DOORS OPEN 7:15 pm
MJM has teamed up with Video Jam, one of the city’s ‘most innovative nights’ (Manchester Wire), to present an intimate programme of contemporary short films with a variety of live musical accompaniment.
Exploring concepts of faith and ritual, and set within the stunning environment of Manchester’s oldest synagogue, selected work includes an extract from renowned film ‘Baraka’ with a commissioned score from acclaimed band Flamingods. This promises to be a unique night like none other.
Baraka (extract, dir. Ron Fricke) scored by Flamingods
Twelfth Man (dir. Duane Hopkins) scored by Layfullstop
Brébeuf (dir. Stephen Broomer) scored by Alex Cottrell
In Search of Silent Landscapes (extract, dir. Webb-Ellis) scored by Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir
Taklif (dir. Maryam Tafakory) scored by Metaphysical Human
BOX OFFICE: 0843 208 0500
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Based in London and Bahrain, Flamingods is a five piece multi-instrumental band founded in 2009 by Kamal Rasool focussing heavily on exploration and experimentation. Described as ethnic pop with elements of noise, psychedelia, tribal and freak folk, the band seeks to create both vivid and vague scenes inspired by foreign cultures from different ages and take influence from wherever they can find it. Their first gig – 8 hours long, aided by strangers playing saucepans and in a chalet at Animal Collective’s ATP – pointed toward a disregard for contemporary structures, methods and plain editing. The time ever since then has seen them develop an astounding collection of native instruments from their distant travels. Three of them will be performing live for the event with the other two contributing in the process from Dubai.
Article in The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jul/25/new-band-of-the-week-flamingods-no-15
Interview in The Quietus: http://thequietus.com/articles/15602-flamingods-interview-hyperborea
Alex Cottrell is a Liverpool-based composer and instrumentalist who has had previous live work featured on BBC Radio 3 and at the Edinburgh Fringe. His first commercial composition was a full video game score – completed at the age of 15 – and he has gone on to write for film and theatre, as well as enjoying collaborations with musicians locally and around the world. Alex also plays guitar in Liverpool-based jazz rock group Glossom.
Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/alex-Cottrell
Metaphysical Human are an electronic music duo from Chorlton in Manchester, whose music is influenced by trip hop, drum and bass and jazz. The band create hauntingly beautiful vocals that send a shiver down your spine with a synthetic orchestra of beautifully fluid deeply-layered dark twisting electronic keyboard sounds. They wowed the audience at the Video Jam stage for music festival Sounds From The Other City, with their score for a film by David Oates & Mishka Henner.
Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/metaphysicalhuman/sets/metaphysical-human
Powerful vocals paired with complex melodic grooves. 21 year old Lay speaks the truth and her mature lyrical content backed with assidious dedication to her craft means she is one to keep a close eye on. The result is a sound that is totally her own.
YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktC0Zq0KBgE
Created in 2013 as part of the MIF Creative programme for the fourth Manchester International Festival, the Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir brings together women to explore and celebrate the many languages, cultures and religions represented across Manchester with the aim to promote peace, compassion and understanding through song, soundscaping and silence.
In addition to performing a diverse repertoire of faith material that Sacred Sounds have become well known for, the choir are also developing a reputation for taking on more challenging projects, pushing them to explore and experiment with different and interesting ways of using the voice.
Recent projects have seen the choir collaborate with beatboxer and vocal sculpture Jason Singh, performing a specially commissioned lullaby for a unique ‘one off’ event at the Royal Exchange – A Night at the Theatre – and provide the haunting soundscape to accompany Neck of the Woods, a show created for MIF15 and directed by Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon. In a show combining visual art, music and theatre the choir performed to audiences alongside classical Pianist, Hélène Grimaud and British Actress, Charlotte Rampling.
FILMS & FILMMAKERS
Twelfth Man (2014) dir. Duane Hopkins
In February 2014, thousands of Newcastle and Sunderland supporters faced off during lunch time hours prior to the second derby match of the season. Twelfth Man focuses on the ‘game before the game’ and shows the angst, antagonism and rivalry between opposing fans, as well as their togetherness and collective faith. The film was commissioned as part of a series entitled ‘Short Plays’, which presented football as seen through the eyes of 31 homegrown directors representing countries that participated in the 2014 World Cup, including Gasper Noé (Argentina), Vincent Gallo (USA), and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand).
Duane Hopkins made two shorts, Field (2001) and Love me or Leave me Alone (2003) which together gathered over 30 international awards, before premiering his first feature Better Things which was selected for International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival 2008. He recently released his second feature Bypass which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival 2014. Hopkins has been described as being at the centre of an emergent ‘British New Wave’ alongside directors like Steve McQueen, and “a director with an introspective subtlety uncommon in UK filmmaking.” (The Independent)
Interview with VICE magazine on Twelfth Man: http://www.vice.com/en_dk/read/duane-hopkins-twelfth-man-film-384
In the ancient Sufi language, ‘Baraka’ translates to mean ‘the thread that weaves life together.’ 23 years after its original 70mm theatrical release the feature film still stands as a landmark in the pantheon of modern cinema. Originally shot in 152 locations in 23 countries on six continents, Baraka has brought together a series of stunningly photographed scenes to capture what director Ron Fricke calls “a guided meditation on humanity.” The chosen extract captures a multitude of different religious communities from around the world engaging in acts of both private and collective ritual.
Ron Fricke is an American film director and cinematographer, specialising in time-lapse photography and large format cinematography. In 1982 he worked as the director of photography on Koyaanisqatsi, a precursor to Baraka, which featured a highly kinetic soundtrack from Phillip Glass, before directing the IMAX films Chronos (1985) and Sacred Site (1986). He also worked as cinematographer for parts of the film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and went on to design his own 65 mm camera equipment for his later projects.
Baraka reviewed by Roger Ebert: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-baraka-1992
Official website for Baraka: http://www.barakasamsara.com/baraka/about
In Search of Silent Landscapes (2012, extract) dir. Webb-Ellis
Webb-Ellis’s award winning debut feature follows Britain’s top female ultra-distance runner, Sharon Gayter, through the most difficult two years of her running career. Through her own words, we learn of Sharon’s troubled childhood, her desire for escape and the hours of pain and solitude that redeemed her. The chosen extract is a portrait of a complex and remarkable woman and a meditation on time, devotion and silence.
Webb-Ellis are British/Canadian artist filmmakers whose films, installations and performances investigate the problem of representation, and the line between performance and film. They are currently resident artists at Crescent Art in Scarborough. “Webb-Ellis are amongst the most exciting young artists and film-makers I have encountered in the last few years.” – Gareth Evans, Film Curator for Whitechapel Gallery, London.
Official website for the film: http://silentlandscapesfilm.com
Commissioned by the BFI and premiered on BBC Three, Taklif is an abstract yet lyrical story of religion as forced into a girl’s life, seen from the innocent perspective of the child. It conveys the violence of early marriage and rites of passage, as faced by pre-pubescent girls in an Islamic context.
Inner monologues, whispering, forms of (self) censorship, memories, notions of the secret, transitional objects and props are interwoven with syntax, semantics and embodied forms of language to create a split-screen, factual scenario incorporating choreography, daily obligations and part-presences.
Maryam Tafakory (b. 1987, Iran) is an animator and filmmaker living and working in London. Whilst sharing an Islamic Persianate identity, the narratives she develops are closely tied to her own recollections, experiences and tensions of being brought up in post-revolutionary Iran. Her part documentary work focuses on (self)-censorship, interweaving poetry, politics, religion and existential explorations.
Her work is screened and exhibited internationally including, Edinburgh International Film Festival, British Film Institute, London International Animation Festival, Manchester International Short Film Festival, Barbican Centre London, Ciné Lumière Institut Français, British Animation Awards and BBC Three.
Brébeuf (2012) dir Stephen Broomer
Brébeuf draws from the dark history of early Western conquest, capturing the harsh, untamed landscape where violent conflicts were fought between the Jesuits, the Huron, and the Iroquois. Shot on 16mm, this semi-abstract film is a study of St. Ignace II, in Huronia, where the ethnographers and Jesuit missionaries Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant, were killed in 1649. The images depicted arise from a reading of that story in fables over time: the joining of the sumac and the cross, the blessing gestures, struggles in the field and elliptical scans of stones.
Stephen Broomer (b. 1984) is an experimental filmmaker, film preservationist, and independent scholar. His films have screened throughout North America and Europe, at venues such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the San Francisco Cinematheque, and Lincoln Center. In 2015, his films were the subject of a retrospective and anthology, The Transformable Moment: The Films of Stephen Broomer (Ottawa: Canadian Film Institute, 2015). His first book, Hamilton Babylon: A History of the McMaster Film Board, will be published in October 2015. He recently completed his PhD on the subject of difficult aesthetics in the origins of the Canadian avant-garde film.
Interview with Incite! Magazine: http://www.incite-online.net/broomer.html
‘Video Jam plays a key role in ‘knitting together’ the arts landscape in the city through their work with emerging artists, filmmakers and musicians. A great strength of the Video Jam team is their ability to create experiences which appeal on multiple levels to a very wide-ranging audience.’ – Dr Maria Balshaw, Director of the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Manchester Art Gallery
‘Video Jam has opened up audience and artist perspectives to a new way of engaging with both film and music simultaneously, taking events to some very unexpected places with huge results.’ – Rivca Burns, Director of Sounds From The Other City