vrewmg Alan Morrison is impressed by what’s being dished up at Serving Suggestions, Edinburgh’s
llth Fringe Film and Video Festival.
While the rest of the UK litnits its vision to a tnere century of cinema. it should come as no surprise that the Fringe Filtn and Video Festival has set itself a wider remit. ln atnongst a truly outstanding six-day showcase of the best new work in experimental film. video and moving image media comes a two-part programme intriguineg titled A Thousand Years Of Cinema.
‘What we're doing is looking forward to the next 900 years.’ explains the Festival‘s Co-Dircctor David Cumings. ‘We don’t see only a digital fttture. We screen the work in the format that it was originally designed to be presented in. and that‘s quite a rare thing for an event like this. The Thousand Years Of Cinema programme is all experimental film. because the techniques that have been investigated by experimental filmmakers throughout history have provided inspiration for mainstream features. as well as television
advertising and pop promos.‘
()ther Festival highlights include two programmes featuring the hottest names frotn the London art scene
(some of whotn are currently to be seen
at the British Art Show). including Damien l-lirst. Sam Taylor-Wood. Gillian Wearing and Tacita Dean. Elsewhere. there‘s Bill \r'iola's latest tape [hirer/s; a special preview of
Bruce LaBruce's feature Hustler IWIflt’L
Daniel Reeves’s autobiographical odyssey ()f).\'('.\'.\‘f\'(’ lier'oming; and. with tongue firmly in check. a live on-stagc interview session with the enigmatic Vito Rocco. whose seven-second epic ('t'uo .llummu played at the opening gala of last year's Dratnbuie Edinburgh Film Festi\al. .»\ central five-part strand presents a retrospective of the Kuchar Brothers. w’hose influential underground work frotn the (ills and 70s is still seen as an inspiration in terms of technique.
Add to this programmes packed with new work from all over the world and you can be sure that a more provocative. more exciting. more mind- expanding collection won‘t be gathered on British soil this year. It's clear that the Festival is now bursting at the seams and can no longer be contained by its Fringe Film And Video title. "The only reason it hasn‘t been changed is because of the pressure we're under from the Scottish :\t‘ls Council to merge with New Visions in (llasgowf says Cumings. ‘They don’t want two similar festivals in Scotland. We're looking at an umbrella organisation which will cover these areas of the moving image. the more experimental
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Hold Me While I’m Naked (1966): part of the Kucha
underground film and video. If that
comes together in the course of the next and out at their convenience.
few months. obviously the whole thing will be renamed.‘
So for perhaps this year only. the I lift Fringe Filth And Video Festival will go under the title of Serving Suggestions. The carefully programmed screenings occasionally betray loose thematic or practical groupings (Scottish artists. work by women. digital animation). but the aitn has been to celebrate diversity itself. .-\udiences can rest easy in the know ledge that longer. patience- demanding pieces won't rear their difficult heads in the middle of a programme: aside frotn special single work screenings. anything over ten minutes or so w ill be shown in the more flexible environment of the
r Brothers retrospective at FFVF
Cinemateque (Filmhouse 3). where entrance is free and viewers can dip in
‘You can't say it‘s all singing ’n'
dancing.’ savs Cumings of main
. ' F . ,
; cinema programmes. ‘bnt ll s not
something you're going to get bored
with. as there will be something new in
everything you see. There seems to be a
lot of recognition now that it's a mammoth task 7 and maybe
impossible. actually » to programme a festival from 1300 submissions on twelve different fortnats frotn SO
different countries. We‘ve made an
t attempt to bring some order to what
could essentially be chaos.’ Serving Sttggmttmtv ts ul I/lt'
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.20 The List 5-l8 Apr 1996