Prelude #1: Stephen Dwoskin

Trying to Kiss the Moon (Stephen Dwoskin, 1994, 95min) & The Cinema of Stephen Dwoskin (Anna Ambrose, 1984, 60min),

Saturday 10th February 2018, 1pm-5.30pm, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, WC1.

In collaboration with Reading School of Art

This screening and discussion provides an introduction to the work of Stephen Dwoskin through his autobiographical montage-film Trying to Kiss the Moon (1994, 95min) and Anna Ambrose’s portrait The Cinema of Stephen Dwoskin (1984, 60min),

Telling Dwoskin’s story from his childhood in 1940s New York through to his adventures in the “international free cinema” of the 1960s and ’70s, and reflecting on the experience of disability, Trying to Kiss the Moon, wrote his friend Laura Mulvey, “tells the double story of memory, bringing together the beauty of its documents and the sadness of its elusiveness”. Since Dwoskin’s death in 2012, and in the context of those documents’ technological obsolescence, it has taken on new meanings.

Produced for Channel 4 in its adventurous heyday, The Cinema of Stephen Dwoskin was directed by Anna Ambrose, who began her career as a prizewinning experimental filmmaker while studying at the Royal College of Art in the 1970s. She died in 1985, shortly after making her first feature Honour, Profit and Pleasure. Featuring interviews with Laura Mulvey and Raymond Durgnat, among others, The Cinema of Stephen Dwoskin was shot by Roger Deakins, latterly famous for his work with the Coen brothers.

The films will be introduced and discussed by a panel including Rachel Garfield (University of Reading), Jenny Chamarette (Queen Mary University of London), Darragh O’Donoghue (University of Reading), and Henry K. Miller (Slade School of Fine Art), with Alison Butler (University of Reading) as Chair.