Film(s) / Event:
Measuring Inventing Temperature
Running time: 82 minutes
A film – or film’S’ – screening in conjunction with the already existing Art exhibition of the same name… And as you can see from the picture, or banner above, this is a great little [in more than one sense of the word – well, these are SHORTS] build-up to the Special Guest appearance and feature film next week. Spanning approximately 44 years, this collection of films – art as film really – deserves both Recognition and Review.
It may have been a one night special, but not only is it a ‘one of two’ it’s in conjunction with the phenomenal “Measuring Temperature” exhibition currently running at the KCC. It’s an exhibition featuring images, film, installations and human movement.
Just as London was and is always Inventing its OWN Temperatures – this time around it being extreme and extremely-unexpected heat, the Korean Cultural Centre put on an eclectic artistic show of their own.
Indeed, I’m rarely one to review an art exhibition [although I have a handful of part / unpublished ones] but such a list of Mini Mini Movies (all within one evening) never felt more apt for doing so.
Switching between old and new – even with a film projector in the room for the older ones – I hope that the below brief reviews help to give you a feel for what was occurring.
Film 1: Do you think science…?
(2006 – Semiconductor, a.k.a. Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)
Essentially a load of talking heads, in response to a question… Or two…?
Film 2: Encyclopaedia Britannica
(1971 – John Latham)
A page by page account – literally – of the pages being turned in just one volume of this famous book, or at least I’m convinced it was just Volume 1 as indicated at the start.
It seemed though, to go on for much, much, much, much longer than one volume… Even going back and forth & indeed almost with blank (supposedly jaded over time?) ones. It was brilliant yet mundane… But so much so that I thought there may be a jokey ending.
Well… Maybe Volume II being shown, and thus an audience sigh would be apt… Then it would not proceed to do this. Surely the viewers would have DEFINITELY had enough by the end of the already run time of 6 minutes. Perhaps though, it is actually the WHOLE Encyclopaedia Britannica – this would make more sense.
Film 3: All the Time in the World
(2005 – Semiconductor, a.k.a. Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)
Cliffs, imagery and the brilliant kind. Rocks quivering, expanding digitally and the like. If this wasn’t enough, bizarre alien like fluffy floating stars would swoop and slide. Was this writing the billion years of our time?
Film 4: Tree
(1974 – Chris Welsby)
Simple, from 1974. A shot of a tree or few, in a park. The difference? Us, the camera, the POV, the whatever… appear to move exactly like we are or were another tree. Strangely fantastic in its own visual way.
Film 5: Windmill III
(1974 – Chris Welsby)
Well, I was going to say that I couldn’t really pass judgement or maybe understand it having not seen ‘parts I & II’… But I jest, of course. Then again, a jester who must explain his own jokes surely is no such clown?
Seriously though, this is / was pretty clever considering this again was back in 1974. A makeshift windmill, MMM assumes – and indeed did kind of check after the screening with someone present – and a small camera [yes even in 1974] placed right behind the blades. We know this as we see it in the reflection of the blades… It’s like we are the inner pole or workings of such a rotating device, looking out.
Looking out? Obviously… And so much so that we catch casual and unsuspecting passers by, a vehicle and a tad more. One memorable part being when a romantic-like couple stop to look over – maybe towards this device – and as they stand still it feels staged. I don’t think it was, and indeed I checked with another audience member who agreed it ‘wasn’t’… So… Assuming most people are cleverer (more clever, for correct English?..! ) than MMM-yself, I’ll take his word for it.
We even see the filmmaker or prop handler briefly in one piece of the film.
Film 6: Photographic Survey
(2013 – Byun Jae-kyu)
Survey? Correct word? Definitely some kind of surveillance!
This may indeed have been my fave of the 8 films – and not just because it’s Korean!
Simple concept yet… not! The dialogue and therefore subtitles is / are stated twice in total. Once, in the blurred build-up to an out of focus stacking of meaningful photographs. Then, again when the stacking and unblurring starts to happen. How? The objects – photographs are getting gradually closer to us, the camera and therefore ultimately become pretty much completely in focus.
This all reveals something for us AND her and those memories she holds. See the last film, Tae-mong for more memory relatedness… Relatedness being even more apt in that short.
Film 7: They Unduloping
(2014 – Edmund Cook)
Giant pretzels and written words made out of similar but smaller pretzel-resembling pieces, although colourful rather than brown. Yes, words, or giant ‘worms’ more like perhaps – but a completely made-up new language literally spill from a girl’s mouth. I spoke to her briefly after this film, as well as the director (who really studies or studied fine art, rather than film – although that wouldn’t surprise me if it were the case for most of these filmmakers).
Add an invisible head with glasses, with slots for eyes [hopefully not Asian-inspired, but seeing as the girl mentioned in the paragraph before is indeed Asian, it wouldn’t matter anyhow] and another giant coloured, perhaps pretzel shaped enclosure which made noises or language (?) when a hand is placed in it.
Film 8: Tae-mong
(2012 – Goh Sunghoon)
The longest of all films – but still only 22 minutes – is another Korean one and [the title] refers to what a pregnant woman [or a man… Well, not yet… Maybe in the future, if science and manipulation has its way… Oo-err] dreams of and how it can tell you or dictate something about the forthcoming newborn. A Korean belief, you see.
This covers families and therefore more talking heads, but each time you think it’s over the filmmaker seems to elaborate further with a new scene – Even going as far as to ask his family members similar inquisitive documentary-style questions regarding Tae-mong and their experiences, & ultimately asking about his birth.
Somewhere in all this a woman speaks of seeing an egg shaped being outside – in her dream? – and later you see mounds in a back garden type area. Could these be those ‘eggs’, giant ones? They reminded this MMM reviewer – and never so Mini-Mini as THESE films – of Mini-Mini-Mounds witnessed in the Scilla-infused area of Gyeongju.
That is all. Except to say… A pretty good turn-out considering the ‘Temperature’ outside!
Thanks to the wonderfully talented girls and guys of the KCCUK, especially Hyun Jin CHO (Curator – Film) and Jeyun MOON (Curator – Art / Exhibitions).
More info of the various aspects concerned with this seemingly giant exhibition, including the second [and THAI related] film night connected to the exhibition, can be found below:
Inventing Temperature – Korean Cultural Centre (London) website
Inventing Temperature FILM Screenings – Korean Cultural Centre (London) website
Inventing Temperature – London Korean Links website/
Inventing Temperature FILM Screenings – London Korean Links website