BOOM FOR REAL (Sara Driver, 2018, Cert 15) & THE GIRL CHEWING GUM (John Smith, 1976)

Saturday 22nd June
Stow Film Lounge @ Wood Street Walls Studio, Barrett Road, Walthamstow, London E17 3FU at 9.00pm (Doors)

Wood Street Walls and Stow Film Lounge are delighted to be collaborating for ART NIGHT 2019, as part of Waltham Forest’s Borough of Culture year, to bring you an outdoor cinema event.

Receiving its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year Boom For Real filmmaker Sara Driver’s exploration of the pre-fame years of the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, offers a window into his life and the City of New York, 1978-81, illustrating how the city, the times and the people around him informed the artist he became and shaped his vision.

A fresh perspective on the movements that touched and inspired him, as well as the influence a bankrupt, violent city had on this seminal artist, the film shows how Basquiat has become, over the years, the ultimate representation of this period, fed by its politics, the rise of both hip-hop and punk rock, race issues and the art scene itself.

In 1978, Jean-Michel was a teenager (18 years old), living on the street and sleeping on friends’ sofas in the East Village. He was shaped and formed by his friendships — those he influenced and those who influenced him. The crumbling city allowed them the freedom to discover and experiment with their work.

Widely acknowledged as one of the most important avant-garde films of the 20th century, British artist John Smith’s The Girl Chewing Gum is a 16 mm black and white film with sound. The film consists of two camera shots. The first occupies the major portion of the film and is located at an intersection near a cinema in Hackney, London. People walk through this scene and cars drive past while a voiceover of the artist appears to provide directions for the movements of people, as well as those of pigeons and a clock’s hands. The second, much shorter shot shows a piece of open ground, Letchmore Heath, marked by overhead electrical pylons. At this point the voiceover track reveals that the artist is actually located there, some fifteen miles away from the street scene, and is thus, like the viewer, unable to see what is being directed first hand. The film neither glorifies nor dramatises the street scene; instead it records the everyday actions objectively, from a camera mounted on a tripod.

The conjunction of word and image in Smith’s voiceover transforms everyday documentation into something created and artificial. Even when the tone changes and the viewer realises that Smith is retrospectively voicing-over a real-life scene, the narrative drive of the film encourages the viewer to go along with the conceit – even when Smith starts to direct pigeons or the hour hand of a clock.

There will be a pop up bar. Refreshments will be available.

9.00pm, Films 10.00pm, Close 00.00am

Free event