Tim Cawkwell's Cinema

Intelligible writing on intelligent film

  • LY Maggie 1969
    LY Maggie 1969
  • LY Brighton Beach 1971
    LY Brighton Beach 1971
  • LY David 1972
    LY David 1972
  • LY 1972
    LY 1972
  • LY Lake District 1979
    LY Lake District 1979
  • LY France 1984
    LY France 1984
  • image from my own film 'Diverse Motions'
    image from my own film 'Diverse Motions'
  • image from my film Sketches for the Creation
    image from my film Sketches for the Creation
LY Maggie 1969
LY Maggie 1969

WELCOME . . .

early May 2018 sees the launch of my dvd LIGHT YEARS: THE FILM DIARIES OF TIM CAWKWELL 1968-87 / 2015-18. The film is composed of the 8mm material I shot between 1968 and 1987 which I have digitized and re-edited with added voice-over and sound. This second stage is as important as the first in its way, which is why I have included it in the title of the film. It is over three hours long and can be considered as a bildungsroman or narrative of self-education, making the personal public.


If you would like to come to the launch, please do. It is at 6.30 on 9 May at the Poetry Café, Betterton Street, London WC2. If you can, let me know at cawkwell200@gmail.com


The dvd will be available in the LUX store in early May - go to: https://lux.org.uk/product-category/dvds, ca £20.


For a 2-minute taster on YouTube, go to: bit.ly/LYtrailerYT

my 1971 8mm film Sketches for the Creation now digitally revised and available on Vimeo. Go to: https://vimeo.com/194487765

I keep a blog, www.cawkwell200.com, for occasional short pieces, eg 'Film Portraiture' in April 2018

You've reached the homepage for Tim Cawkwell (see About Me). This website is a platform for my writing on film, whether in the form of blog-type entries or of essays. I have published a number of books (e.g. co-editor of ‘World Encyclopaedia of Film’ 1972, 'Film Past Film Future’ 2011, 'The New Filmgoer's Guide to God' 2014) and have launched (February 2013) my own imprint, Sforzinda Books, as a vehicle for these and other of my own books to be available in digital form. For more details go to the 'My Books' page.


There are four main sections to the site:


'Essays, ideas' consist of pages on individual films or film-makers or just a filmic idea that has caught my attention. This section has largely been succeeded by my blog.


2  I admire many film-makers but have a particular fascination for the films of Robert Bresson.


3  I responded very strongly to the arrival of the American underground films in the UK in the late 1960s, which spurred me to become a film-maker myself. Should we call this cinema experimental, underground, artists' films? I have no strong view, but have settled on avant-garde.


4  I have a particular focus in my mind on the way the cinema connects with religion and philosophy.


My 'camera and pen' emblem needs explaining. The phrase ‘caméra-stylo’ was coined in 1948 by the French director Alexandre Astruc to describe a cinema which was ‘just as flexible and subtle as written language’. Thirty years later I liked to use the phrase to describe the technique I used in my film-making days of drawing directly on the film strip using a calligraphic pen (long ago it would have been a goose feather cut to make a quill). Now, nearly 70 years on from 1948 I like it as a way of describing the art of writing about the cinema, and created this emblem to visualise the idea.

with thanks to Alan Berry and apologies to Rembrandt