A new exhibition at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery will seek to shed light on experimental film-making in Brighton and Hove, from the 1890s through to the present day.
Both Brighton and Hove have played pivotal roles in the film-making sector, with early pioneers including George Albert Smith and James Williamson working in the city at the turn of the 20th century, while contemporary filmmakers such as Jeff Keen and Ben Rivers have firmly cemented the city’s status as a hub of experimental film both nationally and internationally.
“Over the past 120 years this city has seen highly influential work produced by its filmmakers. These experimental films have moved the language of cinema and art forward internationally, yet the story is little known,” said Royal Pavilion & Museums (RPM)’s Curator of Film, Media and Toys, Suzie Plumb.
Visitors will be able to see a number rare objects, featuring ground-breaking cameras that were made in the city, as well as an 1896 experimental cine camera and a 1900 special effects cine camera used for reverse motion and close-ups. Each of these items were made by Alfred Darling & Sons of Brighton.
Work by avant-garde director Jeff Keen will also be explored in great detail through the presentation of his key films that made use of montage, long shots and multiple screens. His references included his World War II experiences, pop-culture, and his friends and family. On a contemporary film-making vein visitors will be able to see work by Ben Rivers, who co-founded the Brighton Cinematheque in 1996, as well as digital inspired pieces by David Blandy and Larry Achiampong who fuse anime and narrative sections of computer games to startling effect.
“Through looking at filmmaking techniques, such as editing, visual trickery and illusion, Experimental Motion will highlight the impact of these films on the development of the moving image. We’ll exhibit objects from as long ago as 1896 from the city’s extensive Film & Media collections, alongside films by the Brighton School, work by Modern and contemporary filmmakers and objects and work by moving image artists,” Suzie continued.
Experimental Motion: the art of film innovation will run from October 22nd - June 4th 2017.