Tim Cawkwell's Cinema

Intelligible writing on intelligent film

My Films

I have three films for viewing on Vimeo: Came Bluefly Power (June 2020, 8 min 24 secs), River of Fire (2018, 10 mins 18 secs) and  my 1971 film Sketches for the Creation (11 mins 58 secs). Go to: https://vimeo.com/sforzinda

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Before taking up digital film again in the 2010s, I was an analogue film-maker from 1968 to 1987. Two things got me started. One was seeing some of Brakhage’s Songs on standard 8mm one Saturday morning in May 1968; the other was an alleged dictum of Jean-Luc Godard’s, current at the same time – “The only way to make better films is to make more films.” In July of 1968 I acquired a standard 8mm Bolex camera and got started, shooting many reels in the following years. In 1975 I bought a 16mm Bolex and used it to make the following films:

  • Sforzinda 1977 8 mins
  • Personal Triumphs 1977 6 mins
  • Inside the Museum 1978 4 mins
  • Ring of Endless Fire 1978 3 mins
  • The Art of Prophecy 1979 13 mins
  • Six Short Pieces 1979 12 mins
  • Coast View with Aeneas and Cumaean Sibyl 1981 30 mins
  • Fish Variations 1982 9 mins
  • Carn Ingli Common 1983 4 mins
  • Diverse Motions 1984 7 mins
  • Parables 1986 5 mins

Around 1984, I made the following statement as part of a promotional document for experimental film-makers in the UK:

“Animation and film are usually put in separate compartments; I am interested in removing the walls. In exploring with the camera a film language that uses shots measured in frames rather than feet, I was led to work directly on the film itself – frame by frame – with paints, chemicals and pens. I still use a camera and seek in many of the films to combine ‘animated reality’ with ‘photographed reality’. I am attracted to uncomplicated forms (silhouetted landscapes, abstract pattern, schematic drawing), the use of texts in juxtaposition with images, the relation of film to music, poetry and painting. My cinema is a visionary one: the films seek to express those moments when the charged image rises to the surface from historical, cultural and religious layers of consciousness.”

I also contributed an article to ‘Undercut’, the magazine of the London Film-makers’ Co-operative, entitled ‘Beyond the camera barrier’, issue no. 13 (Autumn 1984), which has been collected in the ‘Undercut Reader’, ed. Michael Mazière and Nina Danino, published in 2002.