Hi MAFA classmates, If you haven’t seen it already, may I suggest you go across the street to the Tate Britain and watch Mark Leckey’s 23 minute film Dream English Kid 1964 – 1999AD (2015)?
Late night while surfing the web, Leckey found footage from a Joy Division concert in Liverpool that he attended when he was 15 and realised that it was possible to piece together his biography using found video. Leckey describes the resulting film as ‘anxious,’ but who wouldn’t agree that growing up is full of anxiety-inducing episodes? (Figuring out ‘girls’, sleeping on a nasty floor in your 20’s, nuclear bomb tests, the Cold War.) But despite this (or because of this) I find the film captivating. Is it because I’m roughly his age and grew up in the shadow of nuclear war, space exploration, 70’s shag carpet – and Joy Division? Maybe… but also I did not grow up in the North of England (America actually) and I’m a girl so can’t really relate to the many ‘male gaze’ shots.
So how does Leckey lift the very personal and biographical to something that I would be raving about? (Ambiguity, some narrative, mood, sound, repetition, what else?) Is my ‘collective unconscious’ kicking-in? (Thank you Carl Jung.) Most importantly for right now, what can I use from this film to help me tackle my big, huge ‘collective anxiety’ about America – with Trump in the White House, political and economic polarization, racism NOT ‘over’, and gun violence everywhere?
In the meantime, here’s my Dream American Kid photo (above). There’s a ton of narrative here. I wish I could paint this, but don’t think you can better this photo.
Link to Dream English Kid: