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London, 20/07/2013

What's happening? at Portobello Pop Up Cinema

ore 19:30: Portobello Pop Up Cinema, 3 Acklam Road


Two evenings of artist film at Portabello Pop Up Cinema under the Westway flyover.

**Saturday 20th July: Antonello Branca, What's Happening? & Kenneth Anger, Scorpio Rising**
**Sunday 21st July: Kent Mackenzie, The Exiles**

Films start on both evenings at 7.30pm

Out of States features three films that arose out of the shifting terrain of 1960s America. This time of radical political, social and cultural upheaval provoked artists and filmmakers to question the position of the individual amidst a hollow representation of nationalism. Here marginalised subjects become protagonists, as exiles, beatniks and rebels move through their modern landscapes, suffused by the popular rhythms of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Jazz and Blues. As they play themselves out through this stereotypical image of America, each of the three films reveal an inherent set of tensions between freedom, isolation, documentation and reality.

Antonello Branca, What’s Happening?, 1967. 47min.

‘The prophecies of Marinetti are coming true some of them, the wilder, more poetic ones’, declares Allen Ginsberg in Branca’s evocative documentary of New York City’s art scene. By contrasting candid interviews with countercultural figures such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Marie Benois, against the cacophonic sounds of the modern metropolis, Branca’s characters reveal a sense of a continuous present, where the past becomes obsolete and all that is felt is the newness of today.

Kenneth Anger, Scorpio Rising, 1963. 30min.

Anger described his temporarily banned film as ‘a death mirror held up to American culture...Thanatos in chrome, black leather and bursting jeans’. A sexually-charged evocation of worship, fetishism and the occult placed under a homoerotic masquerade, Anger centres his controversial critique on icons of 1960s biker subculture, with his protagonist Richard McAuley moving to a prominent soundtrack of songs by Ray Charles, Bobby Vinton, Elvis Presley and The Crystals.

Kent Mackenzie, The Exiles, 1961. 72min.

Little known until a recent restoration and long-delayed commercial release, The Exiles chronicles a day in the life of a group of young Native Americans living in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles. With a pulsating Rock ‘n’ Roll soundtrack composed by The Revels, Mackenzie follows his subjects as they dance, drink, fight, flirt and party in the midst of their isolating environment. Composed entirely of interviews with the film’s characters and their friends, Mackenzie aestheticises his subjects through beautifully-sharp black and white contrast and the sparkling moodiness of the downtown L. A cityscape.

Programmed by Joseph Constable and Tarini Malik


Dvd+Book "Seize the Time" (Afferra Il tempo) a film by Antonello Branca

A "cult" film of the 70s about the Black Panther movement, it was made in the United States following the work of the Black Panther Party from within.
The title was inspired by the homonymous song by Elaine Brown who participated in the film. Antonello Branca constructs a narrative framework skillfully bringing together the canons of fiction cinema and documentary cinema.
Only one professional actor, Norman Jacobs, who moves between pop-symbolic visions of imperialism to stars and stripes set against reality: area searches, student demonstrations, national guard drills, direct testimonies. An America where the black, and the "panthers" in particular, are assassinated in cold blood according to a precise repressive design.

In the book: original unpublished photographs and comments by Nobuko Miyamoto, Antonello Branca, Italo Moscati and Elaine Brown.

The Dvd also contains What's Happening?, an irreverent portrait of America of the 60s seen through the experiences of artists of the Beat Generation and Pop Art. The America of the Vietnam war, ploughed by contradictions and explosive social tensions but potentially saturated with expectations for the future. With: Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Gregory Corso, Fred Mogubgub, Marie Benois and Leon Kraushar.

"Kiwido is doing really beautiful things. Antonello Branca was a forerunner. A really beautiful Dvd accompanied by a precious book, a delightful edition!"
Hollywood Party - Rai Radio 3

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