Tag Archives: film

Upcoming Event: HERITAGE FIGHT

1 Jun

Join us for an evening of film and discussion in an exploration of protest, conservation and environmental values in our screening of award-winning documentary HERITAGE FIGHT (2012).

Heritage Fight Image

Directed by Eugénie Dumont, HERITAGE FIGHT follows the citizens and traditional owners (the Goolarabooloo) of lands in a small town in Australia’s last great wilderness. The film documents their daily struggle against the imminent danger of a liquified natural gas plant. HERITAGE FIGHT questions and listens. It draws on the perspectives of scientists, activists, politicians and businessmen, all determined to fight and protect what is priceless to them and all driven by a remarkable collective consciousness.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion / Q&A featuring Prof. Jenny Pickerill (Professor in Environmental Geography at University of Sheffield and author of ‘Cyberprotest: Environmental Activism Online’), Dr. Adam Barker (Geography Teaching Fellow at University of Leicester and author of forthcoming ‘Settling: Invasion, Space-Making, and the Northern Bloc of Settler Colonialism’) and Dr. Peter Kilroy (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Film Studies/ Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at King’s College, London. His current project explores the proliferation of documentary films made by, about or in collaboration with Australia’s ‘other’ Indigenous minority, Torres Strait Islanders).

Heritage Fight Poster (version 2)-page-001

Monday 6th June / 6:30pm Doors / 7:00pm Start / The Book Club, 100 – 106 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4RH /£5 Tickets

Buy tickets here.

Venue information here. 

Facebook event here.

Upcoming Event: Passenger Films and Precarious Geographies present “Nightcrawler”

8 Jan

Join us on Tuesday 19th of January for a screening and exploration of Dan Gilroy’s fascinating film ‘Nightcrawler’ presented by Passengerfilms in collaboration with ‘Precarious Geographies’ and Genesis Cinema.

Precarious Geographies and Passenger Films Present Nightcrawler Poster -page-001

Set in the hyper-precarious world of contemporary LA, Nightcrawler is a disturbing critique of the neoliberal urban condition. Its protagonist, Lou Bloom, is a young man frustrated by an impenetrable labour market in which even unpaid internships are inaccessible. Bloom embarks on a mission to make his own fortunes by forging a career in crime journalism. Lou’s willingness to cross boundaries others won’t in order to get the goriest footage means his career rapidly gains momentum. His merciless pursuit of uncomprehendingly brutal footage is met by both horror and admiration by TV stations. But this is not just a film about a sinister individual; Lou’s prioritisation of ambition and commercial success at the expense of compassion and humanity is itself a reflection of LA’s logics and ethical landscape.

Following a screening of Nightcrawler this event will draw out themes of precarity than run throughout the film. Precarious Geographies (Ella Harris and Mel Nowicki) are delighted to host Dr Oli Mould (Royal Holloway) and Dr Will Davies (Goldsmiths) who will discuss the film, followed by an audience Q&A. The discussion will explore the film’s depiction of precarity in the contemporary condition, including precarity as entrenched in neoliberalism, the relationships between media representation and precarity, and precarity in contemporary labour markets.

Tuesday 19th January / 7pm / Genesis Cinema 93-95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ / Tickets £5 from Genesis Cinema website http://genesiscinema.co.uk/GenesisCinema.dll/WhatsOn?Film=1214382 

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/924419814309160/


The Art of Skating

25 Jan
The first Passengerfilms of 2015 had a great turnout (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser.)

The first Passengerfilms of 2015 had a great turnout (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser).

Tuesday night saw the launch of Passengerfilm’s 2015 programme in the Jetlag Bar, Fitzrovia. The title of the evening, curated by Dr. Oli Mould, was The Art of Skating. The evening began with a showing of Blue Line, a short film that follows skateboarders as they move through the urban landscape. The feature film was Beautiful Losers, a documentary about a group of American artists who became famous for their ‘do-it-yourself’ style of street art in the 1990s. A short film called Xerox and Destroy was also shown, about the Photocopy Club, an unconventional exhibition of skateboard photography. The discussion after the screenings was chaired by Dr. Harriet Hawkins (Royal Holloway, University of London), and featured Professor Iain Borden (Bartlett School, UCL), Marc Vallée, a documentary photographer, and Sabina Andron (Bartlett School, UCL).

The films shown focused around art and skateboarding (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser).

The films shown focused around art and skateboarding (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser).

The purpose of the evening was to think about how alternative creative subcultures such as skateboarding can be accepted by the mainstream, often because of rather than despite their subversive and anti-establishment nature. This is not a seamless process however, and tension and conflict can often be sparked by the perceived ‘institutionalisation’ or ‘selling out’ taking place. Much of the discussion revolved around this process. The artists in Beautiful Losers achieved mainstream commercial success, with one even doing the art for a Pepsi ad campaign. There was debate over whether selling your work makes it somehow less ‘authentic,’ and whether artists are ever non-commercial- surely they all hope to make a living out of their art?

There was also extensive discussion about the connections between skateboarding and graffiti. They are both subversive counter-cultures, but they have both also proved to be incredibly commercially successful, capable of generating large amounts of income. For example Vans, a well-known shoe brand made popular by skaters plans to have annual revenues of $2.2. Billion by 2016.  Marc Vallée made the point that skateboarding is part of a range of creativities that all feed off of each other, and Iain Borden traced the connection back to the Zoo York crew in the mid-1970s.

The discussion was lively and thoughtful (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser).

The discussion was lively and thoughtful (Photo: Thomas Dekeyser).

Skateboarding and street art are two of the things that make the urban feel edgy, unconventional, and just the right amount of dangerous. As such, they can be very popular, but the debate about the impacts of the transition to the mainstream rages on. Undoubtedly there is no easy answer, but we at Passengerfilms had a fantastic time discussing it with an engaged and enthusiastic audience. Thank you to everyone who came along and took part.

Tuesday 14th June THE LONDON PERAMBULATOR and Psychogeography

23 May

Our next night back at the Roxy Bar & Screen will be an event on psychogeography, with a feature screening of John Rogers’ The London Perambulator (the film has a blog here which includes trailers and TV features), followed by a Q&A with John Rogers and with Nick Papadimitriou. They will be talking about the making of the film and its sources, as well as about their Resonance FM radio show, Ventures and Adventures in Topography (see blog), which combines perambulations in London with a look at old texts, guidebooks and maps.

Nick will also read a section from his forthcoming book, Scarp, about the North Middlesex/ South Hertfordshire escarpment, to musical accompaniment. We will also have a few words from Gale, Serena and Clare from the urban exploration project WALKWALKWALK , about their archaeological methodologies in routing and rerouting North East London, and from Roland Francois-Lack at UCL, who writes a daily blog about the connection between maps and film, THE CINETOURIST.

7.30pm, Tuesday June 14th, Roxy Bar & Screen, London Bridge.

Friday 20th May THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS and eco horror

22 Apr

Tom Goodwin (to Karen): Keep behind me. There’s no sense in getting killed by a plant.

For the first night of the UK Green Film Festival we’ll be showing Steve Sekely’s The Day of the Triffids (1962), the original film version of John Wyndham’s 1951 catastrophic novel, above. The film starts at 10.30pm, but come to the cinema early for a drink and a slice of Triffid cake designed by Cakes & Crunk!

We will have real carnivorous plants on display in the cinema bar and in the square outside, and will also be showing some rare book covers and botanical illustrations from the John Wyndham archive at the University of Liverpool.

Eco-horror/ Triffid costumes please! If you want to know some more about eco-horror, see the ‘Paranoia Paradise’ chapter in Kim Newman’s Nightmare Movies (1988), Sean Cubitt’s EcoMedia (2005), or Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann’s Ecology and Popular Film (2009).

10.30pm, Friday 20th May, Shortwave Cinema, Bermondsey Square

Sunday 17th April DARK DAYS and dispossessed spaces

11 Apr

At 7pm on Sunday the 17th April PASSENGERFILMS will be screening ‘Dark Days’ (2000), Marc Singer’s incredible documentary about the homeless people living in the abandoned tunnel systems under New York, filmed in near darkness and soundtracked by DJ Shadow.

The theme of the night is the dispossessed people and spaces of our cities. We will be co-hosting with Open Cinema, a network of film clubs programmed by and for homeless and socially excluded people (http://www.opencinema.net/), and all proceeds from the night will go towards their continuing work with the homeless. The evening will begin at 7pm with a screening of the winning architectural shorts from the Alpha-ville Festival, followed by a selection of Open Cinema’s short films. We will also introduce Andrea Gibbons, a PhD Geography student at LSE who has recently been editing Teun Voeten’s book ‘Tunnel People’, and who will contextualise his photographs with stories of some of the individuals he met in the tunnel systems – see his website http://www.tunnelpeople.net/. Finally, we’ll see underground derelict spaces through the eyes of the ‘Place Hacker’, Bradley L. Garrett, in his short film ‘Urban Exploration’.

The feature screening is a rare opportunity to see Singer’s ‘Dark Days’, made entirely on free damaged film from Kodak, and in collaboration with the subjects themselves, who rigged up makeshift lighting and steadicam dollies. This is just another stage in the communal construction of the living spaces underground, which Singer explores through individual tales (see this article on the film).

After the film Christoph Warrack from Open Cinema will talk about the heterotopic spaces of homelessness with Lindsay Parker (Royal Holloway) who is currently doing research on the criminalisation of public vagrancy and how this drives people out of sight, out of mind under the city. We will finally hear from Ajit Chambers and The Old London Underground Company about the plans which are currently afoot to make use of London’s own forty ghost train stations and spaces in innovative ways. The heritage value of such sites balances against their potential for new projects – see this Independent article and BBC news clip about the project. An urban explorer of London’s UrbEx community will respond to these ideas in terms of the very different work going on with these secret explorations and attempts to break into and record the derelict spaces of the city, as described in Bradley L. Garrett’s post on the underground in Place Hacking.

To help DJ the night, please add songs about darkness/underground to the collaborative Spotify playlist Dark Days. The best addition will win a prize given out at the screening!

7pm, Sunday 17th April, Roxy Bar & Screen, London Bridge, £4 on the door (all proceeds to the homeless).

Tony stroking one of the tunnel cats. Photo: Teun Voeten

Calendar of screenings

4 Mar

Finally, our plans for the next seven months are here. Some of this is still to be confirmed, so please subscribe to the blog for a reminder and further details about each event as it comes up!

  • March – MOBILE CINEMA and Launch Party

7.30pm, Monday 14th March, Roxy Bar and Screen (London Bridge)

Feature screening of Kings of the Road (1976), Wim Wender’s film about a travelling cinema projectionist on the borders of East and West Germany.

The film will be presented by Ollie and Emma from the Vintage Mobile Cinema, Philip from the Magnificent Cycle-Powered Cinema, Joe from the solar-powered OneWay Theatre, and representatives from Screen Machine and Bicycology, who will all be around to talk about whether mobile cinemas are particularly appropriate for taking you outside your normal space, or for making film relevant to particular hard-to-reach audiences.

Karolina Kendall-Bush will also present a short ten minute travelogue from the archive, London Medley, and talk about cinema’s early promise to ‘always take you somewhere’.

  • 7pm 17th April – HOMELESSNESS

7pm, Sunday 17th April, Roxy Bar & Screen (London Bridge)

Feature screening of Dark Days (2000), Marc Singer’s incredible documentary about the homeless living in abandoned tunnels under New York, with a soundtrack by D. J. Shadow.

The film will be presented by Open Cinema, a network of film clubs and film-making projects for socially excluded people, who will show some of their shorts beforehand. Neil Mitchell, author of World Film Locations: London (2011), will also talk about his research into ‘Dark Days’.

We will also show the short film Urban Exploration by Bradley L. Garrett, about the urban explorers who are currently discovering and recording unofficial, derelict and underground urban spaces.

Any profits will go to Open Cinema’s continuing projects with the homeless.

  • 7pm 21st April (Radio appearance)

On Thursday the 21st April, PASSENGERFILMS will be talking about zombie landscapes on AtomicBark!’s Zombie Zero Apocalypse radio show, from 7-8pm on Resonance 104.4FM (www.resonancefm.com).

  • 7.30pm 17th May – GETTING LOST

7.30pm, Tuesday 17th May, Roxy Bar & Screen (London Bridge)

Feature screening of Gerry (2002), Gus Van Sant’s film about a hiking misadventure which leaves Matt Damon and Casey Affleck dehydrated and wandering in the American desert. Minimalist soundtrack by Arvo Pärt, and plenty of long shots of grand but bleak landscapes.

Each person to turn up will get their very own Field Guide on Getting Lost and tips on how to do this in today’s Google-mapped world! And the winner of the soundtrack award will go home with, you guessed it, a compass…

  • 20th-22nd May (UK Green Film Festival)

From Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May, PASSENGERFILMS will be helping to co-host the first UK Green Film Festival at its London base, Shortwave Cinema on Bermondsey Square. There will be a number of screenings and green events over the weekend: more details to follow here. PASSENGERFILMS is particularly excited about running the eco-horror night, with The Day of the Triffids (1962) on Friday night at 10.30pm complete with costumes, drinks, and a Triffid cake to be provided by Cakes & Crunk.

  • 3rd June (Stoke Newington Literary Festival)

This year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival (3rd-5th June) is on the theme of Edgar Allan Poe. On the night of Friday the 3rd, PASSENGERFILMS will be screening some Poe & Defoe themed films at Ryan’s Bar, including Robinson Crusoe on Mars (Haskin, 1964), above. This will be taking place just across the street from where Poe went to school, on Stoke Newington Church Street, and just metres from the Defoe wall plaque!

  • 7.30pm 14th June – PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY

7.30pm, Tuesday 14th June, Roxy Bar & Screen (London Bridge)

Feature screening of The London Perambulator (2009), John Rogers’ film about a man dedicated to the study of his region of Middlesex in all its liminal glory. Includes extended interviews with Will Self, Iain Sinclair and Russell Brand. See the film’s blog here.

John Rogers will be present, along with Nick Papadimitriou, with whom he runs the radio show Ventures and Adventures in Topography. Nick will be reading (with musical accompaniment) from his forthcoming book, Scarp, an investigation of the North Middlesex / South Hertfordshire Escarpment, which he says has been overlooked in landscape literature.

  • July – BACKWOODS

Our July screening is on the theme of ‘Backwoods’ and the accompanying fear of the British rural. The feature screening will either be Eden Lake (2008) or The Last Great Wilderness (2002).

The film will be presented by Stella Hockenhul, author of Sublime Landscapes in Contemporary British Horror (2010).


PASSENGERFILMS tries not to be biased, but it’s no secret that our favourite topic is zombie geography. In August we will present the feature screening 28 Days Later (2002) alongside talks about zombie transport, the kinetic dead, and the use of the industrial networks – as well as the legacies of plague narratives and the similarity to plague landscapes. Come dressed as a zombie or a geographer, or don’t come at all!

  • September – THE BORDER

Feature screening of Tony Richardson’s The Border (1982), soundtracked by Ry Cooder and starring Jack Nicholson as a corrupt border agent. This will be accompanied by talks on the cinematic presentation of borders, and particularly border control.

LAUNCH NIGHT Monday 14th March: ‘Kings of the Road’ (Wenders 1976)

3 Feb


Kings of the Road (Wim Wenders, 1976)

Kings of the Road (Wim Wenders, 1976)

Come celebrate the launch of PASSENGERFILMS – the carcrash of geography and cinema! Launching on Monday the 14th March with a screening and party on the topic of “MOBILE CINEMA”.

Karolina Kendall-Bush will present a series of travelogue shorts from the archives, and Ollie Halls and Emma Giffard, who own and run the Vintage Mobile Cinema, will present a feature screening of KINGS OF THE ROAD (1976), Wim Wenders’ film about a travelling cinema projectionist.

‘Kings of the Road focuses on the relationship that develops between two men – movie projector repairman Bruno and suicidal Robert – as they travel in a truck on the dusty roads along the border between East and West Germany’ – official website at http://www.wim-wenders.com/movies/movies_spec/kingsoftheroad/kingsoftheroad.htm


Please subscribe to the blog using the button on the right hand side, and if you have suggestions for future events contact amycutler1985@gmail.com

Cinema, Mobility and Landscape

8 Dec

Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (2002)

PASSENGERFILMS is a new independent London-based film society. It aims to show ‘geographically interesting’ films, and to link the typologies of space and movement on screen to broader cultural structures. Screenings and talks will begin in 2011 and will include topics such as

1) Zombie space: plague narratives, land piracy and the end of the kinetic elite

2) Videographic space: the on-screen portrayal of geographies of cinema

3) Trade space: drugs, suitcases of money and cinematic trafficking

4) Disaster space: class, segregated mobility, and escape routes in disaster films

5) Counter space: the alternate road movie, nomadism, and mobilities of counterculture

6) Cyber space: the information age, virtual mobility and network society

7) Point of view space: handheld cameras and cinema motion sickness

For registering your interest, proposing a film or talk, or potential collaboration, please write to amycutler1985@gmail.com.