Dirty Pictures

John Smith

2007 | 00:14:24 | United Kingdom | English | Color | Stereo |

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Expedition/Travel, Humor, Middle East

Palestine, April 15th-16th 2007

Moving from one hotel in Bethlehem to another in East Jerusalem, the filmmaker encounters a series of problems involving a ceiling, a video camera and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Dirty Pictures is the seventh episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

"...The hotel has been renovated after the Israeli army abandoned it, but history refuses to be erased. The ceiling offers resistance. It requires John Smith's keen eye and wry British comment to reveal this. Brilliantly, he manages to trim down the monstrosity of history to human proportions." 

— International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (2007)

This title is also available on Hotel Diaries: John Smith.

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Exhibitions + Festivals

 

Transmediale Festival (Germany), 2007

 

Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2008

Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2008

 

Florida Experimental Film and Video Festival, 2009

Wisconsin Film Festival, 2009

 

Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung