Talk: Playfulness and Humour in Experimental Film: Kamila Kuc and Michael Brooke

Franciszka & Stefan Themerson

8 May 2016

Sunday 8 May, 3.00 - 5.00pm

Sigmund Freud believed that ‘jokes have not received nearly as much [philosophical] consideration as they deserve in view of the part they play in our mental life.' 

One of the areas of avant-garde and experimental film that is closely linked to the Themersons’ work at large and remains underexplored is indeed the role of humour and playfulness within it. The Themersons' 'irrational humoresque' film The Adventure of a Good Citizen (1937) serves as a starting point for this illustrated discussion.

Writer, filmmaker and curator Kamila Kuc and film critic and producer Michael Brooke debate ways in which artists and filmmakers have used humour as a subversive tool, from classic avant-garde pioneers such as Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters and Alfred Jarry, through to the work of the Themersons and more contemporary filmmakers that feature in the accompanying screening on Saturday 7 May.

Kamila Kuc selects a series of films that draw out humour and playfulness at Film Screening: Lyrical Flight From Reality: Playfulness and Humour in Experimental Film on Saturday 7 May. 

Full price: £5 / Friend & Concession: £4 

Michael Brooke is a freelance writer specialising in British and central/eastern European cinema. A regular contributor to Sight & Sound magazine, he spent nearly a decade at the BFI (2002-11), where he helped create BFI Screenonline and BFI InView, produced the BFI’s internationally acclaimed DVD compilations of short films by the Quay Brothers and Jan Švankmajer and co-produced the Blu-ray edition of Švankmajer’s Alice. He has written numerous booklet essays for BFI DVD Publishing, Second Run and Arrow Academy, and chapters for the books Polish Cinema Now!, 2010, Shadows of Progress, 2010, 39 Steps to the Genius of Hitchcock, 2012 and Trzynasty miesiąc. Kino Braci Quay, 2010.

Kamila Kuc is a writer, curator and an experimental filmmaker. Co-editor (with Michael O’Pray) of The Struggle for Form: Perspectives on Polish Avant-Garde Film 1916-1989 (Columbia University Press, 2014), she has published widely on the subject of experimental film. Her monograph on avant-garde film is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has also curated programmes of experimental films for international festivals and venues (New Horizons Film Festival, Poland; Experiments in Cinema, US).  Her short films have been screened widely (Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick, Scotland; Alternative Film/Video, Belgrade, Serbia; Blow-Up Arthouse Film Fest, Chicago, USA; Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, Haverhill, Massachusetts; Experiments in Cinema, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA). Kuc is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Supported by the Art Fund

#themerson #camdenartscentre

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Please note that bookings are non-transferable and non-refundable unless the event is cancelled by the Centre.

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