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Night Life: Derek Jarman and the 80's New Underground Film Scene

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William Fowler (Curator of artists’ moving image, BFI National Archive), will be presenting ‘Night Life: Derek Jarman and the 80’s New Underground Film Scene’ as the first installment in the lecture series Mnemotechnics and the Archive.

William joined the BFI in 2005 as the archive’s first dedicated curator of artists’ moving image. Since then he has undertaken a number of film restoration projects, seasons and DVD releases. He conceived and co-programmes the BFI Southbank strand Essential Experiments and co-conceived and co-programmes with Vic Pratt the popular monthly programme The Flipside; he also presents films internationally.

Derek Jarman, an English director and stage designer, was renowned for his experimental super 8 mm films which formed the basis for much of his oeuvre. However, his best known film, the eponymous biography of Michelangelo Caravaggio, is of particular interest with regard to Mnemotechnics and the Archive as it interrogates the conventions of historical narrative by incorporating anachronism and considerable re-imagination of its source material (much like the work of Ken Russell, with whom he worked earlier in his career). Ultimately, Jarman’s films serve to question the way in which we remember and rewrite history through the modern filmic narrative.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Screen Media Group series.

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