Looking and Listening
The camera and microphone are not simply recording devices, but can be used as microscopes through which the otherwise unseen and unheard can be discovered. The resulting juxtapositions of scale—such as moments of human gesture with an epic quality of landscape—create a distinctive idiom, one which might equate with Dziga Vertov’s coined phrase from his 1923 manifesto The Council of Three: the sensory exploration of the world through film. In this sense, documentary films can become an exploration through forms of metaphor, creating an evocation of the subject, rather than making polemical commentary or statements of aboutness. This lecture will examine some of the methodologies and processes involved in Gideon Koppel’s filmmaking, at the same time asking the question ‘what is documentary and what can it be?’
Gideon Koppel’s work has been exhibited in galleries from The Tate Modern London, to MoMA New York, and screened worldwide including the Rome International Film Festival; Morelia International Film Festival, Mexico; Telluride International Film Festival; Locarno International Film Festival; Leipzig International Documentary Festival; Irish Film Institute Documentary Festival; Edinburgh International Film Festival. Much of his work is held in The British Film Institute Archives and The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, and is distributed by New Wave Films, British Film Institute and Microcinema International. His most recent feature-length film Sleep Furiously—with soundtrack by Aphex Twin—was one of the most critically acclaimed British films of the year.
Koppel is Professor of Film at Aberystwyth University and an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.
Free and open to the public