Issue 7 | December 2011December 3, 2011
Issue 8 now onlineJuly 23, 2012
Editorial by Diarmuid Hester
I am watching TV5’s coverage of the British Diamond Jubilee – TV screen hatched with red, white and blue diagonals, verticals and horizontals – in the Swiss quadrant of a French airport. Outside the white cross of Switzerland is lazily overlaid now, now… now by the parallel bands of the tricolore. Into this very European lattice, seeps the garbled French of German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld clad in his usual black, I presume (though I can’t see through the grid), swathing an approaching woman in flattery more virginal white than her raiment. Upon a boat she appears, solitary and luminous, set apart from the weave of sodden subjects by the stilly greeny plane of the river Thames over which she glides. The Royal Jubilee bells sound incessantly, signalling her resplendence, as a cash register behind my head rings up fifty-seven francs and fifty-seven cents.
This eighth issue of One+One: Filmmakers Journal begins with some responses to a Jubilee of a different sort – the 1978 film and arguable jewel in the crown of the celebrated and controversial British director Derek Jarman. Opening our dialogue with Jarman’s incendiary – if flawed – masterpiece, James Marcus Tucker offers a personal reflection on Jarman and Jubilee in particular as early influences upon his work, which forever altered the developmental locus of this young filmmaker. His account sketches the political ambivalence of Jarman’s work and portrays the director as an Englishman at war with himself: conservative though queer; staid yet incontrovertibly radical. Bradley Tuck’s “The Last Dreams of England” intersects with James’ piece, on the ideological ambivalence which characterises this film, and considers Jarman’s reaction to the nihilistic co-ordinates of punk. Traversing, in some ways, a line that James quotes from Jarman, that “politics has had it, old-fashioned politics like Marxism, Capitalism and Socialism,” Bradley explores the significance of 1977 as it surfaces through antithetical and yet coterminous ideologies which protrude through Jarman’s film. In a parallelfashion, my contribution imagines possible interpenetrations between the concerns of Kathy Acker’s provocative 1978 novel Blood and Guts in High School and those of Jarman’s Jubilee, finding in the one a sideshow mirror-image of the other, in their respective disillusionment with what they perceived to be punk’s foreshortened future.
Considering a different British filmmaker, though occasionally criss-crossing these preceding pieces, Paul Barr’s “England’s Disappearing Metropolis: Patrick Keiller’s Critique of Disembodied Spaces,” suggests that the key to understanding Patrick Keiller’s work is in its mobilisation of the past in order to yield Bergsonian virtualities. London (1994), according to Barr’s fascinating conjunction of Keiller and Gilles Deleuze, uses the overlapping textures of the London landscape in order to generate conditions for affective intensities and alternate temporalities in the here and now: he persuasively argues that “Keiller asks us to consider a new means of perceiving the city; becoming attuned to the city’s hidden (virtual, yet nonetheless real) vital energies that retain the imprint of alternate futures.”
In this issue you will also find a report outlining One+One’s “Revolutions in Progress” film challenge set last winter that, responding to a cultural zeitgeist epitomised by the emergence of Occupy and the Arab Spring, asked filmmakers to respond to the theme of revolution and film, revolution on film and revolution by film. Like One+One itself, this challenge attempted to map out smooth, un-striated cinematic spaces where radical thought and radical filmmaking might coalesce, venturing beyond the circumscribed confines of the contemporary political matrix.
Issue 8 closes with James Marcus Tucker’s new column “The View from Here,” which combines personal ruminations on the craft of filmmaking with in-depth analysis of some prominent issues and concerns facing independent filmmakers today. His impressive derive through the backstreets of independent filmmaking takes in, en route, such subjects as the fraught relationship of independent filmmaking to the vampire cephalopod of the capitalist system, Derridean hauntology in two recent BFI releases, Theodoros Angelopoulos’ “new humanism” and the very possibility of cinema as resistance. James also reflects upon One+One and the London Underground Film Festival’s “Revolutions in Progress” roundtable held at the Horse Hospital in December 2011, which included a screening and discussion with up-and-coming filmmakers, Occupy activists and film theorists from Goldsmiths, University of London. The issue you are reading attempts to rend the gossamer before you and expose, in modest ways, the illusory, arbitrary and above all mutable nature of the proverbial grid. We hope you will enjoy it.
On Derek Jarman’s Jubilee by James Marcus Tucker, Bradley Tuck & Diarmuid Hester
England’s Disappearing Metropolis by Paul Barr
Filmmaking in an age of Crisis by Bradley Tuck
The View from Here / Issue 1 by James Marcus Tucker