rp_Rotterdam

RICHARD PHILPOTT

filmography

filmvideo

Richard Philpott: FILMS
Richard Philpott: ARTWORKS

Zooid Pictures

Zooid movie

HELLO HEN

(1973, 2 mins)

unavailable
   

THE ACTRESS & THE BISHOP

(1974, 15 min)
unavailable
   
A PROPOS DE ILFRACOMBE

(1974, Standard 8mm, 12 mins)
unavailable
   

Diary_Unedited Extracts

(1976-1979, Standard 8mm)

   
Diary 30 April 1977

(1977, Standard 8mm)
   
Diary 17 Dec 1978

(1978, Standard 8mm)
   
ZOOM CIRCLES

(1978, Standard 8mm, 3 mins )
   
HUNGERFORD BRIDGE

(1977, Standard 8mm, 4 mins )
   

SONATA

(1978, Standard 8mm, 4 mins)
   
BERLIN BLITZ

(unfinished)
unavailable
   
DEAD PIGEON
(first version)

(10 mins)
unavailable
   

NEWSREEL ONE - THE BUILD-UP

(1983, 16mm, optical, B&W, 25 mins)




Archway Road Movie Group. The first of two newsreels campaigning to prevent the building of a major new motorway in London, following fifteen years of protest and three ‘public’ inquiries. Made by members of the community, the film reveals the appalling living conditions on the Archway Road, the fallacy of the motorway-building ‘solution’ and the big businesses that benefit from and demand such motorway schemes despite enormous human and environmental cost.

   
THE UNDERGROUND

(1983; 16mm Commag; B & W; 6 mins 30"; 234ft/72m)

An over-the-top lyrical 'comedy' comprised of the clichQ of 'the look', alienation, desire, romance, movement, transport, the big city, and Liszt's piano transcription of Wagner's Isolden's Liebestod. Two women yearn for each other as they approach an underground station. As the music climaxes, the image explodes!
   
THE GREAT ARCHWAY LAND SCULPTURE

(9 mins)
unavailable
   
STOLPORT - DOCKLANDS

(3 mins)
unavailable
   
LONDON'S WILDLIFE

(3 mins)
unavailable
   
GAME II

(1982-83; 16mm Commag; colour; CinemaScope; 8 mins 30"; 306ft/93m)

A CinemaScope filmic record of a multi-media part-mobile light-sculpture and accompanying sound, made by Flipot as part of a series of "game" pieces. This one refers to four states of society from the prehistoric to the highly organised/political. The image has the quality of a speeded-up city at night which is revealed as a sculpture by flashes of lightning while the soundtrack evokes the noise of industry.
   
NEWSREEL TWO - WE OBJECT!

(1983-84, 16mm, optical, B&W, 24 mins)
Archway Road Movie Group. The first of two newsreels campaigning to prevent the building of a major new motorway in London, following fifteen years of protest and three ‘public’ inquiries. Made by members of the community, the film reveals the appalling living conditions on the Archway Road, the fallacy of the motorway-building ‘solution’ and the big businesses that benefit from and demand such motorway schemes despite enormous human and environmental cost.
   
ROAD MOVIE

(1984; 16mm Optical; Colour and B&W; 108 mins; 3888ft/1185m)

1st UK broadcast - 8th July.1985

"A hard-hitting documentary in which the arguments of the Road Lobby are pitted against those of environmentalists and the ordinary people whose lives are threatened by the effects of new motorway and urban highway schemes...the film's parameters extend to wider and universal arguments, including the priorities given to car users over those on public transport, the question of pollution and the demise of communities divided by busy highways. A film sure to provoke much discussion."
- Tyneside International Film Festival

"Horror, comedy and commitment...very different to the average documentary. its breadth is impressive and its radicalism thorough-going...universally well received."
- Hampstead & Highgate Express

"the longest-running battle in London hits the big screen"
- Thames TV News

"the most comprehensive and controversial film on public planning ever made"...."a chilling examination of what the Road Lobby has done to London and would like to do if given the chance...essential viewing"
- Time Out


"excellent material...damning footage...extremely pertinent"
- City Limits

"fascinating...deliberately provocative in its challenge to the Road Lobby and to dominant styles of documentary filmmaking"
- Hendon Times

"It is a hard hitting film and should be seen"
- The Journal

"Road Movie will come either as a shock or a revelation. It's a fiercely committed piece which draws some fundamental and disturbing conclusions for all of us...a fascinating example of how local people can get together to put their views across in a medium normally reserved for the rich or influential"
- Finchley Times


"fascinating...deliberately provocative in its challenge to the Road Lobby and to dominant styles of documentary filmmaking"
- Hendon Times

"Road Movie will come either as a shock or a revelation. It's a fiercely committed piece which draws some fundamental and disturbing conclusions for all of us...a fascinating example of how local people can get together to put their views across in a medium normally reserved for the rich or influential"
- Finchley Times

"It is a hard hitting film and should be seen" - The Journal
THE MINERS APPEAL

(1984, 35mm, optical, colour, 60 secs)


Notorious cinema"advert" produced in association with miners in support of their heroic 12-month struggle against the rabid Thatcher

   
THE MESSIAH IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH

(1985; 16mm Optical; B & W; 10 mins; 360ft/110m)

A dramatic inventory of the logic of growing violence in contemporary Britain. [- Mrs Thatcher and the Tories rise to infernal domination/- Miners and industrial workers strike, confronting the state/- The poor, the immigrants, the blacks, the youth, the unemployed and the oppressed of Britain rise-up and fight back/- The growth of fascism and the police state gives birth to violence/- The unions march. The police charge. The state must burn!]

A frame-by-frame rostrum animation film using only photographs and the music of Handel

"THE MESSIAH transforms anonymous news pictures into a powerfully moving photomontage about the nation's state"
- National Film Theatre, London
 
BEVERLY HILLS FLOP

(1985; 16mm Optical; Colour; 9 mins; 324ft/98m)



A pop-video send-up in which nothing gets started or finished and nothing makes sense - a typical clip narrative, in fact! - made up of slates, mistakes and outtakes mapped on to the driving rhythm of 'Axel F' by Harold Faltermeyer (the theme of 'Beverly Hills Cop' - hence the title).

"The most vacuous promo yet made - a triumph" - Julien Temple  
DEAD PIGEON

UK, 1986-87
16mm optical sound
40 minutes
[also available in video, installation, multi-screen and/or performance versions - by arrangement

VOICES
Joseph Beuys, Buckminster Fuller, Adolf Hitler, Urs Kiefer, David Larcher, Will Milne, Benito Mussolini, Jasmine Nancholas, Andy Warhol. PERFORMERS
Flipot, George Saxon

MUSIC
Terry Day, Max Eastley, Paul Jolly

Financially assisted by Greater London Arts


A dialectical comedy
journeying through
nationality, nationalism, language,
communication, knowledge and
the production of 'meaning'








In March 1986, "DEAD PIGEON" was first presented as a multi-media action for five projectors, tape-slide, four pre-recorded sound tracks, multi-camera video, two performers and three musicians. This generated new material, taking the project to its final stage when combined with the above elements and distilled into a single-screen format, premiered at the Festival Internacional de Cinema de Figuera da Foz, Portugal on 8th September 1987

The entire film is a combination of:-
1. Optical printing and rostrum camera
(newsreel, advertising, documentary, educational, travelogue, found footage, clapperboards, home movies, 'archaeological' slides from an earlier installation, TV News coverage of an environmental sculpture, silent cinema intertitle conventions, literary and philosophical quotations out of context, subtitling conventions etc.)
2. a multi-layered soundtrack
(radio interviews, film excerpts, ethnographic sounds, historical recordings, sound experiments, sound effects, multiple language versions, live music etc.)
3. and two performers, live musicians, and audience
(ie. the announcements of the 'Japanese' Benshi, the actions of the Performer, the live music and the audience, each trying to 'make sense' of the whole)

"DEAD PIGEON" is usually shown as a conventional single screen film. This version is a composite of all the additional elements listed above. But... "DEAD PIGEON" can also be presented as film/performance/installation in any number of different ways - each show being a unique presentation specifically arranged to suit the venue.

"With a rigorously experimental work, Philpott makes in Dead Pigeon a deconstruction of the symbols and signs which dominate, species of confused memory, which remain in our recollections and in our sensiblity like a register, experiences of communication but not always assimilated or "arranged" logically. It is a question of a film's being which is accepted or rejected en bloc. There is no half-way expression.....
Philpott crosses images, undoes them, lays them over one another, creates a no-mans-land for millions of memories, of associations, of vacuums, of leaps ahead. This vacilating world is always dominated by a battle of symbols, of fragmented communications where every definition is negated for a definition which is seen to follow."
- A Capital, Lisbon, Portugal

"Richard Philpott's show is hardly for those who think going to the flicks is all about ice cream and car chases. But anyone who prefers their cinema to delve a little deeper should find something of interest in this multi-media project which investigates the way our very desire to make sense of things itself produces meaning."
- Time Out, London

"An assault on the senses is perhaps the best way of describing a 'performance' of Richard Philpott's "DEAD PIGEON"...The film itself is a concoction of found film junk, upside down home movies, newsreels, slides and advertisements. Intertitles including homilies, colourful passages of Rabelais or Eisenstein's weighty theories contrast with a soundtrack that mixes regular music, birdsong, basic communication in foreign languages, and the voices of Warhol, Mussolini and Hitler among others...it's confusing, sometimes stimulating and occassionally amusing - and quite an experience."
- City Limits, London

SPIRIT OF ALBION

A FILM BY
RICHARD PHILPOTT

POEMS BY
WILLIAM BLAKE

MUSIC BY
SIMON JEFFES & PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA
TEST DEPARTMENT
MIKE WESTBROOK
FLYING PATROL GROUP
GROUP AR MARMOUZ MEUR
BIJAN
JAN

ZOOID PICTURES LIMITED for CHANNEL FOUR TELEVISION

(UK 1987, 58 minutes)

1st UK broadcast - 8th June 1987

 

Produced in assocation with Britain's "New Age Gypsies", ALBION is politically, emotionally and spiritually a very moving film, providing a unique insight into the ways of travelling communities, the new nomads such as the Peace Convoy and Rainbow Village, who contue to be the object of authoritarian hatred and brutality as they struggle to re-establish the ancient right to gather for solstice celebrations at Stonehenge; and search for an end to human exploitation and global destruction in the New Age of our planet

"BRITISH NEW WAVE.
The British cinema has new things to say. The technical means do not have to be sophisticated, but the language is direct and effective. The example is "Spirit of Albion" by Richard Philpott.
There is an old gypsy proverb: A country without nomads is not a free country. Is it possible to say whether liberty exists when people are no longer able to travel here today and there tomorrow? This is the fundamental crux of the question raised in the film. It is a passionate film, but appropriately so for the problems raised must have an Effective cinematic technique developed. But we have a lesson which some directors should learn well from Philpott's film: after a good idea, develop a practice with modest means and a direct language - which ambitious projects are condemned to fail for lack of means...with extremely modest means, the film realises its central objective: to dispel the negative images which the whole of the British media gives to the "hippies" of the 80s."
- Rui Cardoso, Dario Popular, Lisbon, Portugal


"a range of rarely exposed views of contemporary Britain" - The Independent "recommended"
- City Limits

 

"made from the Convoy's viewpoint, the film shows the honesty of their back-to-nature philosophy"
- News on Sunday

 

"I think you'll warm to them and to this disturbing and attractive film. 'Film of the Week" - Daily Mail



"inviting the viewer to experience, rather than a safe anthropological distance...emotional insight, the revelation of a living community"
- The Listener

 

"a unique insight" - Time Out

 

"DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Like many of Richard Philpott's previous films it explores a facet of the growing authoritarianism of contemporary British society. Spirit of Albion is a chilling and disturbing account of people whose major 'crime' appears to be their refusal to join the much-trumpeted "property-owning democracy"...although an equal portion of the film is given over to allowing them to express their beliefs in their own words. There is much stress on the importance of tribal life styles, of living on the land and getting away from consumer society, especially from cities. Furthermore, the aptly chosen quotations from Blake place the travellers and their search for an alternative society in their proper historical and cultural conext, as does the revelation that Molesworth was the largest spontaneous squat since Winstanley took over St. George's Hill with the Diggers in the seventeeth century"
- Julian Petley, Monthly Film Bulletin

"A film demonstrating the lifestyle and recent history of travelling people who, in growing numbers, now live directly from the earth and lead a nomadic existence" - Salisbury Festival

 

"This is the first film to examine the whole way of living of such groups and its themes are so relevant to this festival that it will be shown twice"
- Glastonbury Festival

STONES OFF HOLLAND

(UK 1988, 16mm, 8-mins., 330ft/95m)

Dutch radio pirates cut-up Venice's Grand Canal.

The national radio closes-down and the anthem drones out over endless concrete cubes, forming a pier to a distant lighthouse.

Multiple interactions between generations of 8mm film, 16mm film and video are printed onto 16mm with moving matte semaphore ciphers to colour perceptions of time, place and national identity.

"In contrast to the romantic view of landscape implicit in all these films [in the London Film Festival] is Richard Philpott's Stones Off Holland. Philpott employs strategies which firmly deny a romantic approproation of landscape. A Mondrianesque view of a jetty, shot on film, transfered to video, then back to film, flickers constantly in one corner of the screen; a whole seascape reduced to a grainy electronic pulse. This is superimposed over views of sea defences along the Dutch coastline, and a tightly framed tracking shot along the Grand Canal in Venice. Whenever an entrance to a canal appears between buildings, a hand-drawn 'ruler' flashes onto the screen to measure the width of the opening."
- 'Art Monthly' (reprinted in 'Independent Media')

THE FLORA FADDY FURRRY DANCE DAY

(UK 1989, 16mm optical sound, 10 minutes)

Every May an ancient pre-Christian Spring ritual is performed in the streets of Helston in Cornwall, south-west England. Throughout the Flora Day, the population perform the Furry (or Faddy) Dance in long procession through the banks, shops, houses and streets, all decorated with greenery and flowers, following the town silver and brass band as they endlessly repeat their unique, mesmerising tune from 7am to about 7pm when the final dance ends.

Every May an ancient pre-Christian Spring ritual is performed in the streets of Helston in Cornwall, south-west England. Throughout the Flora Day, the population perform the Furry (or Faddy) Dance in long procession through the banks, shops, houses and streets, all decorated with greenery and flowers, following the town silver and brass band as they endlessly repeat their unique, mesmerising tune from 7am to about 7pm when the final dance ends.

These celebrations form the most ancient and certainly the biggest ritual dance still performed in Britain today, recalling the Celtic festival of Beltane with its rituals of purification, fertility, the triumph of Life over Death and the victory of Light over Darkness. In Christian times, the Flora Day also came to mark the Apparition of Archangel St. Michael (the dragon slayer and patron saint of both Helston and Cornwall) who defeated Satan after a furious battle for the possession of the town.
"Philpott continues his admirable exploration of Britain's alternative/folk culture with this brief study of a Cornish dance festival. Inserted images suggest the pre-Christian roots... but the final impression is the irony of just how sterile, meaningless and bourgeois our rich mythical traditions have become."
- Geoff Andrew, Time Out, London
HERE IN THE REAL WORLD

(UK 1992, 33 minutes, 16mm optical sound, 1235 feet/376 m)

Script, Photography, Sound, Editing: Richard Philpott

Music:
Samuel Barber
Jeff Stevens & The Bullets
Jo-El Sonnier
Super All Star
Alan Jackson
Tito Puente & His Orchestra

A post-mortem documentary fantasy, losing touch with reality, horribly close to the truth, heading for the desert.

City-hopping around the Great American Musical Technicolour Outdoors, my mind went to pieces.

Journey outside-inside all-shook-up, just when was it I started to crack?

"Philpott's impressionistic post-mortem of a trip around the US, moving waywardly from East to West coast and the desert states and steadily towards the break-up of a relationship. A personal, intriguing movie-diary that embraces myth, music, history and landscape."
- Geoff Andrew, Time Out, London.
 
       


     
BOC Lady Macbeth Birmingham Opera Company production of
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
(March 2019)

     

MUSICS & POEMS

January-May 2020

 
Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen
On a radiant summer morning

Dichterliebe, Op. 48 No 12 (?1865)
Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Poem by Heinrich Heine Performed by
Christian Gerhaher
Gerold Huber - piano
An die Musik
To Music

D547 (1825) Franz Schubert (1799-1828)
Poem by Franz von Schober
Performed by
Hans Hotter
Gerald Moore - piano

Auf ein altes Bild
On an Old Painting

(1888) Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)
Poem by Eduard Mörike Performed by
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Gerald Moore - piano Painting: The Virgin and Child in a Landscape
Jan Provoost (1491-1529)

Avant le Cinéma
Before the cinema

(from 'Quatre poemes de Apollinaire', FP. 58 No. 3) (1931) Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Poem by Guillaume Apollinaire
Performed by
François Le Roux
Olivier Godin - piano Film clips from
"Zéro de conduite" (Jean Vigo, 1933)
"L'Atalante" (Jean Vigo, 1934)
"Les Enfants du Paradis" (Marcel Carné, 1945)

Befreit
Released

(from 5 Lieder, Op 39 No. 4) (1898)
Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)
Poem by Richard Dehmel Performed by
Christiane Karg
Malcolm Martineau - piano
Er ist gekommen
He Came

(from 'Liebesfrühling', Op. 12 No. 2)
(1840) Clara Schumann (1819 - 1896))
Poem by Friedrich Rückert Performed by
Christiane Karg
Malcolm Martineau - piano
Frühlingsnacht
Spring Night

(from 'Liederkreis', Op. 39 No. 12) (1840)
Schumann, Robert (1810 - 1856)
Poem: Joseph von Eichendorff
Performed by
Christian Gerhaher
Gerold Huber - piano
Ging heut’ Morgen über’s Feld
This morning I walked across the Field

(from 'Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen')
(Songs of a Wayfarer) (1883-5) Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Performed by
Christian Gerhaher
Gerold Huber - piano
Illalle
To Evening

op 17 No 6 (1898) Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Poem by Aukusti Valdemar Forsman (Koskimies) Performed by
Kim Borg
Erik Werba - Piano

L'ultima canzone
The last song

(1905) Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846 - 1916)
Poem by Francesco Cimmino
Performed by
Beniamino Gigli

Clips from films by Michelangelo Antonioni:
"L'Avventura" (1960)
"L'Eclisse" (1962)
"La Notte" (1961)
Pis’mo K.S. Stanislavskomu
Letter to K.S. Stanislavsky

(1908 Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943) Performed by
Sergey Leiferkus
Howard Shelley - piano
Die Post
The Post

(1888) Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)
Poem by Eduard Mörike Performed by
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Gerald Moore - piano

Clips from films by Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981):
"Cinderella" (1922)
"The Little Chimney Sweep" (1954)

Now welcome somer

From 'The Parlement of Fowls' by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)
Schilflied
Reed Song

From Seven Early Songs (Sieben frühe Lieder) (c. 1905 – 1908)
Alban Berg (1885-1935)
Poem by: Nikolaus Lenau Performed by
Christiane Karg
Malcolm Martineau - piano
Shostakovich Polka

Two Pieces for String Quartet
Polka
(1931) Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Performed by
Emerson Quartet

Shostakovich SQ2 waltz

String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68
(1944)
3. Valse (Allegro) Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Performed by
Borodin Quartet

Clips from films by Sergei Eisenstein:
"Strike" (1925)
"October" (1928)

Shostakovich SQ7 allegro

String Quartet No 7 in F# Minor Op.108
(1960)
Allegro Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Performed by
Borodin Quartet
Shostakovich SQ8

String Quartet No. 8 in C minor (Op. 110)
Movement 1: Largo
(1960) Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Performed by
Beethoven Quartet

Sommer
Summer

6 Einfache Lieder (Op.9, No 6)
(1913) Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897 - 1957)
Poem by Siegfried Trebitsch Performed by
Konrad Jarnot
Reinild Mees - piano

Tre Pezzi
Tre pezzi

Op. 14e
Part 1: "Öd und traurig"
Empty and Sad
(1979) György Kurtág (1926-) Performed by
Augustin Hadelich - violin
Joyce Yang - piano

Tsarskoselskaya Statuya
A Statue at Tsarskoye Selo

Op. 57 No. 17 (1899) César Cuí (1835-1918)
Poem by Alexander Pushkin
Performed by
Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Ivari Ilja - piano
Über die Heide
Over the heath

Op. 86 No. 4 (c 1877) Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Poem by Theodor Storm Performed by
Simon Keenlyside - Baritone
Malcom Martineau - piano

Die verschwiegene Nachtigall
The Secretive Nightingale

From Sechs Lieder (Six Songs) (Op. 48 Number 4)
1884-88
By Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907)
Poem by Karl Joseph Simrock (1802 - 1876)
after Walther von der Vogelweide (c 1170-1230)

Performed by
Chen Reiss
Charles Spencer - piano

Vesennye vody
Spring Waters

Op.14 No.11 (1896) Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
Poem by Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev
Performed by
Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Mikhail Arkadiev - piano
Was will die einsame Träne?
Why this solitary tear?

(from 'Myrthen, Op. 25: No. 21 (1840) Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
Poem by Heinrich Heine Performed by
Camilla Tilling
Gerold Huber - piano
Wohl denk' ich oft
I often recall

(1897) Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)
Poem by Michelangelo Buonarotti
Performed by
Hans Hotter
Gerald Moore - piano

Clips from films by F. W. Murnau (1888-1931): "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" (1927)