This Is Now: Film and Video After Punk

6 – 20 May 2016

We are delighted to present the Birmingham premiere of the full touring programme ‘This Is Now: Film and Video After Punk’, in partnership with LUX and the BFI National Archive. Works include rare Super8 and 16mm films – unseen for a generation – digitally remastered by the BFI National Archive.

Please note: Some of the screening programmes contain explicit and potentially sensitive material that may not be suitable for younger audiences. Guidelines are noted alongside each programme.

*All screenings take place at Vivid Projects (VP in listing), 16 Minerva Works unless otherwise indicated.


Home Taping (18) 

6 May, 7.30pm VP | 19 May, 7pm at *BCU Parkside (part of Video Killed The Radio Star? event)

The mainstream media was treated like a giant library to be plundered for provocative play and subversion in the early 1980s. Whether filming their TV screen with a Super 8 camera or deftly copying tape-to-tape, artists grabbed and juxtaposed disparate material to disrupt the dominant ideologies of the age and create new visual music. The programme includes notable examples of the Scratch Video phenomenon.

Cerith Wyn Evans, The Attitude Assumed: Still Life With Still Born, 1980, 19 min

Jill Westwood, Skinheads and Roses, 1983, 7 min

Jeffrey Hinton, Pop Dolphin, c.1983, 23 min

George Barber, Tilt, 1984, 6 min

George Barber, Branson, 1983, 2 min

Duvet Brothers, Blue Monday, 1984, 4 min

Gorilla Tapes, The Commander in Chief, 1984, 4 min

George Barber & George Snow, Art of Noise: Legs, 1985, 6 min

Cordelia Swann, Passion Tryptych, 1982, 4 min


Performing the Self (PG)

6 May, 6pm at *Grand Union, 19 Minerva Works | 19 May, 4pm VP

New ways of thinking about identity, the self and the body were all part of punk’s powerful legacy. This unlikely cocktail of visionary experimental films and bright, brash pop videos shows how visual culture changed radically at the start of the 1980s. Genre boundaries became blurred and the use of masks and make-up challenged the conventions of identity construction and representation – often to the sound of a catchy electronic melody.

Cerith Wyn Evans, Still Life With Phrenology Head, 1979, 14 min

Steve Barron, Human League: Don’t You Want Me, 1981, 4 min

John Scarlett-Davis, Chat Rap, 1983, 15 min

Mike Mansfield & Adam Ant, Adam Ant: Stand and Deliver, 1981, 3 min

Mike Mansfield & Adam Ant, Adam Ant: Prince Charming, 1981, 3 min

John Maybury, The Modern Image, 1978, 13 min

John Maybury, Solitude, 1981, 13 min

Grayson Perry & Jennifer Binnie, Bungalow Depression, 1981, 4 min

The Neo-Naturists, The Private View, 1981, 7 min


Just Images (18)

12 May, 2pm 

The moral, political and symbolic integrity of the image itself is interrogated and overturned in these richly textured films. John Maybury casts Siouxsie Sioux and fashion designer David Holah in one of the singularly most stunning and ambitious Super 8 works of the era, the existential genderfuck Court of Miracles. Young filmmakers bring on the post-modern age.

John Maybury, The Court of Miracles, 1982, 44 min

Vanda Carter, Glory Boys? , 1983, 4 min

Isaac Julien, Territories, 1984, 24 min

Cerith Wyn Evans & John Maybury, Psychic TV: Unclean, 1984, 9 min


Video Killed the Radio Star (12)

7 May, 2pm | 19 May, 2pm VP

Early independent video releases were the revolutionary, DIY antidote to a television system that was only just gearing up to a fourth channel. They bypassed censorship and provided a platform to the marginalised and unsanctioned. This eclectic selection includes a very rare John Smith title and punchy, stuttering Scratch Video works by The Duvet Brothers, Kim Flitcroft & Sandra Goldbacher, Gorilla Tapes and George Barber.

John Smith, Echo and the Bunnymen: Shine So Hard, 1981, 32 min

The Miners’ Campaign Tapes: The Lie Machine, 1984, 16 min

The Greatest Hits of Scratch Video Volume 2, 1984, 28 min


Before and After Science (15)

13 May, 2pm | 20 May, 2pm VP

Grayson Perry, Anna Thew and Steven Chivers conjure strange, new, lo-fi worlds with the help of close friends and collaborators, resisting both modern, Christian patriarchy and the conventions of traditional movie-making. Folk tales and arcane beliefs are re-imagined on Super 8 and London is turned into a bleak, austere, post-apocalyptic world.

Anna Thew, Lost For Words, 1980, 26 min

Grayson Perry, The Green Witch and Merry Diana, 1984, 20 min

Tim Pope, Men Without Hats: Safety Dance, 1982, 3 min

Steven Chivers, Catherine De Medicis Part 2, 1984, 25 min


Through a Glass, Darkly (18)

6 May, 9pm at *Centrala, 4 Minerva Works

Provocative filmmakers in the early 1980s pursued occult interests, treating the moving image like a mirror or a crystal ball; a surface of divination to remap perception and question distinctions between what is and what might be, the objective and the subjective, the body and the mind. The programme includes challenging, transgressive work originally connected to the industrial scene.

Jill Westwood, The Wound, 1984, 18 min

Cordelia Swann, Winter Journey in the Hartz Mountains, 1983, 12 min

Michael Kostiff, Liquid Video, 1983, 10 min

Akiko Hada, The Branks, 1982, 7 min

Holly Warburton, All Veneer and No Backbone, 1980-84, 5 min

Richard Heslop, 23 Skidoo: F.U.G.I., 1983, 5 min

Jennifer Binnie, Grayson/Flowers/Jewels, 1985, 3 min

Judith Goddard, Lyrical Doubt, 1984, 16 min


Entering the Dream Space (15)

14 May, 12.30pm* | 20 May, 4pm VP

Weaving together film and video, often utilising religious imagery and introducing colour effects and surface texture, filmmakers generated a new, vividly transcendental style by the end of the post-punk era. Key examples of this sensual, visually mature work are presented alongside other dynamic, hallucinogenic pieces that explore the dreamlike state.

John Maybury, The Technology of Souls, 1981, 11 min

Sophie Muller, In Excelsis Deo, 1983, 26 min

Cerith Wyn Evans, The Miracle of the Rose, 1984, 25 min

John Maybury, The Union Jacking Up, 1985, 18 min

*a change to previously advertised time

Image: John Maybury, The Union Jacking Up, 1985. Courtesy the artist Design: Kellenberger-White