It’s in Queens
#PickoftheWeek | New series pairs documentaries with experimental films
One was a documentarian from the first half of the 20th century. The other was an experimental director from the second half. Though they were peas from completely different pods, both created films that provide tremendous insight into England’s cultural evolution during the 1900s. Plus, both died too young.
The Museum of the Moving Image will present Poets of Pandaemonium: The Cinema of Derek Jarman and Humphrey Jennings – seven film pairings selected actor and puzzle creator Max Carpenter — from Friday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 17.
Jennings (1907-1950) was once described as “the only real poet that British cinema has yet produced.” He co-founded Mass Observation, a social research organization that explored everyday life in England by recording conversations and describing public behavior. He tragically fell off a cliff while scouting a film in Greece.
Jarman (1942-1994) began with Super 8mm shorts, but made it big with a “Sebastiane,” a movie about St. Sebastian’s martyrdom that showed overt gay sexuality for the first time. (Plus, it was entirely in Latin.) He continued to push boundaries with pieces insulting British Royalty, promoting the punk lifestyle, and displaying excessive nudity. He succumbed to AIDS.
Regardless, Jennings and Jarman had a lot in common. Both were radical in their use of audiovisual montage, non-professional actors, and recited poetry. Plus, Jarman studied Jennings while at University College of London’s Slade School of Fine Art in the mid-1960s.
Tickets are $15.
The schedule follows.
- Blue + Listen to Britain on Feb. 8 at 7 pm.
- Angelic Conversation + Words for Battle on Feb. 9 at 4:30 pm.
- The Last of England + The Dim Little Island on Feb. 9 at 6:30 pm.
- In The Shadow of the Sun + The Birth of the Robot on Feb. 10 at 7 pm.
- Sebastiane + The Silent Village on Feb. 15 at 7 pm.
- War Requiem + The True Story of Lili Marlene on Feb. 16 at 7 pm.
- Jubilee + Fires Were Started on Feb. 17 at 6 pm.
Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District.
Photos are from the Museum of the Moving Image’s Website