My Revolutions and The Angry Brigade

Last night finished reading Hari Kunzru’s brilliant novel, My Revolutions – an intense first person account of a man’s involvement in a British revolutionary group in the late 60’s and early1970’s.

While I recognised elements from things I’d read and seen about the Baader Meinhof Gang and the Weathermen (the scene in which the activists march down a street in crash helmets reminded me of this image from the Chicago Days of Rage) – the unmistakable parallel is with The Angry Brigade.

Britain’s own armed revolutionary cadre are often forgotten about, partly perhaps because as someone once said their name has a ‘Pythonesque’ quality to it (they also became known as the Stoke Newington 8 which still isn’t as sexy as The Red Brigade) – and that they avoided killing people, unlike the headline-grabbing murders of the European groups.
(Both Baader Meinhof and The Red Brigade have been subjects of highly stylised biographical films with good-looking actors – and the Weathermen have featured in an episode of The Simpsons – can’ think of any appearances of the Angry Brigade on screen).

I tentatively pitched the idea of a documentary about The Angry Briage to Channel4 around the time My Revolutions was published but to no avail (I think the lack of a body count was an issue and that the commissioning editor had never heard of them).

Just as well perhaps, because there is already the excellent documentary above.

Here’s a fascinating interview with the Angry Brigade member John Barker


Make Your Own Damn Film #5

Tomorrow sees the ‘world premiere’ in of my documentary Make Your Own Damn Art – the world of Bob and Roberta Smith in the East End Film Festival. It’s 3 years almost to the day that I started filming – first at the Portman Gallery in Bethnal Green then damn the next morning as Bob created his mobile brownfield site to sit on the forecourt at the Royal Festival Hall.

The prospect of the post-screening Q&A has forced to me think again why I made the film in the first place. In truth, the possibly unexpected answer can be found on this blog – it came from my fascination with Leytonstone and wanting to learn about the place I had just moved to.

I’d seen a poster for the Leytonstone Centre of Contemporary Art and wanted to learn more about it and the artist who created it. The film in a way is the result of that curiosity. So although it’s about a unique voice in British art and the importance of art in society it is also as much about localism for me personally.
I wonder how that will go down at the Q&A tomorrow.

In the afternoon tomorrow I’ve got the huge honour of hosting the discussion and Q&A with Andrew Kotting and Iain Sinclair following the screening of their film Swandown.

I’ve been following this project – a psychogeographer’s dream ticket – ever since I first heard it mooted in 2007. So tonight I’ll be skimming back through my Iain Sinclair archive and re-watching Andrew Kotting’s short films in preparation – what a hardship.

Make Your Own Damn Film #4

Leytonstone Centre for Contemporary Art

Back in April this year I was asked to show a work-in-progress cut of my documentary about artist Bob and Roberta Smith at the ICA. I wrote about it here at the time.
Now that 25 minute cut has taken on a life all of its own. It’s currently looping in Pierogi Gallery’s Boiler space in New York where Bob has a show (there is also some more recent footage projected onto his Gotham Golem sculpture).
The film is also being shown this Sunday, 20th November at the Crunch Festival of art and philosophy in Hay-on-Wye with Bob doing a talk afterwards about his recently launched, Art Party – a bohemian reposte to the Tea Party.
The photo at the top of this page is the reason this film came into being – my desire to find out what happened inside that shed, the mysteries of the Leytonstone Centre of Contemporary Art. Now I know – I think.


Make Your Own Damn Film #3: Women Should Be In Charge: Film Screenings & Panel Discussion

Women Should Be In Charge: Film Screenings & Panel Discussion

20 May 2011


12pm – 5.30pm I Should Be In Charge
A free screening of the latest edit of a feature documentary about Bob and Roberta Smith. London-based film-maker John Rogers has been following the artist since July 2009 to make this film, I Should Be in Charge, due for completion later in 2011. John Rogers has worked on numerous projects with comedian Russell Brand and completed his first feature documentary in 2009, The London Perambulator. He also produces and co-presents a radio show on Resonance 104.4fm with Nick Papadimitriou, Ventures and Adventures in Topography.

6pm – 7.30pm Panel discussion and film
During the evening Bob & Roberta Smith invites people to sign up to a proposed new law, Esther’s Law, based on a sculpture by Jacob Epstein of his teenage daughter, which seems to challenge the male hegemony of art. Esther’s Law suggests that society should create a truly representative political system, including women making up 50% of parliament.

Taking this as a starting point, a panel of influential women chaired by curator and broadcaster Cecilia Wee including artist Sonia Boyce, Professor of Social Science Janet Newman from the Open University, artist Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre and Bob & Roberta Smith discuss whether Esther’s Law is necessary.

Artist Bob & Roberta Smith wants to see a parliament that is representative of the diversity of gender, ethnicity and range of abilities in contemporary society. But in an age where power is increasingly shifting away from organised nation-state politics and where grass-roots women-led organisations make a real difference, does it matter whether or not women are elected into Downing Street?

7.30pm – 10pm Selection of films by Katherine Aranielo
In a series of films Katherine Aranielo subverts and parodies contemporary issues around disability such as assisted suicide, media representation, prejudice, charity, ignorance and body aesthetics. She uses film, performance and other media to transform stereotypical representation into works that deliver their critique with humour and playfulness. Aranielo is a London-based artist and filmmaker who studied a MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths (2004) and has been shown at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and film festivals worldwide.

Katherine Aranielo


Date Time Venue Book
Friday 20/05/2011
I Should Be In Charge screening
12:00 pm Lower Gallery
Friday 20/05/2011
I Should Be In Charge panel
6:00 pm Lower Gallery
Friday 20/05/2011
Katherine Araniello screenings
7:30 pm Lower Gallery

Please note

Films start at the advertised time. Doors open 15 mins prior to this. Latecomers are only admitted at the Duty Managers discretion.

Posted via email from fugueur’s posterous


Beyond Stonebridge Park pts. 2 & 3

The final two installments of ‘Beyond Stonebridge Park’ have been uploaded to Google Video and YouTube

This is the film that Iain Sinclair described as “grunge Keiller” and has been screened here and there apparently. Catch Deep Topographer extraordinaire Nick Papadimitriou riifing brilliantly on the Phenomenology of the Stockbroker Belt, the pig-iron universe of WWI, the progression from Dan Dare to Pornography via a skip in Cricklewood Lane and loads more.

‘Journeys Beyond the Western Sector’ is now available from Crockatt & Powell’s Booksellers on Lower Marsh SE1, behind Waterloo Station. They have an interest in matters psychogeographical and sell an array of books and pamphlets such as the intriguing ‘One Eye Grey’. Nice fellas too. My old mate Ivor Dembina even did a stand-up set there the other night (Ivor was the saint who made sure that my first ever stand-up comedy gig was Saturday night at The Hampstead Comedy Club on the same bill as Time Vine – it was downhill from there featuring painful stop-offs at places such as the Feral Comedy Night at the Bridge Hotel, Sydney).