Prelude #3: Song of Ceylon, Wright / Farocki double-bill

Song of Ceylon dir.Basil Wright, 1934, 35mm or digital, 38 minutes, and About Basil Wright’s “Song of Ceylon”,  dir. Harun Farocki, 1975, 16mm/digital, 25 minutes.






Friday 26 February, 6pm – 9pm, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, WC1.
A double bill screening and discussion.
Tickets £6 or £4 on sale:

A double bill screening and discussion, with Jon Hoare, Kodwo Eshun and Doreen Mende.

“Made by the GPO Film Unit and sponsored by both the Empire Tea Marketing Board and the Ceylon Tea Board, Basil Wright’s Song of Ceylon is one of the most critically acclaimed products of the documentary film movement. It was hailed at the time of its release by author and film critic Graham Greene as a cinematic masterpiece, and received the award for best film at the International Film Festival in Brussels, 1935. The film is a sophisticated documentary, notable for its experimentation with sound. It features crucial input from Alberto Cavalcanti, who helped with the soundtrack, as well as composer Walter Leigh, who experimented in the studio to create a number of sound effects.” (Screenonline)

This unique double bill also features acclaimed filmmaker and video artist Harun Farocki’s essay film about Song of Ceylon, made for German television in 1975. Described as a type of “Telecritik” or “tele-criticism”, Farocki’s essay analyses Wright’s film formally and historically in a fascinating and beautiful blend of film quotation, graphic illustration, and voiceover.

With thanks to Antje Ehmann, and the British Film Institute.