Monday 5 November 2012

Quatermass and the Pit-bull – Nigel Kneale in New York

Those of you reading this in New York are probably more than used to apocalyptic scenarios at the moment, but I couldn’t let this distant echo of a world ending go by without drawing it to your attention. Organized by Sukhdev Sandhu in association with Mark Pilkington of Strange Attractor, this day of remembrance dedicated to the greatness that is Nigel Kneale is taking place on November 17 at the Michelson Theater. Quite what Kneale’s creeping civil weirdness and genteel brusqueness might mean in the land of the pit-bull and men called Mitt is open to debate – but this event will undoubtedly repay your weird and wonderful support. To quote liberally from the press release for this event: 

Nigel Kneale (1922-2004) was a visionary dramatist, a pioneering screenwriter-auteur, one of the most important British science fiction writers of the 20th century. In works such as the Quatermass trilogy (watched by one third of UK television owners, Kneale forged singularly visceral and unforgettable fusions of horror, spooked thriller and Cold War-era weirdness.

A Cathode Ray Séance is a day-long celebration of this hauntological icon whose work, even though it paved the way for well-known series such as Doctor Who, is less familiar to American than to British audiences. Staged by the New York-based Colloquium for Unpopular Culture in collaboration with London’s Strange Attractor, it will include rare screenings, talks by Kneale admirers, and a special musical interpretation by Mark Pilkington, Rose Kallal and Micki Pellerano of Kneale’s legendary-but-lost 1963 drama The Road.

To mark A Cathode Ray Séance, there will be available for sale copies of a very limited-edition book designed by Rob Carmichael(John Cale, LCD Soundsystem, Animal Collective ‘Crack Box’) and featuring contributions by a wide range of musicians, artists, curators and cultural theorists including Sophia Al-Maria, Bilge Ebiri, Mark Fisher, Will Fowler, Ken Hollings, Paolo Javier, Roger Luckhurst, China Mieville, Drew Mulholland, David Pike, Mark Pilkington, Joanna Ruocco, Dave Tompkins, Michael Vazquez, and Evan Calder Williams. Initial copies will come with Restligeists, a tape of specially-recorded Knealiana by The Asterism & Xylitol, Emma Hammond, Robin The Fog, Hong Kong In The 60s, Listening Center, Mordant Music, and The Real Tuesday Weld.

Midday: Introduction (by Sukhdev Sandhu)
12:15: Screening: The Stone Tape (1972, 90 min) (introduced by Dave Tompkins)
2:00 – Screening: Murrain (1975, 60 min) (introduced by Bilge Ebiri)
3:30 – Panel Discussion including Mark Pilkington and Will Fowler
4:45 – Screening: ‘Baby’, from Beasts (1976, 60 min)
6:00 – Screening: Quatermass and The Pit (1967, 97 min) (introduced by David Pike)
8:15 – Musical Performance: The Road (1963) – reading/ live synth and percussion soundtrack by Rose Kallal, Micki Pellerano and Mark Pilkington of a long-lost Kneale TV play

WHEN: Saturday 17 November 2012, midday-9pm
WHERE: Michelson Theater, Room 648, 721 Broadway, New York
[at Broadway and Washington Place]

Remember: Hallowe'en III must be avenged!

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