Road Movies / Screen Media

Last week, as part of the ongoing Road Movies project, I did a talk about Fleapit, cult film and associated ideas at the Screen Media Research Seminar in Cambridge. Abstract below. Thanks to those who came along and thanks to Rhiannon, Emma and Evie for setting it up. 

Road Movies: Projection, DIY Cinema and Cult Film. 

Between 2003 and 2009 I ran a microcinema from the back of my car. The programme offered focused exclusively on works of cult film and ‘para-cinema’ and the screenings were staged in small, ‘unofficial’ venues: cellars, bars, kitchens, classrooms, front rooms and bomb shelters. 

These events began, in part, as acts of practical research into the connection between projection and place: venues were chosen for the purposes of creating something of a dialogue with the film (or more specifically, video) that was shown. Over the course of six years the project grew and assumed an increasingly mobile format. This involved the production of screenings at festivals, raves and academic conferences. Two nationwide tours of the UK were also undertaken which saw screenings mounted in nightclubs, in museums and alongside various live bands. 

A basement show during the 2005 Fleapit tour

In this talk, I will discuss the screening project in more detail and expand upon some of its theoretical aspects. Reference will be made to a wider context of ‘underground’ (sometimes literally underground) film exhibition that the project drew upon and participated in. In keeping with the forms of practice discussed and the approach of the book that the project now feeds into, sections of the talk will be intentionally autobiographical and speculative. One aim will be to map the cultural terrain inhabited by the events considered, a territory in which image projection elides into forms of psychological projection.

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