Films by Betzy Bromberg Screen Throughout London at Open City Documentary Festival

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Works by School of Film/Video faculty Betzy Bromberg screen at the Tate Modern and Close-Up Cinema in London as part of the Open City Documentary Festival, running from Wednesday, Sept. 7 to Tuesday, Sept. 13. 

Established in 2010, Open City Documentary Festival serves as an “open space in London to nurture and champion” nonfiction film and creative documentary work. A selection of Bromberg’s short and feature-length films will be featured in the festival’s 2022 In Focus program, screening over the course of three consecutive days. Betzy Bromberg: In Focus is the first in-depth survey of the filmmaker’s work in the UK, and spans four decades of her filmography.

Read more about Betzy Bromberg: In Focus at the Open City Documentary Festival website:

American avant-garde filmmaker Betzy Bromberg has been making experimental 16mm films since 1976. Prior to becoming the Director of the Program in Film and Video at California Institute of the Arts in 2002, Bromberg spent many years as a camerawoman and supervisor for the production of optical effects in the Hollywood special effects industry, utilising skills honed in her astonishing kaleidoscopic experimental films. Her early work often explores women’s psychic interiors and threats to an autonomous body through performance and raw collage techniques, provocative imagery, and humour, tautly woven together by evocative soundtracks. These deeply personal films touch on repressive social structures, American landscapes, ritual and intimacy, “play[ing] on multiple levels, merging politics and poetry, and revelling in the resultant tensions” (Holly Willis). Her most recent feature-length films are formally abstract, light, and sonic explorations, which are nonetheless profoundly emotional meditations on the human condition.

The first of Bromberg’s four In Focus installments takes place on Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Tate Modern, featuring a screening of her works “Petit Mal” (1977) “Marasmus” (1981), and “Soothing The Bruise” (1980). Later that evening, Tate presents a screening of Bromberg’s feature-length film A Darkness Swallowed (2005). 

The third screening takes place Sunday, Sept. 11 at Close-Up Cinema in London, where audiences can watch Bromberg’s short films “Ciao Bella or Fuck Me Dead” (1978), “Az Iz” (1983), and “Body Politic (God Melts Bad Meat)” (1988). 

Bromberg’s fourth and final In Focus screening also takes place at Close-Up on Monday, Sept. 12, featuring her meditative 2011 feature Voluptuous Sleep

See programming information for Bromberg’s In Focus series in the event details below, and find the full festival programming on the Open City website.

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PUBLISHED BY Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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