CINECITY celebrates the 12th edition of the festival this November with the very best in world cinema and a packed programme of premieres and previews, artists’ cinema and installations, treasures from the archive, free education screenings and special events. Screenings and events take place right across the city. Tickets for all screenings go on sale on Fri 31st Oct.
Film debuts, music, literature and Science Fiction lay at the heart of this year’s ambitious programme. With walk-through film sets, live music to film, location pop-ups, 3D and ‘Edible Cinema’, this year’s line up is a real cinema of the senses … all ready and waiting to be experienced.
CINECITY 2014 opens with the UK premiere of Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Birdman is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) — famous for portraying an iconic superhero — as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself. Birdman will also be the closing night film of Leeds International Film Festival on the same evening.
“Its wonderful to be able to present the UK premiere of such a keenly anticipated film as a simultaneous screening – to open and close two of the UK’s key regional film festivals on the same evening. We are delighted to present Birdman in this unique collaboration with Leeds International Film Festival and 20th Century Fox.” Tim Brown, Artistic Director of CINECITY.
Highlighting cinema’s constant re-invention and the importance of new beginnings, CINECITY 2014 has a clear focus on debut features and innovative fresh voices running throughout the programme. One of the most striking examples this year is The Tribe, a Ukrainian debut containing only sign language and no spoken dialogue, which picked up several awards at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
BEST OF BRITISH
There is a very strong line-up of the best of new British film-making talent with space created for several striking and distinctive first features. The Goob, Snow in Paradise, Catch Me Daddy all screen in the festival. Testament of Youth, the debut feature film from James Kent and based on Vera Brittain’s WW1 memoir, closes the festival on Sun 7 Dec.
Other hotly anticipated British features include The Duke of Burgundy, Peter Strickland’s latest feature after Katalin Varga and Beberian Sound Studio and Electricitybased on the novel by Ray Robinson and featuring model and actress Agyness Deyn.
Other international previews include: Timbuktu, Wild Tales, Excuse My French, Amour Fou, Stations of the Cross, Girlhood, When Animals Dream. Cinecity are also delighted to announce the UK premiere of New Zealand director Shaun Pettigrew’s The Death and Resurrection Show, the definitive documentary portrait of legendary post-punk band Killing Joke.
At the heart of CINECITY 2014 is a celebration of a brilliant but relatively unknown Brighton novel. To mark the 50th anniversary of its publication of Berg, CINECITY and artist/production designer Anna Deamer present a film set installation for an imaginary screen version of Ann Quin‘s brilliant debut novel. The immersive, cinematic environment is complemented by sound design from Barry Adamson.
A boarding house in out of season Brighton is the background for this strange, disturbing and darkly comic drama. Published in 1964, Berg established Ann Quin’s reputation as one of the most original, contemporary British writers. She wrote a further three, increasingly experimental novels but remains one of the best-kept secrets of British literature. She died in 1973, drowning in the sea off Brighton, aged 37. The film set, which the audience can wander through and experience has been constructed in partnership with City College Brighton & Hove and Film and TV Supervising Carpenter Steve Deane, whose film credits include Captain Phillips.
Renowned musician and composer (and CINECITY patron) Barry Adamson has provided the sound design for the free exhibition at the University of Brigton Gallery, which runs from Sat 22 Nov to Fri 19 Dec. He is a current member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and a founder member of legendary post-punk band Magazine. He is also renowned for his soundtracks to film, both real and imagined. His first solo album, Moss Side Story, the soundtrack to a non-existent film noir and he has gone on tocompose soundtracks for David Lynch’s Lost Highway and Carol Morley’s Dreams of a Life and has contributed to the soundtracks for Natural Born Killers, The Beachand many others. University of Brighton Gallery: Sat 22 Nov – Fri 19 Dec. Free. Weekdays 11am-7pm; Sat+Sun 10am-4pm
The exhibition is complemented by a full screening and talks programme. Novelist Cathi Unsworth wil introduce a rare screening of West 11 (1963) based on Laura Del-Rivo’s 1961 novel The Furnished Room and The L-Shaped Room (1962) starring Leslie Caron and Tom Bell. Nell Dunn (Poor Cow and Up The Junction) a contemporary of Ann Quin and the novelist Lee Rourke will take part in panel discussion the life and work of the late Brighton-born author. Lee Rourke has described Berg as ‘a debut novel so staggeringly superior to most you’ll never forget it – and by one of our greatest ever novelists too. The thing is, though, no one ever seems to have heard of her. It is something that has rankled within me for a long time now: why, I demand to know, does nobody care about Ann Quin?’
There are also very rare screenings of films made by Ann Quin’s contemporaries: Film (1965) written by Samuel Beckett; Towers Open Fire and The Cut Ups (1963-1967) by William Burroughs with Anthony Balch, Brion Gysin; and BS Johnson’s You’re Human Like The Rest of Them (1967).
Literature runs through this year’s programme like the proverbial stick of rock: the empty shelves of the old Brighton Reference Library will provide a poignant setting for special pop up screenings of François Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451, the classic dystopian tale of a society where books are outlawed. This is part of the BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder UK-wide season presented together with O2. (former Reference Library, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery 28-30 November).
Related to the themes explored in Fahrenheit 451, is another special one-off event for CINECITY; Foredown Tower in Portslade, with its 360° view of the Downs and the region’s largest camera obscura, will host an exploration of Brighton-based author Kay Dick’s novel They: A Sequence of Unease. Published in 1977 They won the SE Arts Literature prize but has now been almost entirely forgotten. ‘They’ are a group of un-named cultural fascists who roam the countryside and remove all books, music scores, instruments and artworks from people’s houses. The event on Sat 6 Dec will also feature a talk and live readings from the novel by the actor Hugh Ross.
LIVE SOUNDTRACK and MUSIC EVENTS
Also part of the BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder UK-wide season, CINECITY presents X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes with legendary American avant-garage rock band Pere Ubu, performing a live underscore to Roger Corman’s classic. (Sun 23 Nov 9pm) Dr. Xavier (Ray Milland), in pursuit of a serum to improve eyesight, discovers a formula for x-ray vision. “I grew up addicted to Friday Night sci fi flicks,” Pere Ubu’s David Thomas said. “The genre had an incalculable effect on the third generation of Young Rock Giants who emerged in the 70s. Now it’s time to honor our debt.”
In another UK Premiere, Juno Reactor presents a live underscore to The Colour of Pomegranates (Thurs 27 Nov 9pm). Sergei Parajanov’s masterpiece made in 1968, is an extraordinary, enigmatic and beautiful film. Brighton-based Juno Reactor are known for their cinematic fusion of electronic, global influences and a dynamic orchestral approach. They have created and collaborated on a wide range of soundtracks including The Matrix Trilogy, Once upon a time in Mexico and Mortal Kombat.
Live music is the heart of The Midwich Cuckoos Live. In a form of deconstruction of John Wyndham’s classic The Midwich Cuckoos (made into the film Village of the Damned) 5 actors will perform to microphone as if in a live radio play, complemented by a live score from Sarah Angliss (awarded Most Groundbreaking Act of Brighton Festival and Fringe 2013) and Spacedog including theremin and electronics, live foley and sound effects. (Duke of York’s Picturehouse Fri 5 Dec).
Connecting with the idea of a lost or alternative cinema explored in Berg and They is composer Robert Stillman’s Leap of Death, a ‘soundtrack’ inspired by the lost FW Murnau film 4 Devils (Sallis Benney Theatre Sat 6 Dec). The elaborate silent circus-themed melodrama 4 Devils was released in 1928. After release, the film disappeared, and the last remaining copy was apparently burned in a fire. Eighty-five years later, composer Robert Stillman conjures the film back into existence with Leap of Death, a suite that leads the listener through a musical reconstruction of the film’s narrative. Performed by saxophonist Stillman and the Archaic Future Players, an ensemble featuring some of the UK’s leading young musicians.
Terry Bickers (former guitarist with House of Love and and Levitation) and Pete Fij (Adorable and Polak) perform an acoustic set after a screening of VARIOUS SONGS, a documentary portrait of the pair directed by Peter Bromley. (Sallis Benney Theatre Mon 24 Nov).
CINECITY with DRILL : BRIGHTON and Cine-Excess present Italian progressive rock legends Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin performing a live score to Dario Argento’s thrilling cult-classic horror film Suspiria, which they originally scored in 1977. (St Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton Sat 6 Dec 6:00pm doors)
A Curious Life, a film about the rise to fame of The Levellers in the 1990’s screens on Wed 26 Nov at the Duke of York’s and is followed by an acoustic set from the band. Told through the unique perspective of Jeremy Cunningham, the band’s bass player and artist, the film is directed by former Chumbawamba frontman Dunstan Bruce.
For our annual showcase of the best film-making talent in this city, we join forces with the FILM CITY initiative, that supports film in Brighton & Hove. In addition to the brand new features and shorts made here, there are crew nights and ‘best of’ packages from Brighton Film School and the Moving Image degree at the Uiniversity of Brighton. In this strand there is also a screening of debut feature Cherry Pie partly set in Brighton and directed by Swiss film-maker Lorenz Merz.