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37 PIECES OF FLAIR | Film season | Publication | Exhibition

Posted: 9 Sep 2014

37 pieces of flair

Film season / Publication / Exhibition

Lloyd-Wilson / The Star and Shadow Cinema  / The NewBridge Project
Newcastle upon Tyne
September – December 2014

 37 pieces of flair is a season of arts and cinema hosted by The NewBridge Project and The Star and Shadow Cinema that will challenge notions of mental health via a dissection of the society and culture from which they emerge. 

Unlike countless other mental health themed film Seasons or exhibitions, 37 pieces of flair will focus its attention less upon the individual stories of enduring, individual or privatised mental health problems and on the, often ambiguous, surrounding  social and cultural context.  For example – Taking the expression ‘before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not in fact just surrounded by complete arseholes’ (misattributed to Novelist William Ford Gibson). You could say we are perhaps on the lookout for arseholes in a sea of soaring diagnoses.

Mark Fisher, in his portrait of our current predicament -Capitalist Realism – rather succinctly surveys this territory: “This pathologization already forecloses any possibility of politicization. By privatising these problems – treating them as if they were caused only by chemical imbalances in the individuals’ neurology and/or by their family background – any question of social systemic causation is ruled out”.  This is not to discredit nor underestimate the psychological experiences of the countless individuals who identify with Mental Health diagnoses but rather, to explore the social, political, economic and anthropological terrain from which they occur.

The programme consists of the following three parts:

1. Cinema Screenings / September – October/ The Star and Shadow Cinema
Wednesday 3rd September – The Stuart Hall Project – John Akomfrah, UK 2013
Thursday 11th September- Kenny – dir: Clayton Jacobson, Australia 2006
Thursday 25th September – Vom Ordnen der Dinge – dir: J.Brügger + J.Haaßengier, Ger 2013
Wednesday 8th October- Dr. Strangelove – dir: Stanley Kubrick, USA 1964

2. Publication/ October
To tie both the film season and launched at the final cinema screening the publication will host various essays, images and provocations. Full listings tbc.

3.  Exhibition + events programme/ November-December/ The NewBridge Project
November – December / Full listings tbc. 

Film Info:

Wednesday 3rd September
The Stuart Hall Project
dir. John Akomfrah, UK 2013, 103 mins, cert. 12A

An absorbing and emotionally charged portrait of Stuart Hall, the Jamaican born cultural theorist and co-founder of The New Left Review. Using extensive footage of Hall’s appearences on TV Akomfrah’s film explores themes of identity through halls own life amidst the changing historical landscape of the second half of the 20th century.  All setto a soundtrack by Hall’s favourate musician Miles Davis.

Thursday 11th September
dir. Clayton Jacobson, Australia 2006, 99mins, cert. PG

‘None are less visible than those we decide not to see’ – Stadtler Lewis

A very funny Australian mockumentary about mobile toilet installer Kenny Smyth. Ignored and unappreciated, he is one of the cogs in societies machinery. Par philosopher, part comedian, “it takes a certain kind of person to do what I do, no-one’s ever impressed, on-one’s ever fascinated”. Kenny juggles family tensions, fatherhood and sewage with humour and unflinching dignity.

Thursday 25th September
dir: Jürgen Brügger / Jörg Haaßengier, Germany 2013, 80mins, cert. PG

A documentary of seemingly ordinary people who have a penchant to capture the world around them through statistics and classification systems: Among them are researchers who want to get at the boundlessness of their field and ordinary people who spend their days constantly dividing the turmoil and sensations of the fast-paced into statistics for efficiency and effectiveness.

Wednesday 8th October
Dr. Strangelove (or  How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)
Stanley Kubrick, USA 1964, 95mins, cert. PG

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.”

Marking 50 years since it’s original release Stanley Kubrick’s classic cold-war satire, starring Peter Sellers in three roles, the top brass of American and Russian governments must decide if they want to begin a nuclear war. Initially considered unsuitable for a black comedy, after attempting to write a serious interpretation of the novel Kubrick decided that the concept was so absurd it was impossible to make it as anything else.