Spacey Bruce Lacey RIP

Sad to hear that Bruce Lacey has passed onto yet another adventure – he really was an inspiration in his naughty ways and unwillingness to conform or compromise. The first obit I have come across is here. I kind of prefer this piece about him from a few years ago by Dale Shaw, which is here.

This is a great 15 minute film by Ken Russell, made for Monitor on the BBC in the 60s. It is so much fun, even if Bruce was still complaining about it when we were making our film about him, the Bruce Lacey Experience.

Bruce chatting after a screening of the film at the BFI. I think you get a pretty good idea of his spirited nature there.

Caution : Surrealist at work

Just a note to say I have been working with a professional film restoration team to work on some footage by Marcel Duchamp, discovered in a garage in Herne Bay (! i know! not the most likely of places!).

It is most extraordinary.

An initial screening of the footage will take place at the London Short Film Festival in January at an event featuring ‘the best in contemporary and classic cat cinema’.


The New Wave of Middle Aged

A very good fun evening last night chatting with a filmmaker I genuinely admire, Peter Strickland, about New York No Wave, underground cinema, music, the Scala – looking backwards and looking forwards!

I wore yet another ridiculous outfit – I cant help myself, there is a fantastic Vintage hire company, the Contemporary wardobe collection, that the Horse Hospital runs, right above the exhibition/viewing space! They provided the jacket for Aiden Gillen in ‘Ekki Mukk’, for instance, but reach as far back as costumes for ‘Quadrophenia‘, and clothing David Bowie.

My outfit was a bit less classy…

here in conversation with Peter:

and afterwards me and Peter also chatted with Ben Rivers – another filmmaker I greatly love and admire – so it was pretty much a lovely evening! I was trying to persuade them we should form a film movement – ‘the new wave of middle aged’ or similar.

Peter screened an old short of his called ‘Bubblegum’, which starred Holly Woodlawn and Nick Zedd.

Here is a photo of Peter back then, with Zedd. And yes that is real hair. Well, Peters…

And we raised a bunch of cash for the Horse Hospital! rah!

Roll up! Roll up!

Two upcoming screenings I have organised. The first, on July 17th at the Horse Hospital, is a joint event with Peter Strickland, whose recent works include Berberian Sound Studio.

We are going to show a couple of very old films of ours (Peter’s ‘Bubblegum’ and my ‘No Age New York‘) and discus the influence of the US underground on our work. Which should be fun!

Screening from original VHS format!

More on the event here.

And the day after, on July 18th, I am curating a very special evening of subjective nature films… ‘It’s a Bugs Life… and then you Die‘.

A program which covers a scientist who was simply too ahead of his time – Dr Nils Hellstrom – films about sound recordist Chris Watson, mad bug films, scary bug films, charming bug films – it’s nature but it sure ain’t National Geographic.

Just some films which cover nature with an unusual point of view – definitely not ‘blue chip’. More info on the night here.

All money from both events will be going to the Horse Hospital to help their fight against eviction.

This Filthy Earth

I noticed a few great stories about man’s relationship to nature recently.

First there is this little snail on the left, called Vertigo Angustior, in a battle with this slimey creature on the right:

The little critters are doing a good job fighting the forces of mammon, read about Trump’s struggle with the snails by clicking here.

Then there’s this here yew tree. Scientists think it’s the oldest living thing in the United Kingdom, at 5000 years and still going. Much as I dislike the Daily Mail, there’s more on this story here.

And, lastly, a short article by George Monbiot which is worth reading. He can be quite annoying, but his suggestion that environmentalism should be more of a positive movement rather than a negative, oppositional one, struck a chord with me (and my aims with things like ‘Lions and Tigers and Bears’). Anyway, worth a look, IMHO – read the piece by clicking here.

That’s it from Nicky’s Naturewatch for now!