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Bringing back the big screen experience to the Govett-Brewster - Council

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

From big screen movie favourites to Len Lye’s ground-breaking films, home videos about our lockdown life to Film Society specials, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery has everything for film fans after the move to Level 1 this week.

The films were ready to roll for the 62-seat Len Lye Cinema’s reopening on 6 June, bringing back its unique mix of current art house favourites, cult and classic titles as well as the Goethe-Institut and British Film Council programmes.

Cinema co-ordinator Alastair Ross says: "We love our audience and it has been a genuine thrill to see the cinema reopen and to welcome back movie buffs back into the space. As always we have had wonderful support from our distributors and because of this we can present a really entertaining and diverse programme for June."

The venue will also welcome back the New Plymouth Film Society to restart its regular midweek screenings and will also look to start up its regular selection of film festivals later in the year with an Italian Film Festival scheduled for November.

During lockdown, the NPDC-run gallery and cinema launched The Bubble Project, a community initiative for budding filmmakers of all abilities, to share their experiences of lockdown life. It received more than 30 submissions and interest from homegrown industry talent to review entries, including The Luminaries actors Erroll Shand and Paolo Rotondo. A red carpet event is planned to submissions as well as New Plymouth entrants of the 48 Hour Film Festival.

The Gallery team also plans to showcase dancing talent locally and beyond on the big screen, thanks to online submissions for its Art of Dance project, which calls for dance videos inspired by chosen artworks from its collection.

That immersive, cinematic experience is also a key theme for the Govett Brewster’s latest exhibition. Since reopening on 25 May, it has welcomed back visitors to never seen before Len Lye artworks. As well as the large-scale kinetic installation Sky Snakes, a brand new exhibition The Absolute Truth of the Happiness Acid celebrates the artist’s experimental filmmaking.

Often dubbed 'the father of the music video', Lye’s filmmaking arrived at the end of the silent film era, with his bold, colourful films seen by millions in British cinemas during the 1930s. He was both hugely influential and innovative; often painting directly onto film with little to no camerawork involved.

Govett-Brewster Fast Facts

Len Lye Cinema’s full June listings are available to view and book online

Tickets can also be booked via the Govett-Brewster Shop where copies of the programme are also available to pick up

All tickets are $10. There are also Wednesday daytime $5 sessions during June.

Sky Snakes:

Debuting at the Govett-Brewster, Sky Snakes is a new large-scale kinetic sculpture from the Len Lye Foundation and Team Zizz! In installation of seven, ceiling mounted spinning Sky Snakes.

The Absolute Truth of the Happiness Acid

Produced in collaboration with Berlin-based exhibition designers Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik, the exhibition takes its title from a lecture delivered by Lye in 1968 at the Cambridge Animation Festival where he appeared as the keynote ‘celebrity speaker’. Lye spoke about his theory of the ‘old brain’ - creativity drawn from our ancient DNA rather than our modern intellect.

It presents the most comprehensive survey of Lye’s films at the Gallery, alongside an extensive survey of studio tools and materials behind the making of the films.

Art of Dance project

A Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre Online Project

Free to enter, runs until 11 June 2020, open to all ages and dancing abilities

An open call for dance videos, inspired by chosen artworks from the Govett-Brewster Collection: Digital Marae: Hinepukohurangi, Lisa Reihana, 2001

Playground 1, Vivian Lynn, 1975

Trilogy (A Flip and Two Twisters) Len Lye, 1977

Entrants are invited to submit dance videos online, to be shared on the Govett-Brewster Instagram, website and YouTube

A teaser launch video featuring locally-based dancers can be viewed here.

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