Celluloid City

MAC (Midlands Arts Centre) Birmingham

Saturday 21-Sunday 22 November 2015

We took part in the Flatpack Festival’s ongoing ‘Celluloid City’ season including talks, activities and screenings at the MAC in Birmingham. Jon Burrows presented material on the origins of cinematic projection with fairground showmen and those who established cinemas in Britain up to the First World War. Skipping most of the intervening century, Michael Pigott’s talk drew parallels between these showmen and today’s VJs (video jockeys), and looked at how present-day digital projection is used in all manner of indoor and outdoor public spaces. Claire Jesson introduced a screening of Wim Wenders’ Kings of the Road (1976). Drawing on research done as part of her thesis on the representation of the projectionist in film, Claire briefly highlighted how the film references contemporary crises around cinema attendance and questions about film culture that are repeated in many of the projectionist movies her thesis considers.