The Other Film Club presents: Jane Arden

Jane Arden, The Other Side of the Underneath, 1972. Courtesy BFI
Jane Arden, The Other Side of the Underneath, 1972. Courtesy BFI
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The Other Film Club presents Jane Arden's The Other Side of The Underneath (1972), the only British feature film of the 1970s to be directed by a feminist filmmaker. The film stars members of Jane Arden’s Holocaust theatre company as a group of schizophrenics who reject the methods of their group analyst, instead forming a commune closer in line to their feminist and anti-psychiatric beliefs.

One of the most outspoken and radical feminist voices in British theatre and cinema in the 1960s and 1970s, Arden has since been silenced by her near invisibility: her books long out of print, her plays unperformed, and her films unscreened.

This event is the second in a series of screenings and discussions organised by The Other Film Club that forms research into the experimental filmmaker Jane Arden (1927-1982). The series is hosted by Paul Bryan, MFA Fine Arts student Nottingham Trent University, with the support of Nottingham Contemporary and in collaboration with Bonington Gallery.

An introductory performance by recent NTU MFA graduates explores Arden’s poetry and will be followed by an in-conversation between alternative theatre historian Susan Croft and Paul Bryan about Arden’s artistic practice.

This event is a collaboration with the public programme for the exhibition “Waking the witch: Old ways, new rites” at Bonington Gallery on view 27 Sept 2019 - 16 Nov 2019. Offsite at Bonington Gallery.

Please note this film has an 18 certificate and contains explicit sexual images and nudity.

Jane Arden (1927-1982) was a Welsh film director, actress, screenwriter, playwright, songwriter and poet. The late 1960s and early 1970s saw Arden cementing her reputation as one of Britain’s leading feminist voices with such films as Separation (1967) and Anti-Clock (1979), the multimedia play Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven and A New Communion for Freaks, Prophets and Witches’ born out of the Theatre group set up by Arden called Holocaust. In 2009 her three films Separation, Anti-Clock, and The Other Side of the Underneath were restored and re-released by the BFI.

Susan Croft is a writer, curator, dramaturg, performance archive consultant and historian with special interests in women playwrights, black and Asian theatre in Britain, live art and new writing for performance. Unfinished Histories was established in 2006 by Croft and Jessica Higgs with the aim of recording the oral history and gathering the archive of British alternative theatre between 1968 – 1988.

The Other Film Club is a screening programme organised by Paul Bryan that has previously screened films regarding the practices of Sarah Lucas, About Sarah (2014) directed by Elisa Miller, I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman (2015), directed by Marianne Lambert, and Penny Slinger Out Of The Shadows (2018), directed by Richard Kovitch.