Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 303: Thu Nov 3

 Home Suite (Smith, 1994): Close-Up Cinema, 8.15pm

This film, along with the short 'Blight' being shown this evening, is part of the John Smith Introspective season at Close-Up season. Full details here plus below the Close-Up introduction.

Home Suite
John Smith, 1993-94, 96 min

Home Suite is a close-up journey through a domestic landscape and a journey through memory. Playing upon ambiguity and the unseen, the tape uses physical details of the space to trigger fragmented verbal descriptions of associated memories.

"John Smith takes us on a real time tour of the home from which he is being evicted, chronicling the history of the everyday items he has lived with and bringing them back to life. Reminiscences of the emotional scenes which have been played out on the stair carpet, the confusion of trying to remember who brought each of the many toothbrushes, and the problems of decorating the kitchen, are both hilarious and poignant. The ephemera and detritus of everyday life as seen through the eyes of a comic genius." – Abina Manning  

"The space gradually fills with its history: complex, eccentric, funny, until it has become a kind of monumental environment, about which epic stories could be told for ever more. The work serves to remind us about the complexities of the history of even simple spaces and objects, a complexity to which most films do not even begin to do justice."
Nicky Hamlyn

John Smith, 1994-96, 14 min

Blight revolves around the building of the M11 Link Road in East London, combining images and sounds of demolition and road building with the spoken words of local residents. Taking these actualities as its starting point, Blight exploits the ambiguities of its material to create its own metaphorical fictions. The emotive power of Jocelyn Pook’s music is used in the film to overtly aid this invention, investing mundane images with dramatic significance.

"A stunning montage depicts the destruction of a London street to make way for new roads. The rhythmic, emotive soundtrack is partly musical and partly a collage of the residents’ voices. Shots and sounds echo and cross-link in the film’s 14 minutes to reinvent a radical documentary tradition."
A.L. Rees

Here (and above) John Smith discusses Home Suite and Blight, the films being shown at this screening.

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