Birds Eye View film Festival in London 8-14 March

BIRDS EYE VIEW film festival showcases the very best work from women filmmakers, it will take place at London’s NFT, Barbican and ICA from 8th -14th March. This year the festival boasts a wealth of music orientated programming and events. The opening night party launches with a performance from Mercury Prize Nominee, Zoe Rahman followed by a party with BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac. The musical theme carries on throughout the festival with features including The Music of regret, documentaries like East of Havana and Shut Up and Sing: Dixie Chicks as well as programmes including Sound and Silents – Live music and silent films and Electric ladyland – Women in Music Videos.

FEATURES

THE MUSIC OF REGRET (introduced by Director ) Monday 12th March, 5:30pm, ICA1.

The new film by renowned American photographer Laurie Simmons, The Music of Regret is a fantastic three act cinematic musical starring Oscar nominated actress, Meryl Streep.

DOCUMENTARY

SHUT UP AND SING Saturday 10th March, 9pm, ICA 1.

Shut up and Sing follows the lives and careers of the Dixie Chicks over a period of three years following the infamous anti-Bush comment made by the groups lead singer Natalie Maines. During this time they were under political attack and received death threats, while continuing to live their lives, have children and, of course, make music. At a time when the US is fighting for democracy and freedom of speech in other countries, the film is a poignant reminder that speaking your mind in the West isnt always appreciated.

EAST OF HAVANA (followed by Director Q and A) Monday 12th March, 8:30pm, ICA 1.

Yearning for hip hop unburdened with bling and slick over production follow Mikki, Magyon and Soandry of el Cartel, a collective of hip hop artists who operate outside of Cubas government controlled music industry. These three friends are not just consuming hip hop, but harnessing its power to relay their own messages of experience, emotion and revolution.

Welcome to East of Havanna, where the struggle to find the perfect rhyme is eclipsed only by the struggle to get by. As Hurricane Charley looms threatening the upcoming annual hip hop festival which brings eare international attention to the countrys burgeoning talent, Mikki, Magyori and Soandry reflect on the meaning of hip hop in their personal and political lives.

MUSIC PROGRAMMES

ELECTRIC LADYLAND – WOMEN IN MUSIC VIDEOS Saturday, 10th March, 3:30 pm, ICA1

Highlight of the brand new series of cross arts at the Birds Eye View Film Festival, ELECTRIC LADY LAND – women in music videos presents a stunning range of music video eye candy from the multi talented and eccentric Kate Bush (who directs and stars in her videos), one of the most respected talents in the field, Dawn Shadforth (Kylie, Goldfrapp, Primal Scream), Deborah Schamoni (Chicks on Speed, Peaches), Cat Solen (Brighteyes, CSS), Nagi Noda (Yuki).

Following the screening Miranda Sawyer will lead a panel discussion on all elements of music video directing, joined by emerging music video creators Kinga Burza, Lauren Pushkin, Lucy Sullivan, Vez Hoper, Dawn Shadforth. A fantastic incite for any wannabe music video directors, this event will provide top tips on surviving the Music Video industry with direct access to expert advice, watch some spectacular and groundbreaking music videos¦.

SOUND AND SILENTS – LIVE MUSIC AND SILENT FILM

Two programmes of short silent films made by women directors from early pioneers to contemporary artists taking place at the Barbican on Sunday 11th March and NFT as part of the Optronica Festival on Sunday 18th March with specially composed & original soundtracks performed live by cutting-edge women musicians including ERROLLYN WALLEN, SEAMING TO, JOANNA MCGREGOR and RITA RAY. Expect a variety of styles and genres for both ears and eyes: innovative and inspirational.

SOUNDS AND SILENTS 1 Sunday 11th March, 3PM, Barbican 1.

THE SMILING MADAME BEUDET

Made by one of the first female directors, Germaine Dulac, in the 1920’s, “The Smiling Madame Beudet” is lauded as the first feminist film ever made. It is the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is used to playing a stupid practical joke in which he puts an empty revolver to his head and threatens to shoot himself. One day, while the husband is away, she puts bullets in the revolver. However, she is stricken with remorse and tries to retrieve the bullets the next morning. Her husband gets to the revolver first only this time he points the revolver at her.

Specially commissioned soundtracks performed live by Errolyn Wallen.

MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON

One of the most influential works in American experimental cinema. A non-narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the “trance film,” in which a protagonist appears in a dreamlike state, and where the camera conveys his or her subjective focus. The central figure in Meshes of the Afternoon, played by Deren, is attuned to her unconscious mind and caught in a web of dream events that spill over into reality. Symbolic objects recur throughout the film; events are open-ended and interrupted. Deren explained that she wanted “to put on film the feeling which a human being experiences about an incident, rather than to record the incident accurately.”

Specially commissioned soundtracks performed live by Seaming To.

The Musicians:

Errollyn Wallen

Wallens award-winning music is featured on numerous recordings including the Brodsky Quartets ‘Moodswings’. Her own CDs include Meet Me at Harold Moores, The Girl in My Alphabet and Errollyn and her multi-media show Jordan Town, was a sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Festival. The motto of Errollyn Wallens Ensemble X, we dont break down barriers in music … we dont see any, reflects her genuine, free-spirited approach and eclectic musicianship. Wallens compositions range from avant-garde classical to popular song writing; she moves freely among influences from Bach to gospel, and Bill Evans to Charles Ives. http://www.errollynwallen.com

Seaming To

Vocalist, multi-intrumentalist and composer, Seaming To has contributed her unique operatic vocals to Homelifes last few albums for Ninja Tune and recorded with Mr. Scruff on his album Trouser Jazz. She has finally managed to piece together her first solo record – already attracting a mass of attention from a huddle of artists queuing up to work with her.¦the voice of the 21st century¦ Radio One www.myspace.com/seaming

SOUND AND SILENTS 2 Sunday 18th March, 5:30PM, NFT OPTRONICA Festival.

Daisy Doodad’s Dial (UK 1914, 6) – Florence Turner

Brilliantly entertaining British comedy, featuring Turner herself as rubber-faced Daisy.

Jetsam (UK 2002, 2 30) – Sonia Bridge
A fascinating high-speed experimental short celebrating the everyday.

Sap (UK 2002, 8) – Hyun-Joo Kim
Animation in the style of a Korean folk tale that makes use of delicate oil-on-glass animation techniques.

Suspense (USA 1913, 8) – Lois Weber and Philip Smalley
Innovative early thriller using groundbreaking split-screen techniques.

Missing People (UK 2003, 6 30) – Kathy Hinde
A hypnotic film from one of Joanna Macgregors most frequent collaborators.

The Grasshopper and the Ant (UK 1954, 11) – Lotte Reiniger
Remarkable shadow-puppet animation from the first filmmaker, male or female, to direct a full-length animated feature film.

The Musicians:

JOANNA MACGREGOR is thought of as one of todays most wide-ranging and innovative musicians ands divides her time playing classical, jazz and contemporary music. She has performed in over fifty countries, often appearing as solo artist with many of the world’s leading orchestras. http://www.soundcircus.com

RITA RAY club DJ (The Shrine) and regular presenter and contributor to radio, co-hosted the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards in 2002 and 2003, presented Festival in the Desert from Mali and Womad UK 2004 for BBC4 (TV) and compiles the annual World Music Awards CD.

MUSIC WORKSHOPS

VJ IN A DAY Friday 9th March, 6:30pm, ICA Media Lounge

Beginners VJ Workshop presented by Emma Davidson of Lektrolab in partnership with VJ Bopa. All participants can try out their skills at the She-Js party following the Workshop in ICA Bar from 9pm

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