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16mm films 1991-1999 by L. Mitchell & D. Bagnall

16mm films 1991-1999 by L. Mitchell & D. Bagnall

“The problems with everyday scenic films include: nationalistic boosterism, reactionary counterlandscapism, lazy roadside panoramas, pauashell/ buzzy bee infantilism, happy face multiculturalism, wild elementalism, doubtfulsoundism, pancakerockism, rangitotoism, and all the other familiar and miserable expressions of the scenic fetish.” – http://halo.gen.nz/rgs/index.html

During the 1990s Douglas Bagnall and Lissa Mitchell made a series of films exploring the representation of landscape in visual culture in New Zealand during the 20th century. The films were made with financial assistance from the Arts Council (and later Creative NZ), Income Support, friends, family and strangers around the country. The films feature a range of locations; from everyday domestic settings, such as the filmmakers driveway, to larger projects filmed all around the country; from Whangarei to the Catlins. A selection of the films will be screened in Wellington on Saturday 4 October.

Among the films screening is New Zealand – Randon Geographical Survey (1997). The film used a computer-generated location that related to the NZMS 260 series of maps which have a grid system that allows one to specify any point in the country to within 100 metres. The film was shot at the 12 randomly selected locations on or very close to the landmass of New Zealand. At each place the salient points of natural and human geography was noted and recorded on film.

Also screening is Bowl Me Over (1995), using a ‘direct’ film process pioneered by Len Lye where the image is scratched and hand-painted directly onto the film. Bowl Me Over, is an animated art historical road trip around the South Island of New Zealand. The film draws on landscapes showcased in the paintings of New Zealand artists such as Rita Angus, Colin McCahon, Mina Arndt and John Gully. The film screened at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival in 1996.

The films will be screened on 16mm projectors and both filmmakers will be present at the screening.

Douglas Bagnall is currently Digital Artist in Residence at Waikato University. Lissa Mitchell works at the New Zealand Film Archive and was recently awarded a Creative NZ professional development grant to undertake an internship at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography in New York.

For more information contact Lissa Mitchell on 384 7647 ext 832 (day) or 237 0024 (evening).

16mm films 1991-1999 by Lissa Mitchell & Douglas Bagnall screening at the Thistle Hall Film Club on Upper Cuba Street, Saturday October 4th at 8pm, $5.

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