I'm thrilled to be programming a screening that is part of the centenary celebrations of one of my all-time favourite filmmakers, Jeff Keen, and to be welcoming his daughter, Stella Keen, to present it. Full details of this event can be found below. It is the latest edition of Phantoscope, Triskel Christchurch Cinema's quarterly experimental film programme.
Jeff Keen: Centenary Screening
58 mins – UK 1968-1977 – Dir: Jeff Keen
Triskel Christchurch Cinema, Cork
???pm; Thursday September 7th
2023 marks the centenary of Jeff Keen, a pioneer of experimental cinema whose rapid-fire films, multiple screen projections and raucous performances redefined multimedia art. Phantoscope, Triskel’s experimental film strand, celebrates Keen’s legacy with a special event featuring three of his most delirious and poetic films, and welcomes Stella Keen, Jeff’s daughter and director of the Jeff Keen Archive, to introduce and discuss her father’s work.
Hailed as “British art’s most neglected hero” (Wonderland Magazine) and “the most important man in cinema. Period.” by film scholar Jack Sargeant, Keen is best known for his fiercely original, defiantly DIY films. These incorporate collage, animation, found footage and live action – often all in one work. Built for speed, they powerfully evoke the violence, colour and noise of the 20th century. He transformed cinema into a riotous collage of comics, drawings, B-movie posters, plastic toys, burning props and extravagant costumes - an arena where his interest in myth, surrealism and romantic painting complements his love of movies and comics,
His films are also ‘home movies’ - collaborating with family and friends, he created a supremely personal cinematic universe in his hometown of Brighton populated by larger than life comic heroes, monsters and villains. Stella Keen will provide insight into this unique creative process and how, as she put it, his ‘mad scientist’ on-screen persona contrasted with his actual shy “mild-mannered English watercolourist” reality.
The programme includes:
Rayday Film (1968, 13 mins)
The Cartoon Theatre of Dr Gaz (1977, 12 mins)
White Dust (1970, 33 mins)