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Malcolm Le Grice, Here and Now

Malcolm Le Grice, Here and Now

Self Portrait After Raban Take Measure, by Malcolm Le Grice.

Los Angeles Filmforum presents

Malcolm Le Grice, Here and Now

Sunday, February 17, 2019, 7:30 pm

At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

Malcolm Le Grice in person!

Los Angeles Filmforum, in collaboration with REDCAT, welcomes UK legend Malcolm Le Grice for his first California screenings in decades. One of the most compellingly original and radical artist-theorists in the history of the post-war moving image, Le Grice has been innovating at the center and the fringes of time-based media for over fifty years, embracing and exploring the signification of images, multiple projection, and the materiality of media. Le Grice’s body of work functions as an illuminating and rigorous investigation of the fundamental form, essence, and politics of cinema, and this program will span and celebrate the breadth and richness of his singular career. Malcolm Le Grice’s visit made possible by a generous grant from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

The ephemerality of existence has played an ongoing role in Le Grice’s body of work, and he has used an ever-changing array of technologies and strategies to explore subjectivity, the mediation of experience, and the complex fragility of the recorded moment.  Whether through analog film printing variations, arbitrary computer interventions, or the multiplication of the projected image, Le Grice’s examination of consciousness and experience through the moving image is marked by a curiosity and intelligence that is both deeply sensitive and fearlessly creative.

This program at Los Angeles Filmforum will span the full length of Le Grice’s career thus far, from his first 8mm film China Tea (1965) to a world premiere new edit of his immersive multi-screen piece FINITI (2010), which combines abstract, observational, political, and personal material in an impressionistic and hypnotic homage to Vertov.

"An entire alternative, parallel history of cinema can be constructed through the work of artist and experimental filmmaker Malcolm Le Grice.” – BFI

Program curated and notes by Mark Toscano.  Individual film notes by Malcolm Le Grice.

Tickets: $10 general; $6 for seniors; free for students (with ID) and Filmforum members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door.

For more information: or 323-377-7238.


Born in May 1940, Malcolm Le Grice started as a painter but began to make film and computer works in the mid 1960's. Since then he has shown regularly in Europe and the USA and his work has been screened in many international film festivals. He has also shown in major art exhibitions like the Paris Biennale No.8, Arte Inglese Oggi, Milan, Une Histoire du Cinema, Paris, Documenta 6, Kassel, X-Screen at the Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, and Behind the Facts at the Fondacion Joan Miro, Barcelona. His work has been screened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Louvre Museum in Paris and the Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London and is in permanent collections including: the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Royal Belgian Film Archive, Brussels; the National Film Library of Australia, Canberra; German Cinamatheque Archive, Berlin; Canadian Distribution Centre, Montreal and Archives du Film Experimental D'Avignon. A number of longer films have been transmitted on British TV, including 'Finnegans Chin', 'Sketches for a Sensual Philosophy' and 'Chronos Fragmented'. His main work since the mid 1980's is in video and digital media and includes the multi-projection video installation works 'The Cyclops Cycle' and 'Treatise'.

Le Grice has written critical and theoretical work including a history of experimental cinema 'Abstract Film and Beyond' (1977, Studio Vista and MIT). For three years in the 1970's he wrote a regular column for the art monthly Studio International and has published numerous other articles on film, video and digital media. Many of these have been collected and recently published under the title 'Experimental Cinema in the Digital Age' by the British Film Institute (2001).

Le Grice is a Professor Emeritus of the University of the Arts London where he is a collaborating director with David Curtis of the British Artists Film and Video Study Collection.


Los Angeles Filmforum screenings are supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2019 is our 44th year.

Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:

March 3 – To Be Announced

March 10 – Jim Finn

March 17 – To Be Announced

March 24 – Films by Sara Kathryn Arledge

April 7 – Ariana Gerstein

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China Tea

China Tea

1965, orig 8mm, color, sound, 5m

Shot with two 8mm cameras then projected side by side accompanied by an audio tape of ‘prepared piano’.

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Digital Still Life

Digital Still Life

1984, digital/video, color, sound, 8m

A single performance made at the National Film Theatre against a blank screen – the performer twice leaves the stage on one side, exits the building and re-enters the stage on the other side – the duration was determined by the time it took to walk out of sight around the theatre.

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Reign of the Vampire

Reign of the Vampire

(double projection version)

1970, orig 16mm, bw, sound, 10.5m

With a sub-title ‘How to Screw the CIA or How to Screw the CIA?’ it nears the end of the political paranoid works using found military documentary images. It explores a complex form of loop permutation in both the image and sound track.

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Whitchurch Down

Whitchurch Down

(three-screen version)

1972, orig 16mm, color, sound, 8.5m

A Devon landscape heavily re-treated in printing.

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Self Portrait After Raban Take Measure

Self Portrait After Raban Take Measure

2008, digital, color, sound, 8.5m

Self Portrait looks for an approach to a specific relationship between the duration of a work and material conditions in the projection as did William Raban in the film-performance Take Measure. The main difference is that Raban’s work was made when cinematic media had distinct physical properties linking medium directly to image - this self portrait recognizes that there is no such simple materiality for cinema following the emergence of digital processes. Instead the work takes a conceptual base – the speed of light and the time taken for light to travel from the sun to illuminate objects on earth –thus the duration of 8 minutes 20 seconds.

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H2O-0C-24.02.06-12.01GMT - 03,50.40W - 50.16.30N

H2O-0C-24.02.06-12.01GMT - 03,50.40W - 50.16.30N

2006, digital, color, sound, 2.5m

A simple event becomes rhythmically complex through changes of speed and multiple superimposition. The title refers to the inevitable inclusion of detailed meta-data in all future digital recordings – locating for example global time, place, temperature for example.

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Again Finnegan

Again Finnegan

1980/2006, orig 16mm, color, sound, 3.5m

Originally shot as part of Finnegan’s Chin, this sequence is re-edited as a portrait of performer Jack Murray. It continues the fascination of the forever repeating folk round “ I knew a man called Michael Finnegan….”.

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World premiere of new edit!

2011, digital, color, sound, 28m

[Originally] six virtual screens matted into three Blu-ray projections. First exhibited at the Centre Multimedia Gantner in 2011, then on an immersive 18 metre curved screen at Tate Britain in 2012. It explores an interplay between abstracted colour, personal imagery and war related newsreel, seeking a coherent set of linking themes. Perhaps an homage to Dziga Vertov.

A single screen version was made in 2013 and shown in Millennium, New York and at Tate Britain.

This presentation at Los Angeles Filmforum marks the world premiere of a new 28-minute cinematic version of FINITI.

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2010, digital, color, sound, 1m

In October 2009 I did a show in Prague. I returned to the Kafka house of my ‘Benefit of Mr K’ but found the whole street and Castle area had become a tourist trap – so I wandered into the back-streets at the bottom of the hill and found a little local bar for a plate of sausage, mustard and strong brown bread. Intending to drink some wine I noticed that Absinthe was included in the drinks list so ordered it. I admitted to the bar-keeper that I had never had it before and he showed me how it should be mixed and flamed with sugar – and I recorded with my pocket video camera. With a little gesture to Picasso and Degas, I became the Absinthe Drinker.