, 70 mins

"After three years this film attempts yet again to deal with the problematising of filmic representation in sound and image: the overt politically-polemical soundtrack from Nicaragua must not synchronise with nor must it find an entirely separable continuum of reality away from the image sequences. Without avoiding the interrogation of narrative/anti-narrative cinematic structures (the way the images and the sounds at times hold/do not hold, or the way they attempt to force a position contradictory to any (imaginary) represented homogeneity of constructed space, time, ego, language, film) an attempted materialist use of sound and image must at the same time be an anti-individualist work.

Subjectivities of sound and image, sometimes producing contradiction (between the two, and within each) must be in constant process with/against the political polemic(s): the film can not allow for a final exclusion of either. What is intended is neither some pure formal dialectic. The viewer's attempts via her/his/the cultural context of meaning making (political/sexual/narrative) are worked against by this film's process (or should be).

The work against the capitalist patriarchal position of narrative, in other words, is (still, and in specificity) the main interest." - Peter Gidal

"In this context, Close Up is a provocative and potentially dangerous pulling together of two opposing aspects of film form - namely, a 'documentartist' soundtrack comprising interview material with Nicaraguan revolutionaries on the subject of art, propaganda and imperialism, and an image track of much beauty, veering toward the abstract as the camera moves ceaselessly over the objects in the a room, or those represented in the 17 blown up photographs." - Michael O'Pray

Born in 1946. Gidal studied theatre, psychology and literature at Brandeis University, Massachussets, 1964-68, and the University of Munich from 1966-7. He studied at the Royal College of Art from 1968-71 where he went on to teach Advanced Film Studies until 1984. He was an active member of the London Film-makers' Co-operative since 1969, and Cinema Programmer there from 1971-4. Co-founder of the Independent Film-makers' Association, 1975, he served as a member of the British Film Institute Production Board, 1978-81.

His films have been screened nationally and internationally, including the Tate Gallery, the Hayward Gallery, and yearly since 1969 at the Edinburgh Film Festival and the National Film Theatre. Gidal has had retrospectives of his films at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1983, Centre George Pompidou, Beaubourg, Paris, 1996, amongst others. International screenings include several each at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Royal Belgium Film Archive and Cinematheque, Documenta, Arte Inglesi Oggi, X-Screen, etc. He is the recipient of the Prix de la Recherche, Toulon 1974.

Gidal is renowned as a writer and theorist, in particular for his highly influential publication Structural Film Anthology (BFI 1976), other books include Andy Warhol: Films and Paintings (Studio Vista, 1971, Da Capo NY reprint. 1991) and Materialist Film (Routledge, 1988). Gidal's writings have been published extensively in journals including Studio International, Screen, October and Undercut. He is also known for his research and writings on Samuel Beckett, including Understanding Beckett: Monologue and Gesture (Macmillan, 1986).

Tickets - $7, available at door