Arthouse cinema, cafe, bar, library, headquarters to the publication Vertigo and home to over 19,000 rental DVDs – Close-Up answers the question of how much brilliance can fit into one small space. With programming that focuses on early-cinema, classics, world cinema, documentaries, experimental films and video art, this isn’t your neighbourhood Odeon. Its 40-seat screening room is intimate, minimal and bereft of sticky, red velour. Stale popcorn and pick ‘n’ mix aren’t on the menu – this is a surly establishment fit for acting out black-coffee-fuelled ennui.
Emily and Maria plan their visit around an impromptu screening of seminal classic Wear This, Go There: Paul Rothe & Son. They dress up for the occasion, in glittering lurex tailoring and sequinned organza. Gucci and Miu Miu both interweave cinematic storytelling through their fashion; Gucci, under Michele’s Tenenbaum-inspired vision, and Miu Miu in its fetishistically aesthetic world.
Damian Saville opened the space last year, creating a forum for critical dialogue and a platform for art film to be viewed in the singularly immersive realm of an auditorium.
He and the team have picked out the screenings not to be missed in May, and three especially beautiful books from Close-Up’s library.
"Litvintseva's films excavate the layers of history embedded in landscape and architecture and propose the possibility of time travel in the present of the image. Her work juxtaposes politics and leisure, remembering and forgetting, the monumental and the pictorial, the global and the personal, the human and the geologic and ultimately the infinite and everyday."
6 – 8 May: Close-Up on Charles Burnett
"A key figure in the "L.A. Rebellion" of the 1970s, Charles Burnett has made a career in filmmaking without abandoning the principles that guided his earliest work – a fundamental commitment to render the complex lives of his characters in the most nuanced detail and an unerring respect for the sensibilities of his audiences. Killer of Sheep is a deeply perceptive and poetic study of Americans existing just above poverty. Filmed with a near-documentary technique and a cast of the director’s friends, Killer Sheep presents an authenticity very rarely encountered in the cinema. This is a rare chance to see Burnett’s features and shorts screened together."
27 – 29 May: Close-Up on Jonas Mekas
"Mekas' unique body of work forms both a record of New York underground culture between the 50s and 80s and a remarkably poetic film-language. He quickly established himself as a hero of the American counter-culture with his deeply personal filmmaking, and – as an important touchstone for Close-Up – by founding Anthology Film Archives in Brooklyn. Mekas virtually invented the diary form of filmmaking with his beautifully melancholic masterpiece Lost Lost Lost, which comprises fourteen years of filming, starting from his arrival in America as a political refugee from Lithuania."
Friedl Kubelka Vom Gröller: Photography and Film
Energia Przekazu: Mikołajczyk Robakowski Rytka
Film Stills: Emotions Made in Hollywood
For more information on Close-Up, visit their website or visit them at 97 Sclater St, E1 6HR.