T.G.: Psychic Rally in Heaven + In the Shadow of the Sun 1981 PG

2.00PM Sun 28 Jan 2018 (57mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

Throbbing Gristle, T.G.: Psychic Rally in Heaven 1981

On the 23 December, 1980 Derek Jarman filmed Throbbing Gristle (Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter) at the London gay disco Heaven. P-Orridge wrote that the evening was "the first time we've ever had hell in heaven." Jarman's Super-8 footage was then refilmed to the point of abstraction and superimposed with black and white images from Francesco Bertolini's 1911 film adaptation of Dante's Inferno. The soundtrack features three tracks from the Throbbing Gristle album 2nd Annual Report 1977, most notably a live recording of 'Slug Bait' from a concert in Brighton that begins with an unsettling police recording of a murderer's confession. The film was first presented alongside Jarman's montage film In The Shadow of the Sun at the 1981 Berlin Film Festival. When it screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival Jarman noted "the festival audience hated it one and all, and shouted while the film was being shown."

In the Shadow of the Sun 1981 [1972-1980]


In The Shadow of the Sun draws upon Derek Jarman's interest with alchemical processes as a metaphor for reprocessing Super-8 film. Jarman once described film's union of light and matter as "an alchemical conjunction" and experimented throughout his career with creating dream symbolism through the superimposition of image and action. Originally called English Apocalypse, the film's final title is derived from a 17th Century alchemical text that used the phrase as a synonym for the philosopher's stone – the highly sought substance that turns base metals into gold and silver. The film was intended as a step toward the idea of an ambient video, that like its musical counterpart, was designed to enhance an environment.

In 1974 Jarman began work on the project by using footage from his suite of Super-8 films called the Art of Mirrors 1973 to create the film's larger structure. This included material shot of landscapes previously seen in A Journey to Avebury 1973, Fire Island 1974 and They are Tarot (or the Magician) 1972-3 with footage of friends performing within a fiery maze of sawdust and paraffin. Jarman also re-filmed the final sequences of Ken Russell's film The Devils directly off a screen at the Elgin Cinema in New York. The material was then re-filmed using a postcard as a screen, two projectors and a series of coloured gels, creating up to seven layers of superimposition that Jarman described as "a blaze of impressionist colour". The original silent Super-8 material was projected at 3-6 frames per second and accompanied with audio tapes played manually.

With the help of James Mackay (then programmer for the London Filmmakers' Co-op) the film was rescued by the Deutsche Kinemathek in 1980, blown up to 16mm and screened at the Berlin Film Festival in February 1981. Throbbing Gristle recorded their improvised 8-track score from a VHS copy of the film and have described it as revelling in "distortion, chance and formlessness." In April 2009 Throbbing Gristle performed a new version of the soundtrack as the first act of their US tour.

CREDITS

Throbbing Gristle, T.G.: Psychic Rally in Heaven 1981 PG

SUPER-8 TRANSFERRED TO 16MM, COLOUR, MONO, 1.33:1, 7 MINUTES, UNITED KINGDOM, NO DIALOGUE / DIRECTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: DEREK JARMAN / PRODUCER: JAMES MACKAY / MUSIC: THROBBING GRISTLE / PRODUCTION COMPANY: DARK PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: LUMA FOUNDATION

In the Shadow of the Sun 1981 [1972-1980] PG
 
SUPER-8 TRANSFERRED TO 16MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 1.66:1, 50 MINUTES, UNITED KINGDOM, NO DIALOGUE / DIRECTOR/CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: DEREK JARMAN / PRODUCER: JAMES MACKAY / MUSIC: THROBBING GRISTLE / PRODUCTION CO: DARK PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE: ARSENAL INSTITUT / RIGHTS: LUMA FOUNDATION