UK COMPETITION: I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know (at BFI)
Saturday, 19 June 2021
PATRICK, dir. Luke Fowler
From the afrofuturist currents of carnival in the Bahamas, to heady teenagehood in the early Noughties, to the mellower cadences of Patrick Cowley’s San Francisco, these short works offer evocations and elegies of past lives and shared legacies.
Anchored in memory, both personal and collective, these films articulate how remembering informs our lives and the importance in, in Larry Achiampong’s (Relic 1) words, “going back for what has been left behind.”
Includes non-fictions from artist filmmakers Rhea Storr (A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message) and Luke Fowler (Mum’s Cards), alongside more personal recollections from BFI NETWORK alumni Luna Carmoon and animator Gabriel Böhmer.
Programmed by Philip Ilson. 74'
Please note, the films Here Is The Imagination of the Black Radical, Push This Button If You Begin to Panic and The Expulsion can only be accessed by UK audiences at the request of their filmmakers.
A deeply personal work highlighting the rich interior world of an unnamed migrant through the lens of race, class and gender. The piece invokes the energy and memories of a pre-gentrified 1990s east London, deftly weaving testimonies and daydreams into the monotonous rhythms of physical labour.
“With austere aesthetics, The Expulsion explores the lives at the back-end of consumerist realities. Achiampong lays bare a claustrophobic reality underscored by poetic memories and reflections: ’We wipe the boards and tables on which you dictate our futures’. In calm and pertinent imperatives, this film asks us to stand witness and protest the conscious erasure of workers hidden in plain sight.”
— Clara Helbig
PUSH THIS BUTTON IF YOU BEGIN TO PANIC
Bartholomew Whisper went to the doctor today. There he met administrators keen on experimental surgery and lonely MRI machines. At least the growing hole in his head was becoming quite beautiful.
“This cut-out animation is a technical tour-de-force, its use of scalpel-on-cardboard a brilliant manifestation of its medical storyline. Investigating the workings of the mind and the effects of an MRI scan, the film explores memory and the hospital experience through the surreal ailment of a hole in the head, with Gabriel Böhmer’s cut-out style physically pulling back and slicing through the layers of the brain. Its title taken from the words said to you before undertaking such a scan, in case of a panic attack in an enclosed space, such words echo through into everyday life, particularly resonant in a pandemic-stricken world.”
— Philip Ilson
The film focuses on the life and work of Patrick Cowley; a singular producer of dance music who pioneered the San Francisco Sound of the late 1970s. Drawing on a long form interview with Maurice Tani (one of Patrick’s early musical partners), polyvalent editing creates a textured and intimate portrait of Cowley’s brief yet intensely creative life.
“From atmospheric arrangements to highly infectious, otherworldly dance tunes, Patrick Cowley’s sounds become the narrative centrepiece to retelling his life story. Luke Fowler’s cinematography radiates with warmth and sensitivity for Cowley’s lived experience in the San Francisco Bay Area and its 1970’s club scene. With this, Patrick stands as a testament for an ingenious artist and his profound and lasting influence on dance music.”
— Clara Helbig
In the midst of the blistering summer of 2006 in sweaty South East London, a tale of four hilariously gross, adventurous teenage girls tightroping between childhood and adolescence.
“This film feels personal. It’s an autobiographical take by the filmmaker Luna Carmoon on childhood turning to adulthood, on being confident with an attitude and not being afraid to be confused, while savouring the friendships that are so important at that age. Stylistically, you can see Harmony Korine in the loose structure, letting kids be kids, and shades of 1980’s teen rebel films Out of the Blue (1980) and River’s Edge (1986) – who doesn’t love a mullet? – but with an emo twist. The ghost of Pete Wentz observes all from a bedroom wall and chart-topping UK garage is never far away as the final credits roll.”
— Philip Ilson
HERE IS THE IMAGINATION OF THE BLACK RADICAL
Junkanoo, a carnival-like celebration in the Bahamas, is a culture with innovative costume designs. Aesthetic and political intertwine as we follow the Shell Saxon Superstars in the year-long production of costumes. Here is Black radical imagination, a resistance, a uniquely Bahamian identity. So who is archiving Junkanoo for future generations?
“Rhea Storr's euphoric short is built on a communal energy reverberating between performers and punctuated by insightful testimonies. The potency of Junkanoo is enough to feed the tired and unmotivated, as it permeates the screen and invites us in to revel in these expressions of joy, artistry and limitless potentialities.
— Miranda Mungai