Thursday, June 29, 2006

Going the full nine miles

You probaly have forgotten how hundreds of people lived in the trees to stop the A34 destroying old forests. If you have the search for a new book entitled Nine Miles. Iit's a beautifully written personal story not just of the Newbury road protests, but of how the will to protest changes the protester, how it connects with something older, stronger and deeper. That deeper spirit, that rightness infused itself in all of us who fought those campaigns.

Another writer Merrick who wrote Battle for the Trees says
It's an extraordinary story told with candid humanity, a warm clarity that captures the brilliance, the lunacy, the nobility and the haphazardness of the campaigns. He can be in front of the cameras on national TV one minute and the next he's taking a three day walk where he's unknown to anyone, barely ever even in a village.

It's perhaps at its best and most evocative when he's doing nature writing. He can spend several paragraphs just telling you he woke up and it was morning.

'I don't know how long I'd been asleep for, but when I woke up, I was fifty foot up in an oak. A clear, bright sun had come up through the tree line, covering everything with a fine golden light. It was already late autumn and the leaves were pretty much all down. From here, the effect of the leaves on the ground was stunning, like a vast cloth of copper running all over.

Dawn had come in under a heavy blanket of mist, which had already burned off. But steam was still rising up from the wet earth, the ground erupting with the sound of water writhing in the new warmth. I was in an oak on the edge of an area of older trees, which overlooked a small valley full of coppice; hazel and blackthorn and elder interspersed. This lower storey was visible now as a network of fine hemispheres, all lit brilliantly with the early morning sun. And because of the mild weather, the hazel had recently flowered into tubular catkins. They hung in their thousands, like a cascade of green fire. My breath poured out in white clouds.

It had been my first night in a tree and I'd slept in a hammock. Between one thing and another, I'd had the distinct feeling of being on a boat. Drifting off, I could feel the movement of the tree in the wind, a circular roll around the main mast of the trunk.'

As Jim says in the introdction, 'too many people are forgetting. Too many never knew in the first place'.

Writing history is not just so people can have knowledge of the past. That in itself serves no decent purpose. It is so we can learn and take inspiration from what has come before. It has to be relevant to us otherwise it's boring and useless. The big challenges that face our society require a reconnection with the motives and spirit that shone so brightly on those campaigns.

Jim will be doing readings at the Big Green Gathering and we will be showing films so come and say hello in August

Wild Horses of Newbury

Our film Wild Horses of Newbury is still causing a stir ...here are a few of the quotes from the hundreds submitted

Posted by Michelle on 28/6/06
I highly recommend anyone to see this film...It captured an amazing moment--with every felled tree, with every act of destruction--comes the plea of creatures who can see, who can feel, who know the death we are bringing upon ourselves--why do we see it no longer?
___________________________________________________
Posted by Rosslyn Lyons on 23/6/06
What are we teaching our children, if we have no respect for nature ourselves. It is time for us to pass on our compassion.
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Posted by Anna Stockinger on 21/6/06
My husband and I have just watched this in awestruck silence. When the horses appeared the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. A brilliant film, viewed through tears, it should be shown to everyone on the planet.
__________________________________________________

You can watch it online here
http://www.supershorts.org.uk/view.html?id=512

Monday, June 26, 2006

John Pilger talks in London

1) JOHN PILGER JOINS NIGHT OF CONSCIENCE
WEDNESDAY 28 JUNE 7.30PM
ST JAMES CHURCH, 197 PICCADILLY
LONDON, W1J 9LL
Writer John Pilger is the latest addition to A NIGHT OF CONSCIENCE on Wednesday 28 June for Flight-Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, now serving an eight month sentence in Cheltenham Prison for refusing to fight an illegal war in Iraq. (SEE http://tinyurl.com/z5vsx)

Tickets are still available for this unmissable event which aims to raise funds to help pay the £20,000 legal costs imposed on Malcolm. People are coming from all over the country, so moved have they been Malcolm's refusal to be deployed to Iraq, the first serving officer to do so.

A NIGHT OF CONSCIENCE will be introduced by Tony Benn. Appearing with John Pilger, will be comedians Mark Thomas and Mark Steel, composer Michael Nyman, film director Ken Loach, playwrights David Edgar and Caryl Churchill, actors Simon Callow and Janet Suzman, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and many others from film, stage, television and politics.

BUYING TICKETS: Online booking is available at http://tinyurl.com/z5vsx. Tickets can also be bought by debit/credit card: telephone 020 7278 6694.

Midsummer festivaling

Sunrise festival in Somerset last week was a cracking way to spend the solstice..it was a festie with everything going for it apart from more people...how many times must the counter culture forget to put as much work into adverting/marketing than actual production?
But fair play to the organisers, we had a great time. We take Undercurrents on tour now and next up is Small Nations festival in Wales and then Buddhafield in Somerset. Full list here
http://www.undercurrents.org/screenings

Meanwhile heres some interesting bits i found this week.

Ethical Film festival
Music and performance events, art workshops and talks, this summer Coed Hills is the place to be it appears. Undercurrents will be showing films.
http://www.coedhills.co.uk

Books in the Balkans
Croatian infoshop seeks donations of radical,revolutionary, libertarian and humanitarian thought in the form of books,comics, fanzines and magazines, CDs, videos and audiotapes etc.
http://www.actnow.hr/-infoshop

Can you help undercurrents?
If you publish a newsletter/magazine/website and can include our funky .jpg advert please contact us and help us spread ourselves wider (so to speak)
email advert@undercurrents.org

Spiky Response
'You've lied about me, and tried to cover up any information which undermined your accusations'.BBC's John Simpson to Media Lens
http://www.medialens.org

Anarcho Komedy
Anarcistic, madcap Komedy Kollective touring theatre company seek venues for 2007 tour.
http://www.komedykollective.com

Free Digital Imaging in Art Workshops
Women only at the Dynevor Centre for Art, Design & Media, Swansea from 27th
June. Details Jenny on 01269 845155.

Non Photography Day July 17
A day to understand the inadequacy of the photograph in describing this essence, to bring awareness of the perils of living through the viewfinder
http://www.nonphotographyday.com

Undercurrents climate change film wins award
We won best Ecology film about aviation activism. Check it out here.
http://www.undercurrents.org/reachforthesky

Monday, June 12, 2006

Undercurrents scores hat trick!

We are still celebrating as Undercurrents scored a Hat trick last week as we won 3 awards in the Swansea Bay film festival. Best documentary, best ecology film and best Welsh Independent film. Always good to be recognised isn't ? You can watch the winning films via http://www.undercurrents.org/clown

DocWorkers
Dedicated to raising consciousness through the medium of documentary film.
They seek films that uplift, inform, inspire, and involve fellow citizens and fellow human beings.
http://www.docworkers.com

Undercurrents at Sunrise Festival Somerset
We will be hosting 2 hours of our films this weekend at the Sunrise Summer Solstice Celebration. Contemporary music and performing arts, permaculture and sustainable living. Undercurrents will be in the cinema so come join the party
http://www.sunrisecelebration.com

John Pilger's new book
Freedom Next Time has just been published. Containing chapters on Diego Garcia, Palestine, India, South Africa and Afghanistan,
http://www.johnpilger.com

EcoWorks: Straw Bale work on "eco-building"
Tash the photographer has put some of his excellent photos online. Check them out
http://indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/10/326154.html

Win £1000 for your film
http://www.indieshorts.co.uk

Sheffield doco festival
Filmmakers are invited to enter documentaryfilms and videos completed after 1st January 2005 that have not been broadcast in the UK. The festival is looking for innovative feature length and short documentaries from across the world.
http://www.sidf.co.uk

Art in Manchester
You are invited to launch of UHC's latest online project - OpenCity. Devised as an interactive repository of art, ideas, research and writing, OpenCity fuses disciplines and interests in opposition to Manchester's reinvention as a globalised neo liberal city.Incursions in the Knowledge Capital
Preview – Thursday 15th June 6-9pm
http://www.uhc.org.uk

Citizen journalism awards
Organised by the Press Gazette to recognise the best in citizen journalism pictures and video footage published within the UK.
Web: http://www.citizenjournalismawards.co.uk/

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Summer in undercurrents

Just got back from Earthwise Festival in Dorset...showed our films in StarBar..a fully solar powered cinema...how cool is that eh? Heres some things I found on my travels in cyber space this week.

Funny political online animations
Our current favourite is 'Taliban Takes on Telemarketers'
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/political/

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
An inspiring documentary about how oil corporate media mix to control society. Amnesty International withdrew this documentary from a film festival due to a massive campaign of intimidation and threats from the Venezuelan right-wing.Watch it online
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13119.htm

Dance on Screen Film Festival
30 October - 5 November 2006 CALL FOR ENTRIES
Film makers, artists and choreographers around the world are invited to
submit work for the festival. Dance Documentaries DEADLINE: 21 July 2006
http://www.danceonscreen.org.uk

Swansea Bay Film Festival,Wales
Undercurrents have been nominated for 5 awards!
See the films and meet the directors on Wednesday June 7th at Dynevor Media Centre, Swansea From 2pm
http://www.swanseafilmfestival.com

I ain't looking for your Sympathy
A very inspiring documentary about women using funky techniques to overcome disability.
Available on the Broad Horizons compilation DVD.
http://www.undercurrents.org/broads/

Corporate Watch Magazine seeks radical poets
It is a great organisation based in Oxford and they seek poets for new book.
http://corporatewatch.wordpress.com

What she did next!
Those of you who have watched the our film,'Evolving Minds' (psychosis and spirituality) may be interested in what Melissa did next.Since the 2004 Tsuanami she has been based in Sri Lanka and has now set up a children's trauma relief arts project and is also establishing a children's ecovillage.
http://www.undercurrents.org/minds and http://www.art-2-art.org

The Future of Documentary event London
Thursday 6th July 6pm-8.30pm
http://www.01zero-one.co.uk

BritDoc in Oxford
July 26-28th in Keble College Oxford,BRITDOC Festival boosting the British feature documentary sector. hosted by Morgan Spurlock (Director Supersize Me).
http://www.britdoc.org