Xmas Dread Screening this SUNDAY 21 DEC Common House: Death Laid an Egg + Santa Claus Army

TRIBUTE TO GIULIO QUESTI (18 March 1924 – 3 December 2014)

7 for 7.30 pm
Common House
Unit 5E
Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green

DEATH LAID AN EGG [La morte ha fatto l’uovo]
Giulio Questi – Italy, 1968
This is a deliriously strange thriller about a scientist (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who is breeding headless, boneless chickens at a high-tech farm. He’s having an affair with Ewa Aulin, who is plotting with him to kill his wife (Gina Lollobrigida)…and she’s plotting with Aulin to kill him…and he and Lollobrigida are plotting…oh, it’s too confusing, but extremely memorable. 
The bizarre, only semi-linear editing and trippy cinematographic techniques are artifacts of the psychedelic era and combine with the twisted story to make any Euro-cultist’s dreams come true. A film that defies easy categorization, it veers uneasily between giallo, drug film, and science-fiction, with heavy doses of romance and Antonioni-like weirdness. 
“It was the time of the economic boom. The process of industrialization was a growing tide that swept everything away. It was a hymn to the future, a frenetic packaging of products without distinction between animate and inanimate. Products that were still alive were screaming in terror and anguish. Large factory farms were a symbol of this. Every man was a chicken, every hen a woman, every chick a child. Wealth was accumulated on their skin. And, above all, “the egg” triumphed; white, smooth, perfect, with a life locked inside it. Sexual perversion became the only possible way out.”
G. Questi
There’s an informative post on the film here:  

The factory is the real villain of the film – the modern technology implemented by the matriarchal owner Anna has eliminated the need for human workers. The process has become entirely automated and the unemployed workers seethe with undisguised hate and resentment. The factory is coveted by Gabrielle and Mondaini and their thirst for the wealth it is about to generate motivates murder and duplicity. It is also the site for a series of monstrous and grotesque experiments, the culmination of which is the birth of a mutated headless chicken. Its destruction the only sensible thing that the confused and emasculated Marco does. His capitalist overlords however are less than happy with this, their eyes shine with greed at the prospect of a poultry product which will have no waste attached to it. If this isn’t enough the factory even claims the life of a harmless pet dog! The critique of capitalism and aggressive mechanised production techniques emerges as the most salient theme of the film. It feeds into a general sensibility of inhumanity which is reflected in the cynical and selfish behaviour of the main characters.

————————————————————————>    PLUS

In the lead-up to Christmas 1974, an army of about seventy Santa Clauses, male and female, paraded through the city of Copenhagen, singing carols, handing out sweets and hot chocolate, and asking everyone what they wanted for Christmas.
After spending a few days cementing the good image of good old Santa Claus, their generosity became increasingly radical. Among other things, the Santas climbed a barbed wire fence surrounding the recently shuttered General Motors assembly plant with the purpose of giving jobs back to “their rightful owners.”
The week-long performance reached its crescendo inside one of Copenhagen’s biggest department stores when the Santas started handing out presents to customers directly off the shelves. Before too long, security guards and shop assistants interrupted the magic, desperately tearing the presents out of people’s hands. The police soon showed up and escorted the Santa Clauses out onto the street, where they were roughed up and thrown into paddy wagons in spite of the fact that it wasn’t clear that a criminal act had been committed, except perhaps on the part of customers who took home the presents without paying.
The performance exposed the radical implications of the myth of Santa Claus’ boundless generosity, demonstrating that true generosity is impossible within the narrow terms of capitalist society. With widely distributed photos of Santa Claus getting beaten for being too generous, the action was a hit.
The people behind Santa’s beards were the Danish theater collective Solvognen (“The Sun Chariot,” an allusion to Norse mythology). During the 1970s, the collective performed many large-scale actions intended to make bourgeois Danish society “act itself out as theater.”

more here:


And this beautiful zine:

Masked Rage – 30 November 2014

30 November 2014 | Free | 5.30pm | The Common House


Full Unemployment Cinema Presents:

A Mask if Always Active, (2014)

By Ines Doujak and John Barker


Sweet Sugar Rage (1985)

By The Sistren Theatre Collective

Film stiill from A Mask If Always Active, 2014

Film stiill from A Mask If Always Active, 2014

A Mask if Always Active, (2014)

By Ines Doujak and John Barker

28 mins
A musical on the themes of carnival/utopia and rebellion. The filmmakers will introduce the film.
Sweet Sugar Rage (1985)

By The Sistren Theatre Collective
45 minutes

A popular Jamaican women’s troupe uses improvisation and theater as consciousness-raising tools for both rural and urban audiences. Their performances speak directly to the daily experiences of women–the least empowered workers, who labor long hours for low wages with no benefits or rights to organize for better conditions. Using role-play and interviews with female cane workers, the collective develops dramatizations which analyze social issues and pinpoint their concerns.

This film has kindly been made available by Cinenova distribution. We will be collecting donations on the day to cover the screening fee for this film.


The Common House

Unit 5E Pundersons Gardens

Bethnal Green,

London E2 9QGT

2 November: Eat, Sleep, Die


Sunday 2 November | Free | 7pm



Eat Sleep Die (2012)

Directed by Gabriela Pichler, Sweden, 104 mins

Nermina Lukac’s electrifying performance as Raša is the heart of director Gabriela Pichler’s feature debut. A Montenegrin-born young woman living in rural Sweden, Raša is laid off from her job at a food-packing plant. Her ensuing job search pulls us through the maze of limited prospects and frustrating bureaucracy facing the country’s working immigrant population. Affable, resilient, street smart and soft-hearted, Raša’s natural magnetism draws us in completely. We feel every ounce of her disappointment, fear and elation as she soldiers on, looking for work. An Audience Award winner at the Venice Film Festival, EAT SLEEP DIE’s assured naturalism and political conviction single out Pichler as a bold, exciting new cinematic voice. Her film is a positive rallying cry for low-wage workers who dream of a life that won’t merely add up to the three verbs that form the film’s title.
– Mike Dougherty, American Film Institute



The Common House

5E Pundersons Gardens
Bethnal Green, London E2 9QG

Saturday Night Special Screening at Focus E15 Social Centre in Stratford


After the victory in Bow County Court this Thursday, defeating Newham Council’s case for an Immediate Possession Order and thus allowing use of the former housing for further protest and organising, Full Unemployment Cinema are planning a screening with Focus E15 for this Saturday night 4 October on squatting, council housing and the disaster that is contemporary UK politics and housing provision.

Below is a provisional programme for the screening, we are still confirming some of these films and others so please bear with us while we confirm and add updates here.

Saturday 4 October 7pm

Focus E15 Mothers occupation
Open House
80-86 Doran Walk
Carpenter’s Estate
Stratford E15 2JJ
Inquiry: The Great British Housing Disaster (Adam Curtis, 1984 BBC, 50 min)
Investigative documentary into UK housing policy since the 1960s, with a critical expose of financing and mangerial paradigms that were compromising council housing even before Thatcher sold most of it off.

Kilner House (Mark Saunders/Spectacle Films, 1981, 35 min)
Kilner House in Kennington was occupied as part of the Squat against Sales campaign against the first Greater London Council house sales.

Olympic Stories: Clays Lane (Noemi Rodrguez/Spectacle Films, 2006, 11 min)
Clays Lane housing co-operative, situated in the future Olympic Village in Newham, faced an inevitable eviction. This is the story of Clays Lane residents and their claim for fair treatment.

Photo from the screening courtesy of @aymiebackler

Photo from the screening courtesy of @aymiebackler

El Impenetrable screening at Peckham and Nunhead Free Film Festival

El Impenetrable
(Dir Daniele Incalcaterra & Fausta Quattrini, 2012, Argentina/France, Cert U, 95 mins)

Thursday 4 September | 8pm
Back Room Cinema of The Montpelier pub,
43 Choumert Road, London SE15 4AR


Read more about this film here

El Impenetrable is a western where all characters are real.


The documentary follows director Incalcaterra, who inherits 5,000 acres of land in one of the most remote areas of the world: the Paraguayan Chaco, a harsh, sparsely populated environment where landowners and their thugs run the show.

An unwanted gift from his long deceased father, Daniele decides to give back this land to the indigenous people who have always lived in this territory. But his neighbours – oil companies, transgenic soybean and livestock farmers who clear the forest and do not like intruders, do not seem very supportive of this idea.


Trailer at this link.
El Impenetrable will be screened in its original language (Italian/Spanish), with subtitles in English.

This is a free event. No booking needed.

Harun Farocki – RIP – An Inextinguishable Fire

Harun Farocki, whose films we have shown often at our screenings over the years, passed away on Wednesday 30 July aged 70. It’s with great sadness that we note the deaths of two great documentary filmmakers within the last two years. With Chris Marker and Harun Farocki gone we will lack more than ever formally experimental critiques of work and capitalism.

As a small tribute (which we will develop at some point in the near future as a screening) here’s two short films, one of Farocki’s earliest, Inextinguishable Fire (1969) and a re-make by Jill Godmilow, What Farocki Taught (1998). Followed by a short statement by Kodwo Eshun from Farocki’s film production website: http://farocki-film.de/




For HF

We regret to announce the passing of Harun Farocki on 30 July 2014. He was 70 years of age.

From 1967 onwards, Harun Farocki directed more than 120 films and installations that analysed the powers of the image with an originality, a prescience and a gravitas that renewed itself, year after year, project after project. In his teaching and his essays, in journals and books and exhibitions conceived and produced with Antje Ehmann, Farocki was a powerful critic, editor, theorist and curator in his own right.

Generations of artists, theorists and critics have taken Farockis films such as Inextinguishable Fire (1969) and Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1988) and installations such as Deep Play (2007) as reference points. His impact and influence on culture, within and beyond Germany, is undisputed. He was, and remains, a commanding figure of contemporary culture.

Despite his numerous commitments, Farocki was always generous with his time, his ideas and his attention. Unlike many artists from the 1960s, Farocki was neither nostalgic nor bitter. He was forward-looking, youthful, humorous, restless, unpretentious, enquiring, skeptical, stylish and handsome. He loved football, a drink of beer and smoking his favourite cigarettes, with his friends from his travels with his life partner Antje Ehmann.

Harun Farocki was and is, irreplaceable. We are proud to have counted ourselves among his many, many friends.

We admired him and we loved him and we learnt from him, always.

To say that we will miss him is an understatement that he would have appreciated.

Kodwo Eshun 31. 7. 2014


Great bibliography at blog maintained by film scholar Catherine Grant:


Insightful text on Farocki’s films by Thomas Elsessaer: