Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Reflections on Arika, 85A

Three shows under consideration, each worthy of far more discussion and all having been previewed on The Vile Arts Radio Hour: 85a's masterful night of Svankmajer, an evening of ritual and psychogeography (both affiliated to the Glasgow Film Festival) and Episode 2 of Arika's exploration of "the experimental festival." They all share an interest in jumping across platforms (film meets visual art meets performance art, film meets music meets magick and music meets academia meets performance art meets nihilism respectively) and happened in a short time span (four days), thereby proving that Glasgow is still the Capital of Culture.


For Glasgow Film Festival 2012' "Crossing the line" program, 85A ecstatically present the work of genius Czech filmmaker, Jan Svankmajer, in all its demented glory! Each short film showcased this evening will be housed inside specially constructed theatres, coaxing his surreal imagery off the screen and into life before you!
Tailor-made installations, costumed performers, a cosy bar, all beckon you ‘down to the cellar’, and with the main cinema-space ultimately transforming into a thumping discothèque… a night at the megaplex, this is not! Přijít! Vidět! Slyšet!

85A are looking increasingly like the heirs to the great Glasgow Miracle - assuming that the anti-art law doesn't lead to a mass exodus of creatives to Berlin. A collective of talents based in the visual arts, 85A have been busy making films, building installations and events - including The Phantom Band's Christmas special at Stereo - and settled into The Glue Factory as a home. Svankmajer was a natural choice for them: surreal in his mixture of live action and animation, he gives personality and soul to inanimate objects without losing a dark, even sinister atmosphere. And while the film selections were imaginative and thrilling - his big hits like Alice were eschewed for a rounded retrospective - it was 85a's design of The Glue Factory that pulled away from the "night at the multiplex".



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