by Billy Stanton

San Sabba 

On the 28th of April the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image hosted “Clues, Histories, Mysteries and Mystories”, an event dedicated to essay films focusing on international, personal and familial history in the first-person mode; what was demonstrated by the films shown and the speakers arguments was the potential held by this specific form to probe and present suppressed and buried histories, both general and individual.


Session Sixteen: ★/Johann Lurf

A scintillating, brilliantly edited collage of shots of the night sky, lifted from 550 films from the beginning of cinema history right up to the present day.

Thursday 29 March 2018, 20:30 

Cinema One, ICA: [book here]

★, Johann Lurf, Austria, 2017, 4K DCP, 99 minutes – UK premiere.

The screening will be followed by a conversation between filmmaker Johann Lurf and critic and curator Olaf Möller

With support from the Austrian Cultural Forum, London and Open City Docs.

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Session Nine: Jef Cornelis – You Know The Way And The Language


A Symposium with Screenings: ‘You Know the Way and the Language: Public Spaces, Public Buildings, Public Engagement – The Essayistic in the TV work of Jef Cornelis at BRT’

Monday 26 March 2018, 12:00-18:00 

Birkbeck Cinema: FREE event [book here]

With the support of Flanders House and Birkbeck School of Arts

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Image credit: Rebecca E Marshall


1st April 2017, 10am1pm

Room G10, School of Arts
Birkbeck, University of London
43 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

Organised by The Derek Jarman Lab in collaboration with Rebecca E Marshall.

A roundtable discussion, workshop and performance hosted by the Derek Jarman Lab for essay film practitioners and enthusiasts to exchange ideas about working with/against cinematic time.

During the session we will introduce approaches to editing outside conventional formats and discuss how to tailor them to the participants’ own essay-film projects. The focus will be on how the filmmaker’s voice can emerge through both sound and image, and can generate a sense of cinematic time. We will look at the process of montage and how it can make use of both carefully planned sequences and accidental moments.

Participants in the workshop should bring up to 3 clips from their own footage (not more than 5 minutes in total duration) . In the second part of the session we will discuss and paper-edit those excerpts with a view to constructing a narrative about time. The workshop will finish off with a collaborative VJ performance during which we will live-edit the footage with an accompanying commentary and a pre-recorded music track.

If you are interested in participating, please send us an email before 25th March. We will be collecting clips prior to the session on Friday, 31st March in our office at 36 Gordon Square. Quicktime Prores format is preferred; if necessary we can help extract clips from file, DVDs, or Blu-rays.


10am – welcome and opening presentation

10.30am – roundtable discussion

11.30am – looking at clips and paper-edit

12.30pm – VJ-ing performance

Email to reserve your place.