Its where we’ve posted photos and documentation of the night, plus some of the background research that went into the event
- in the caves – film and photos
- programme for Caverns of Love
- ukeleles in my brain
- the other
- Caverns of Love
- there’s a boy up the road…
- 40 years
- love is the godess of all luxuries that are not essential for survival
- ROMANCE – LOVE – SEX – MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIPS
- living without aim
- love will tear us apart
- comizi d’amore
- the other
- le depart
- in praise of love
- october love song
Laura Aish’s film of the night – featuring music by Goldcrest and images from In Case I Never Meet You Again
In Case I Never Meet You Again – Natalija Vujošević
Stealing Beauty – Guy Ben Ner
The first ten years are the hardest…
A friend was talking about relationships and she said she’d heard that the first ten years are the hardest.
Ten years? That’s a lot of bickering, adventure, conflict, boredom, sex, money stuff, dreams, walks, lack of sex, humour, weekends, family, working things out, rows, tenderness, repetition, friendship, holidays, screen time, split ups, dancing, bills, romance, work, disappointment, washing up, love…
… before you even start to get things on an even keel.
Caverns of Love is a programme of films we put together to think about the mechanics of how people make long-term relationships work.
It’s not necessarily a celebration of relationships – there’s nothing inherently great about couple pairings (whether they’re straight, gay, queer, whatever). And as to marriage: you’ve got to think carefully about an institution that’s so heavily promoted by the some of the most asocial elements of society – the Tory party, the advertising industry, religion, bankers and mortgage lenders.
So… why are we putting on a load of films about people arguing, in a cave? Well, this event is part of the BFI Love season, and we’d read a book called In Praise of Love by Alain Badiou where he criticises the way movies and culture in general obsess over first love, first meetings, and the first moments. The reality of love is what happens after they lived happily ever after – which is less glamorous, and more repetitive.
Maybe the only place you can see those moments captured on screen is deep in a cave, on a rainy night in November.
In Case I Never Meet You Again… - Natalija Vujošević, 2005 Montenegro
After making In Case I Never Meet You Again Natalija Vujošević had a baby, got married, and got divorced.
Stealing Beauty – Guy Ben-Ner, 2007 Israel
Guy Ben-Ner made a series of films in the ‘00s featuring his wife and children -“culminating with Stealing Beauty… after that we separated. The movie’s about that, in a way.”
Suite – Zapruder Group, 2011 Italy
David Zamagni, Nadia Ranocchi and Monaldo Moretti from the Zapruder filmmakers collective have been collaborating for 15 years.
Bend It – Gilbert and George, 2007 UK
Gilbert and George have lived and worked together in the same house in East London for 47 years. George has two children from a previous marriage.
Ai /Love – Takahiko Iimura with music by Yoko Ono, 1962 Japan
“I asked Ono to make the sound for my film Ai, and she did – by recording the noise outside her window.” Takahiko Iimura
Birth of the Goal Keeper of the 2001 FA Cup Final – Mike Leigh, UK 1982
“I’m someone who has deservedly been a signal failure at relationships … but I do have a good working relationship with actresses” – Mike Leigh.
Marte Vold – Totem, 2014 Norway
Untitled – Kate Cooper, 2005 UK
“Its my grandparents in the piece… They used to do this silly opera style singing to try and wind up my sister when her friends came over. I loved how hyper it was…” – Kate Cooper.
Dog Years – Sam Hearn and Richard Penfold, 2004 UK
The real Ben lived with Morgwyn for 74 years before he passed away.
Music by Goldcrest
Goldcrest is usually Susanne and Leila. Leila said she wasn’t in the right headspace for making music, so Susanne did this gig on her own.
Caverns of Love was put together by the Bioskop…
The Bioskop was formed in 2010 - they used to argue constantly, nowadays they tend to argue only when they’re tired or stressed.
… and powered by the CUBE
Bristol’s anarcho-revolutionary organization the Cube has been running since 1998. During that time hundreds of volunteers have worked in, and passed through the Microplex becoming friends, enemies, and lovers.
Special thanks to …
Dani Landau, Matt Davies, James Vickery, Alice Quigley, Tiffany Holmes, Alan Gray, Diana and Fred Lamb, Adam Mullinger, and Alain Badiou. x x x
… by James Vickery
“I sincerely think that in contrast to [the sixties and seventies] when to fight for sexual freedom was experienced as liberating, and monogamous love was dismissed as a bourgeoise convention, I think that today more and more – love – passionate love – is emerging as something dangerous, and precisely subversive. Think about how you are addressed in your everyday life by society – what society demands of you. Its basically a kind of slightly spiritual, pseudo-buddhist hedonism. Ideology is telling you – be faithful to yourself, realize your true potentials and experiment with your life, try all different options, don’t fixate yourself on a certain stable identity. Life is dynamic and fluid, and so on, and so on. And I claim within this economy, not only is stable love, passionate love emerging as an obstacle to your authentic development, but even the crucial dimension of love is gradually disappearing.
What is love? As Alain Badiou… put it in his wonderful book In Praise of Love, there is always something dramatic, extremely violent in love. Love is a permanent emergency state. You fall in love. And its crucial that in English and in French we use this expression – to fall in love. You lose control.
Its really… I claim that love, the experience of passionate love is the most elementary metaphysical experience – it’s a Platonic experience. In the sense of… you lead your easy daily life, you meet your friends, you go to parties, whatever, everything is normal… maybe here and there a one night stand… whatever…
And then – you passionately fall in love. Everything is ruined. The entire balance of your life is lost. Everything is subordinated to this one person. I almost cannot imagine in normal daily life outside war and so on, a more violent experience than that of love.
Which is why all the advisors that we need today, are trying precisely to domesticate or erase this excess of… love. Its as if love is too poisonous and then they tell you… the trick that they try to offer you, the [on-line dating agencies] is how to find yourself in love – without falling in love. This idea came to me on a trans-atlantic flight I read one of those stupid airline journals and there was a big [advert] claiming that we can help you find love without the fall. Without this dangerous exposure.
And I think this fits perfectly with our daily narcissistic metaphysics. You know the old story that I repeat all the time – we want coffee without caffeine, we want beer without alcohol – and we want love without its dangerous moment where you get lost.”
A twenty-something couple on a beach in autumn. They run crazily, jump legs-outstretched, fall into each others arms. The hand held camera swerves and shakes. Its getting towards dusk and they’re half in silhouette. Its drizzling rain, the woman’s hair is damp and tousled, her cheeks between scarf and wooly hat are pink from the cold, rain drops run down the camera lens, and mixed with their laughter and the sound of waves breaking a ukele plays on the soundtrack.
What is this memory?
I think its an advert from the early-mid 00s…. for a bank, for a car, for a mortgage. Some product targeted at a two-graduate, two-income couple – probably starting to think about kids. The imagery will help them realise its time to borrow money, buy a family sized car, buy a house together…
Do I really remember that advert – or is it some Frankenstein monster constructed in my sub-conscious from ten or fifteen years of adverts/photos posted in facebook / vimeo aesthetic/TED/ instagram?
What does ukele music mean? Why does it have a pavlovian effect on me of making me want to kick out wildly or headbutt a wall. What does ukele music signify in all those ads?
Cute, quirky, organic, caring, carefree, kawaii, innocent and ironic at the same time, home made, not electronic, nice, real, romantic, pretty, lovely… love?
Thinking about it, what ukulele music signifies is amateur. The opposite of what it really is when employed to sell stuff in highly designed packets of affect (ie adverts) designed to penetrate and inhabit the bodies, lives and dreamings of a target demographic.
As someone with xy chromosones I’m used to my gaze reflexively locking onto images of female breasts, crotches, faces, buttocks arranged in my line of sight in order to sell things.
Then one day, shortly after I discovered I was going to be a parent, I was sitting on a bus and to my surprise found my gaze locking onto a version of this…
Today is an Autumn day – outside there’s damp leaves on the grass and the sky is a cloudless perfect blue – like the blue sky from a vimeo staff pick.
A long time ago… before Lady Gaga, Jay Z, dodgy documentaries and galas etcetera – Marina Abramovic made art.
Rest Energy from 1981 with Ulay more or less sums up the theme of the Caverns of Love film programme. We spoke to Abramovic’s people over a few weeks about showing it, but sadly in the end word came from on high that access was denied.
So… What happened after they lived happily ever after?
Forget first love, forget head over heels, forget the fluffy stuff, lets look at the glistening grit that lies at the centre of real relationships… Come with the Bioskop deep into Redcliffe Caves on a cinematic journey and discover the answers to the questions you didn’t even want to ask…
The Bioskop Presents… Caverns of Love – Thursday 12th November 7pm and 9pm.
more info coming soon…
I was round my sister’s flat and I heard a song by Kath Bloom that I haven’t heard for ages – there’s a line in it that always made me laugh out loud.
The singer spends the song talking about the painful process of getting over her ex-lover, and then she says -
There’s a boy up the road
and he wants to take me out some
well he doesn’t know
that I’m not going to be too much fun
I don’t know why it always makes me laugh. Maybe because it’s not something you hear very much in songs… whereas getting people wrong and wanting them to be something they’re not is something that happens the whole time in real life.
It reminds me of a bit in the Bell Jar - for some forgotten reason I decided to read it during a stay in hospital after an operation. Against expectation I found a lot of it laugh-out-loud funny. (Maybe it was the morphine).
The passage I remember is where the main character is allowed out from mental hospital on a Saturday evening and goes to the park. A young sailor on shore leave starts walking with her, uninvited, trying to charm her, chat her up. Walking along she can see how he sees her – who he wants her to be, a simple idea of how a fun saturday night should go – unaware that he’s walking with a near-suicidal mental patient.
Maybe that’s what love is, two people walking along in their own separate realities, and gradually, sometimes painfully, getting glimpses of who each other are.
Love is not a contract between two narcissists. It’s more than that. It’s a construction that compels the participants to go beyond narcissism. In order that love lasts one has to reinvent oneself – Alain Badiou
1974 – 28 year old Martin Scorsese interviews his mum Catherine, and dad Charles.
At this moment the pseudo-Veronique returned from the bar with her friends; she was deep in conversation with a young black guy, or rather half black. He was slightly older than her; I reckoned he could be about twenty….
After the second rock number the disc jockey put on a slow song. It was Nino Ferrer’s Le Sud; a magnificent record it has to be said.
… they got up of common accord…and in a few seconds they were on the dance floor…
She confidently pressed her body against the guy’s.
Tisserand sat down again at my side; he was trembling in every limb. He watched the couple, hypnotized. I waited a minute or more; this slow dance, I recalled, went on forever. Then I shook him gently by the shoulder, repeating ‘Raphael’ over and again.
- What can I do? He asked.
- Go home and have a wank.
- You reckon its hopeless?
- Sure. Its been hopeless for a long time, from the very beginning. You will never represent, Raphael, a young girl’s erotic dream. You have to resign yourself to the inevitable; such things are not for you. It’s already too late, in any case. The sexual failure you’ve known since your adolescence, Raphael, the frustration that has followed you since the age of thirteen, will leave their indelible mark. Even supposing that you might have women in the future – which in all frankness I doubt – this will not be enough; nothing will ever be enough. You will always be an orphan to those adolescent loves you never knew. In you the wound is already deep; it will get deeper and deeper. An atrocious, unremitting bitterness will end up gripping your heart. For you there will be neither redemption nor deliverance. That’s how it is.
from Michel Houellbecq’s Whatever, 1994
One of the reasons Michel Houellebecq’s books raise such passionate responses (hatred and love) is that when writing about damage, failure and despair he refuses to offer the possibility of redemption. And this is a surprisingly radical position to take – in fact the myth of redemption is central to christianity, capitalism and psychoanalysis.
Believe hard enough, work hard enough, work on yourself hard enough… and you can be fixed.
But what if it isn’t like that?
maya deren on men and women, haiti, love and film-making.
about internet dating – and the business of it – by emily witt.
I went on a date with a man who turned out to be a hairstylist who had attracted me with his Texas charm: ‘A nod and a bow, Ms Space,’ he had written. He arrived late to our date in Alphabet City, having accommodated some last-minute clients who wanted unscheduled blow-drys for their own dates. On either side of his neck he had tattoos of crossed scimitars. I asked him what the tattoos meant. He said they meant nothing. They were mistakes. He pushed up his sleeves and revealed more mistakes. As a teenager in Dallas he had let his friends use him as a training canvas. To call the tattoos mistakes seemed to be different from regretting them. He didn’t regret them. He said it was just that his 16-year-old self was giving him the finger. ‘You think you’ve changed,’ the 16-year-old version of him was saying through the tattoos: ‘Fuck you, I’m still here.’
OK Cupid had another unintended effect, which was that in posting my profile, however pseudonymously, I had adorned myself with the equivalent of a ‘For Sale’ sign. Those who saw me on OK Cupid whom I knew in real life and who recognised my photo would often contact me: ‘I saw you on OK Cupid and I thought I would write.’ I went for Colombian food in Greenpoint with one of these. When I arrived my date was reading some documents that the National Security Agency had recently declassified to do with John Nash, the schizophrenic genius portrayed in A Beautiful Mind. We ordered arepas and beers. I liked this man. He had a job he loved at a blue-chip art gallery and lived in a spacious, high-ceiling apartment overlooking a tree-filled park with benches that formed a serpentine pattern. We talked about Cascadian black metal bands and the idea of resisting capitalism through unlistenable music and sustainable agriculture. We walked from Cafecito Bogotá back to his impeccable apartment, where he played ambient records and I petted his two cats. We decided to conduct an OK Cupid Locals experiment: he broadcast ‘Let’s lkjdlfjlsjdfijsflsjlj.’ I sat next to him on the couch. I refreshed my phone to see if his broadcast came up. It did. We looked at each other. He walked me to the train.
read the full article here
No more carefree laughter
Silence ever after
Walking through an empty house, tears in my eyes
Here is where the story ends, this is goodbye
Knowing Me Knowing You, ABBA, 1978
Its well known that Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart (see post below) was written about the collapse of Ian Curtis’s marriage as he fell in love with a new girlfriend. His wife, Deborah wrote a great book about these events; its perhaps the most un-rock’n'roll, rock book ever written – attacking and collapsing the central r’n'r myths of all boys in the band together comraderie, and what happens on tour stays on tour fun.
“I remember when I was expecting Natalie and standing at the door of the Factory, and Tony looking me up and down and it was written all over his face what he was thinking: how can we have a rock star with a six months pregnant wife standing by the stage? It wasn’t quite the thing. Then this glamorous Belgian turned up. I don’t remember seeing her, except in the cemetery once. She was attractive and she was free, and she had a nice accent. I don’t blame Ian. I think most people need a partner, and if you exclude that partner you have to find somebody else. It’s only natural. He must have been very lonely.
He needed somebody there to look after him, he couldn’t look after himself. He wasn’t a grown-up”.
Euro-pop titans ABBA were made up of two married couples. As the years went by and those marriages cracked and eventually collapsed there was plenty of scope for relationship traumas to seep into their music…
It feels appropriate that you have to watch a crappy advert before getting to the song – its part of the aesthetic. The power of ABBA is that beneath the jaunty music, sateen costumes, balloons, Benny mugging like a kids tv presenter, and English as a second language lyrics there is often a real longing, sadness, loneliness and darkness.
There can’t be many pop groups whose fans create threads like this -ABBA’s most depressing songs. The title of this post is a lyric from the incredibly downbeat The Day Before You Came. Other examples include…
One of us is lying / In her lonely bed / Staring at the ceiling / Wishing she was somewhere else instead
I don’t wanna talk / If it makes you feel sad / And I understand / You’ve come to shake my hand / I apologize / If it makes you feel bad / Seeing me so tense / No self-confidence / But you see / The winner takes it all
Strange how dangerously indifferent I have grown / Cold as a stone
coming soon : Fleetwood Mac and Throbbing Gristle
joy division, 1979
video by kate cooper
pier paolo pasolini, love meetings, 1963
Tonino and Graziella are getting married.
About their love they only know that it is love.
About their future children they only know they will be children.
It is especially when it’s happy and innocent that life has no mercy.
Two Italian kids are getting married.
And on this day of theirs all the evil and all the good from before seem to vanish, like memory of the storm in peace. Every law is cruel, and they, exercising their right to be what their fathers and their mothers were, do little else than confirm, dear as they are to life, the gaiety and innocence of life.
So the knowledge of good and evil – the story, which is neither happy nor innocent – is always at the front of this ruthless forgetfulness of the living, of their sovereign humility.
Tonino and Graziella are getting married: and those who know stay silent before their grace that does not want to know. But the silence is guilty: our wish to Tonino and Graziella is: “May to your love be added the knowledge of your love.”
translated by bsk
marina & ulay
michelangelo antonioni, 1962
from le depart, jerzy skolimowski, 1967
alain badiou, in praise of love
In effect I think that liberals and libertarians converge around the idea that love is a futile risk. And that, on the one hand, you can have a kind of well-planned marriage pursued with all the delights of consummation and, on the other, fun sexual arrangements full of pleasure. Seen from this perspective, I really do think that love, in today’s world, is caught in this bind, in this vicious circle and is consequently under threat. I think it is the task of philosophy, as well as other fields, to rally to its defence. And that probably means, as the poet Rimbaud said, that it also needs re-inventing. It cannot be a defensive action simply to maintain the status quo. The world is full of new developments and love must also be something that innovates. Risk and adventure must be re-invented against safety and comfort.
…love encompasses the experience of the possible transition from the pure randomness of chance to a state that has universal value. Starting out from something that is simply an encounter, a trifle, you learn that you can experience the world on the basis of difference and not only in terms of identity. And you can even be tested and suffer in the process. In today’s world, it is generally thought that individuals only pursue their own self-interest. Love is an antidote to that. Provided it isn’t conceived only as an exchange of mutual favours, or isn’t calculated way in advance as a profitable investment, love really is a unique trust placed in chance. It takes into key areas of the experience of what is difference and, essentially, leads to the idea that you can experience the world from the perspective of difference.
here’s the whole book, in praise of love