Artists' Television Access

The Sparror Screenings:

Film Programme from Cube Microplex, Bristol, UK

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 8:00 pm, $6

cube cinema

Following on from the hugely successful June event Cine Fantom:Russian Experimental Cinema, this month we welcome Ali Sparror from Cube Cinema.(

Ali will present recent film and video work from Bristol, UK and discuss the Cube and its relationship to ATA. Expect cut&paste, homemade parcels of wonder, skate films, and baroque animation.


Cutting Up My Friends                                                       
David Hopkinson                                                          

This is an AV musical piece constructed from meticulously edited footage of fourty lone improvisers. Techniques more commonly associated with the manipulation of found-footage are wittily applied to original material to create a warm and personal portrait of Bristol’s creative underground.
[email protected]                                     

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Frangipani Fumes & Cosmetics                                           
Chuen Hung Tsang & Chris Hawkes                              
July 2006                                       

Leave Land for water is a highly rated up and coming band based in Bristol. Recently signed to Sink and Stove Records the band is releasing several EPs. Frangipani Fumes is a track from their next EP release. In collaboration with Chris Hawkes ‘supermonkey fighter’ we have created a 7 minute music video.

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Dont Do Tricks
James Canyon/ LadyLucy/ Cube Skate Team/ Stitch Stitch Records                     

Don’t Do Tricks is a skateboard film with a twist, an artistic and defiantly feminist twist. It is a three way cross between an art, feminist and skate film. This low budget/no budget hybrid short film invites the viewer on a ‘day in the life’ of artist/amateur skateboarder ‘Lady Lucy’ around the streets of Bristol. Watch her as she skates the righteous path and wonder at the hilarious encounters she has with many of the burgeoning stars from the underground music scene along the way. This colourful, inspirational and hilarious short film is well directed, well presented and above all…. well worth a look.                                
Dont Do Tricks is released on the Bristol indie label stitch-stitch records. Each limited edition DVD comes with a comic book and original soundtrack in a hand screen-printed package. Limited Edition of 50.

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Get Good
Francois & Rozi Plain                                           

Get Good is a stop motion animation film, filmed in and around Bristol in august 2005. Get Good was originally created to be part of the Here Shop Party event at the cube in which artists were invited to create a performance exploring the boundaries between music and visuals. They needed a starting point for the film. Both being musicians, they decided to select a song of each of theirs and use this idea of taking clues from the lyrical to influence the visual and began playing around. However, they didn’t constrain themselves by working strictly to the format of the chosen songs but fitted the music around the video right at the end of the making. This gave them the freedom to do what they wanted. It adds a whole other layer of confusion, especially with a medium such as animation trying to work around the timings of a song. Their equipment was limited, just a borrowed mini dv camera, an old tripod with a shaky leg Francois found in his house and a week to complete it in. But all this and a budget of  0 pounds encouraged them to work with what they had. It was a nice evening when they started so they went up St. Werburghs hill as the light was fading and began moving around very slowly. There was no definite storyboard planned for get good, but rough plans and basic ideas. Once the filming process began, tricks and ideas began to form and stories started to spring from what they were doing. Even after all was completed, audiences would find stories within the film that had been unapparent to the artists but were suddenly obvious once pointed out.                            
They played with light a lot in the film, at first unintentionally but later deliberately. They found that working outside in the natural changing light, when shot frame by frame the flickering changing light almost gives the effect of old cine. They started trying to mimic this effect when working inside with artificial light, by changing the shutter speed of the camera. Apart from the inevitable speeding up of the footage, get good required very little editing as they just shot all the scenes and footage in the order they needed. And no after effects were needed as any special effects in the film were real and filmed live. Cardboard cut outs of the two characters were introduced when Rozi had to go away for a few days in the middle of the filming so Francois carried on shooting, manipulating the cardboard figures and moving shapes and words around on the floor.                                                               
The music came at the end. The artists fitted in their songs around the video, mimicking the visuals and responding to the mood of the film for the choice of song.Francois’ low-budget animation films are painstakingly hand crafted visual vignettes made from materials he found around the grand old house he moved into in Bristol in 2003: a cheap video camera, some ink and paper and the cutlery from the kitchen. In Francois early hand-drawn animation films you can witness such wonders as buildings growing from the ground on picnic days, and lovers being attacked by books or lifted into the air by pollution clouds. More recently Francois collaborated with young folk singer Rozi Plain, and their latest film ‘Get Good’ is a ten minute stop-frame animation making use of photocopied faces, chalk drawings, slide projections and themselves. The films are scored with a minimalist live soundtrack played by Francois and Rozi on casio keyboard, guitar and melodica.                                                

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Les Madragues
Zoe Tissandier
October 2006

Les Madragues depicts a block of flats during an August evening. The video is a study of the inhabitants of this block as they go about their lives, looking at the view from their balconies, unaware of their neighbours but on occasion with a desire to peer at each other. The angle of the camera places the viewer within the frame, aware that they are in the act of watching, much like the inhabitants of the flats. In this way the work is as much to do with our desire to watch what others are doing as it is a document of a particular place.

The sound has been recorded in such a way so that the viewer feels they are hearing the various dinner conversations, television sets or radios from the flats opposite. It consists of documents of recorded conversations and pieces that have been lifted from various television sources. Although at first disparate, common themes and connections begin to appear and elements of the sound content are unified by the level of debate they cause as well as the amount of television coverage they receive. The content may be familiar, but where we would normally be bombarded with television images of political conflict, sporting events and celebrities, we are instead forced to watch the lives of ordinary people and to contemplate a different, practically still image.

The sound content includes both factual news reports, television commentary as well as peoples personal responses to important events both public and private. At the root of these focal events are the notions of misunderstanding and ignorance, generated by language which is often the transmitter of miscommunication. Language is utilised in the work as a metaphor to explore our inability to understand each other even though we may share similar feelings.

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Bluescreen presents:

What Makes You Feel Alive
John Minton

Commissioned by Blackout Arts, this film records the last days of one of Bristol’s most recognisable landmarks, Tollgate House, that stood, until recently, at the end of the M32, greeting people into the city. Before its demolition – which made way to the latest shrine to retail, the new Broadmead complex – Blackout Arts organised the projection of images across three sides of its face and John interwove these images with background and foreground contextualisation from the city itself. John filmed the projections from different vantage points around the city, busy flickerings of light that soon came across like a pulsing urban energy in its own right. The images, such as the God-like architect surveying his creation, were spectacular -matched by an excellent, powerful score -and  Johns achievement lay in the balance he found between integrating the images of the event and the meaning of the event in the context of the city.

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Tom Swindell

Tom Swindell has recently moved to Bristol, having graduated from the Documentary Film course at the International Film School Wales at Newport. He introduced himself to Bristol with a beautifully-shot record of a trip to Africa called ‘Mali’, choosing two arenas of life to present a picture of the country. The first was the Segou Music Festival, an ecstatic celebration of music, dance and really just a celebration of the joy of  life. The second was a trip to a village that is known worldwide for its pottery, with Tom bringing a gift from his own pottery-making father to fellow craftsmen. What distinguished Mali from countless video travelogues was not only Toms skills as a cinematographer (the excellent composition and colour range especially), but the fact that he managed to achieve a closeness to the people he was filming. It was rare to see someone film from inside rather than outside a new community.

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Bluescreen have been hosting Short Film nights at the Cube Cinema, Bristol for over 5 years now, specifically showcasing the work of local filmmakers! Evolving from past film jams/experimental screen events held at the Cube, Bluescreen runs a monthly walk-in independent film programme. We receive no films beforehand and have a no censorship policy regarding film content, in fact the only condition we apply is a 20 minute time limit on film length, but this is so that we can screen as many films as possible! From first time filmmakers to seasoned professionals, we give all the opportunity to just turn up with their films for screening.

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