Light After Dark Film Festival 2024

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Light After Dark Film Festival 2024

Immersive encounters in cinema

A film festival dedicated to immersive experiences in cinema. Pairing films with performance, music, technology, and art, Light After Dark will give audiences a deep, intimate, and collective encounter with film.

The Man Who Laughs (1928) Dir. Paul Leni

With an original live score from Benjamin Luhis & Ilke-ta

Fri 8 Mar, 8pm, Broadway Cinema

£10 adults / £7.50 concessions

a grinning man

Disfigured as a child to have an unsettlingly wide, permanent grin, Gwynplaine works in a carnival sideshow in seventeenth century England, alongside his beloved blind companion Dea. When this tragic figure (the visual inspiration for the Joker) discovers he has royal lineage, his life is turned upside down. Mixing elements of German Expressionism with Universal horror, this unique gothic melodrama is a potent cinematic cocktail. Our screening is brought to you with an original score, performed live, by Benjamin Luhis and Ilke-ta, who draw on influences from EDM, classical music, hip-hop, ambient music, minimalism and rock, under a contemporary jazz umbrella.

The Little Lumieres & The Magic Lantern

Sat 9 Mar, 11am, 1pm, 3pm & 5pm, Nottingham Contemporary

£8 Adult / £6 Children under 16

magic lantern slides

A family expedition into the magic of early cinema

A precursor to the cinema, the “magic lantern” was amongst the most popular forms of entertainment in the nineteenth century, with lively, funny storytelling using silhouettes, mirrors, and coloured lights. At this very special workshop, suitable for all the family, you’ll have your chance to make your very own magic lantern slides and see them come to life. Hosted by Mirror Mirror, who will add further magic with live musical performance.

The Blind Man

Thu 14 Mar, 6.30pm & 8pm, Nottingham Contemporary

£10 / £8 Concessions

a gun pointed at a door

Imagined scenes from an unmade film

Have you ever imagined a film that doesn’t exist? At this event we’ll do just that. The Blind Man was a script by Alfred Hitchcock and Ernest Lehman, about a blind jazz pianist who regains his sight after surgically receiving the eyes of a dead man. With the new eyes, the pianist begins to see visions of the late donor’s murder—and the image of the murderer remains imprinted on the retina of his new eyes. Crucially, Hitchcock never made this film, it remains as a tantalizing, unrealised project. At this event, a group of actors will perform a live table read of The Blind Man, mixed media. This is a unique opportunity not to watch a film, but to experience an unmade film, where potential fuses with your imagination.

Courtesy of Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas.

Directed by Siobhán Cannon-Brownlie. Video Art by Louise O’Connor. Curated with Dr Kieran Foster, Assistant Professor in Film and Screen Studies at the University of Nottingham.

Peep Show

Fri 15 Mar – Sat 4 May, Bonington Gallery


a woman brushing her hair in a tri-fold mirror

An illusion cut to the measure of desire

Visible only through spyholes in the perimeter walls of Bonington Gallery; Peep Show curated by feminist collective Invisible Women brings together a series of archive film fragments that explore the interaction between spectator and subject, eye and body, across the history of film.

Weaving together extracts from early films by women working at the cutting edge of the emerging artform—including Alice Guy Blache, Germaine Dulac and Lois Weber—this innovatively staged exhibition reflects how the medium’s conventions have been shaped by the eyes behind the camera.

Over the course of its transformation from novelty to artform, cinema has continually drawn on its peep show roots to captivate, titillate, and absorb. By drawing inspiration from quietly subversive, once-forgotten work made by early women filmmakers, Peep Show also invites us to question who has shaped this cinematic language, offering a playful potential subversion to dominant aesthetic conventions.

Beware—sometimes this peep show looks back.”

Curated by Invisible Women Archive. In collaboration with Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University.

a dancing woman

An exploration of perversity and gaze in cinema

Follow us for online talks and interventions, discussing themes of Bonington Gallery's exhibition, Peepshow: An Illusion Cut to the Measure of Desire.

In Peep Show, feminist collective Invisible Women bring together a series of archive fragments which explore the interaction between spectator and subject and between eye and body across the history of film. In this rich, wide-ranging discussion about the exhibition, we’ll explore crucial theories (from Lacan to Mulvey to Žižek) to help us understand what it means to watch and be watched, voyeurism, and the perverse nature of cinema.

Curated by Invisible Women Archive. In collaboration with Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University.

Sleep Walk With Me

Sat 16 Mar, 8pm-Midnight, Nottingham Contemporary

£10 / £8 Concessions

a person viewed from behind with a hand on their back

An meander into your cinematic unconscious

Cinema has the unique ability to put dreams on screen, from the surreal and absurd to the fantastic and the horrific. Equally, cinema can infiltrate our subconscious, with celluloid spectacle looping in our nocturnal adventures. Where does the screen end and dream begin? To find out, join us for this cinematic sleepwalk, where you can enjoy some dreamy French tunes in the café, delve into some iconic clips and performances, and share secrets and fantasies.

With a Live performance from Purple Hat Mob - a four-piece experimental band based in Nottingham, and DJ set from rare French vinyl DJ duo, Disques Vérité.

To find out more, join us for this Party at Nottingham Contemporary where you can enjoy a cinematic sleepwalk, listen to some dreamy live music and share secrets and fantasties with stranges... whilst delving into some iconic clips and performances.

What to Expect:

An installation of film clips, with which you will be invited to interact, and music in the cafe. Audience members can direct their own evening, meandering where they wish.

Light After Dark Film Festival is delivered in partnership between Nottingham Contemporary, Broadway Cinema, Nottingham Playhouse, Bonington Gallery and the University of Nottingham.

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Light After Dark Film Festival has been made possible with support from Film Hub Midlands through funds from the National Lottery. Film Hub Midlands support people to watch, show, and make films in the Midlands.

Design by Waste Studio.

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