FREE PORTOBELLO FILM FESTIVAL 2016


free notes by Tom Vague (Vague 84)

The Best Things In Life Are Free. Portobello Film Festival celebrates its 21st Birthday this year with a feast of independent local, London, UK and international movies from 1-18 September. Uniquely Portobello has been an annual Free - both for film submissions and entry to all events - Festival for 21 years. 


read more...

 

 


   

A Brief History of Portobello Film Festival


By Jonathan Barnett and Tom Vague

The Portobello Film Festival was created in 1996 as a reaction to the moribund state of the British film industry, to provide a forum for new filmmakers and give exposure to movies on different formats.
Many of our previously out-on-a-limb directors have since been recognised by the big fish in the industry. Portobello Film Festival shows tomorrow’s films today. .


read more...

 

 

 


   

PORTOBELLO FILM FESTIVAL 2014
URBAN MYTHOLOGY/REALITY


By Tom Vague

Down and Out in Portobello ‘Reality lies bleeding in Portobello Road. Can this really be the end? Down and out in London with amphetamine psychosis again.’ Tony D, in the punk fanzine ‘Kill Your Pet Puppy’.
Orwell Mansions, on the new Portobello Square W10 development off Golborne Road, is named in allusion to George Orwell living on Portobello Road (or possibly the Orwellian style of the block?). He did indeed begin writing ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ along the road at his blue plaque house, number 22, but that’s at the other end in a different area, near Notting Hill Gate. read more...


read more...

 

 

 

   

Hollywood West 10
History of West London Film 2013
by Tom Vague
www.wlfn.org/history-west-london-films/

 

 


   

PORTOBELLO FILM FESTIVAL 2011
THE PEOPLE’S FREE STATE OF PORTOBELLO MANIFESTO


By Tom Vague

“You seem,” said Wayne, “to be interested in military matters.” “I am interested in nothing else,” said the toy-shopkeeper, simply. Wayne appeared convulsed with a singular suppressed excitement. “In that case,” he said, “I may approach you with an unusual degree of confidence. Touching the matter of the defence of Notting Hill, I…” “Defence of Notting Hill, sir. This way, sir.”…

read more...

 

 

 


   
PORTOBELLO FILM FESTIVAL 2010
art history


Tom Vague London Psychogeography 2010 Vague 61


George Morland Children Nutting/The Plough
George Morland’s 1788 painting of ‘Children Nutting’ substantiates the theory that Notting Hill was named, as GK Chesterton put it, ‘in allusion to the rich woods which no longer cover it.’ The first local pub, the Plough Inn on the Harrow Road at Kensal Green, was cited in Notting Hill in Bygone Days as ‘remarkable for having been the favourite retreat of the celebrated Morland.’ The local artist, who specialised in painting inns, died near the Plough. Morland House on Lancaster Road, named in his honour, was once occupied by JB.

read more...

 

 

 

   
PORTOBELLO FILM FESTIVAL 2009
THE BEAT GOES ON


Tom Vague VAGUE 53
‘If the English beat movement had its roots in the beats of the USA, particularly as mythologised by Jack Kerouac, it soon developed its own character. Less interested in artistic achievement than the American beats apparently were, the English beats were for the most part content to disaffiliate and leave it at that. They usually dropped politics, if they ever had any in the first place, when they went beat… If the beat rebellion is essentially short-sighted, it is nevertheless magnificent in its nonchalant, long-haired contempt for straight society and in its proud indifference to the dreary disgust of all office-bound pen-pushers, bureaucrats and wearers of the regulation weeds of the living dead.’ Charlie Radcliffe Heatwave 1966


1 Adrift in Notting Hill and A Blues for Shindig
2 Alex Trocchi’s Invisible Insurrection
3 Longhair Times: Hoppy and Miles
4 Rolling Stones on the Portobello Road
5 Michael X on the Black Beat in the Ghetto
6 Ladbroke Grove Roots

 

 

 

   
PORTOBELLO CARNIVAL FILM FESTIVAL 2008


Carnival was traditionally a Catholic festival taking place on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras before the beginning of Lent, the period of fasting and abstinence. It is a time when all caution is thrown to the winds, there is much festivity and feasting, the Lords of Misrule are celebrated in a wild party prior to a month or more of self denial. It eventually became an opportunity for slaves in the New World to temporarily throw off their shackles.
Historically such delirious excesses go back beyond Christianity and represent a very real need for people to let their hair down, to be free albeit briefly from the restraints of polite society, to make the dreary day to day life of the rest of the year more bearable. It was the theme of the fairs and festivals in the middle ages, and the pagan orgies of Greece and Rome.
Read more...


1 Portobello Carnival Film Festival 2008
2 Lord Holland’s Slavery to Work Scheme
3 The Notting Dale Gypsies
4 Portobello Busker Parades
5 1966 London Free School Michaelmas Fayre
6 1968 Interzone International Times Fair
7 1977 Two Sevens Clash Punky Reggae Party
8 1983/4 Aswad Live And Direct Carnival
9 1995 Hugh Grant Mas and Mayhem

 

 

 

   

PORTOBELLO MAGIC FILM FESTIVAL 2007
TOM VAGUE’S HOLLYWOOD BABYLON W11


Once upon a time there was a place called Notting Hill Gate, that wasn’t inhabited by international bankers and TV executives, where anything could happen and usually did. But, in spite of gentrification and media overkill, some magical vestiges remain and not all the ghosts of the area’s weird and wonderful past are banished from the streets.

Click here for Portobello writer Tom Vague on Portobello's Magic History. Continuing our Psychogeographical research into the area's past!


 

 

   
PORTOBELLO MAGIC FILM FESTIVAL 2007
TOM VAGUE’S HOLLYWOOD BABYLON W11



London psychogeographer Tom Vague conjures up the magic, mysticism and mythology of Notting Hill past on a magical mystery tour of Hollywood Babylon W11.
Once upon a time there was a place called Notting Hill Gate, that wasn’t inhabited by international bankers and TV executives, where anything could happen and usually did. But, in spite of gentrification and media overkill, some magical vestiges remain and not all the ghosts of the area’s weird and wonderful past are banished from the streets.

INTRO
1 NOTTING HILL IN BYGONE DAYS
2 NOTTING HELL/HEAVEN W11
3 SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL
4 HOUSES OF THE UNHOLY
5 ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE
6 MIDDLE EARTH W11
7 THINGS LOOK GREAT IN NOTTING HILL GATE, WE ALL SIT AROUND AND MEDITATE
8 HOUSES OF THE UNHOLY REVISITED

 

 

   
Film Festival 2006 proudly celebrates the great Counter Cultural history of the area


from the 50s race riots to the birth of Carnival and Pink Floyd at the London Free School in the 60s to the emergence of Reggae and Punk in the 70s right up to the present day.
Click here for Counter Culture Portobello Psychogeographical History by Tom Vague.

Part 1 - ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS
Part 2 - THE LONDON FREE SCHOOL
Part 3 - HAWKWIND
Part 4 - BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS
Part 5 - STRUMMERVILLE
Part 6 - FRESTONIA
Part 7 - SKETCHES OF SPAIN

 

 

   
TALKING TELLY 6


It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. No really !...And I’ve had to go grovelling to Onetel to get my email address re-activated. Computer says no to talking telly. Computer says it’s already assigned. Yes It’s assigned to me IDIOT. They always do that. So now the new email address is talkintelly@onetel.com without the ‘g’. Yeah? Do you see what I did there? Computer thinks it can get one over on me HAH! Read more...

 

 

   
Tom Vague’s
HOLLYWOOD W11


From Absolute Beginners to Leo The Last, It Happened Here in West Eleven.

A psychogeographical journey through the streets of Hollywood W11.
Editor Jane Carroll Portobello Pirate TV London Psychogeography Vague 35 2005
Read more...

 

 

   

Tom Vague’s
HOLLYWOOD W11


Notting Hill: The Musical – From Absolute Beginners to Leo The Last, It Happened Here in West Eleven. A psychogeographical journey through the streets of Hollywood W11. Read more...

 

 

   

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FILM? AND WHY?


We asked a number of Portobello Film Festival friends and film makers what their favourite films were.
Here are some of the replies! Read more...

 

 

   

JENNY RUNACRE RECALLS WORKING WITH ANTONIONI


“After this film, [Blow- Up] I wanted to see what there was behind, what was my own appearance in the inside of myself, a little bit like I had done in my earliest films. And what resulted was The Passenger, another step forward in the study of contemporary man. Read more...

 

 

   

FUN AT THE ROXY


Ken Macdonald remembers his introduction to the wonders of the cinema. Read more...

 

 

   

ART, IT AIN’T: EWAN SANDERSON EXPLORES THE LEGENDARY BIKINI BANDIDS


Picture dem good ole boys, The Dukes of Hazzard, on the run from Boss Hogg, whilst protecting the weak and the innocent. Now, forget Bow and Luke and in their place imagine a whole troupe of bikini clad, gun-toting Daisy Dukes (their bouncing bosoms as dangerous as their firearms), who couldn’t help but have been in trouble with the law since the day they were born. Read more...

 

 

   

PALMER NOVE. NICK CONSTANCE TALKS TO REBECCA PALMER.


As befits a daughter of two teachers, Rebecca Palmer is pure old-school. Neither hip nor glamorous she exudes, instead, an air of eccentricity as beguiling as it is baffling. Add to this the fact that she is beautiful and it’s easy to see why she’s accumulated some pretty meaty roles. Read more...

 

 

   

THE REBEL DREAD!


By Jennifer Brogan
"Portobello Road is like my office", Don Letts declares. "I can walk down here and get a job 'cause I'm always bumping into people I know, being approached by others I don't. ...
Read more... 

 

 

   

TALKING TELLY 5


All the best stuff is on telly when you're either at work, asleep or down the pub.  Speaking of said pub have you ever sat there saying •have you seen blah this week?'ä and they say 'no', •well did you see blah,blah ?'ä  and they say •no'.  It's like what do these people do with their lives?  Make time to cook proper food? Spend quality time with their kids?  My advice is use that video. Use that video and get a life.  Festering around watching a backlog of the week's telly is what mornings off work were made for.
Read more...


Any comments, rants, reviews of current faves, whatever, feel free to email: talkingtelly@onetel.net.uk


review: TALKING TELLY 1
review: TALKING TELLY 2
review: TALKING TELLY 3

review: TALKING TELLY 4

 

 
   

JENNY RUNACRE'S REFLECTIONS:
GUYS N' GIRLS, THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING...

In the gendered hierarchy of male and female viewing that exists in the conventional cinema, women are generally suspect. In the classic film noir period of 1941-58, it was a world of male bonding. They were usually low budget films with lots of action, which explore the darker side of man’s nature. They were predatory, possessive and aggressive. They always had a femme fatale at the centre.
Read more...
Download article 


 

 

   

DIGITAL CINEMA:
BIRTH OF A NEW ART FORM



I was watching a documentary on Eisenstein and the Battleship Potemkin on the TV the other night and it's impact at the time was so great that during the Odessa Steps sequence people were astonished to witness the birth of a new art form. Previously Cinema had been stage bound and an extension of vaudeville. At a stroke the power of Eisenstein's imagery, direction and editing put Cinema on a level with the best of fine art, architecture and music.
read more...

 

 

   

THE STAR SYSTEM


In the early days of cinema most actors and actresses were simply family members of the director. Most films were short documentaries of people doing their daily chores as they were being filmed. Audiences weren't very peculiar of what or whom they were watching.. read more... 

 

 

   

THE CUP.


Tibetan tales of fantasy and football€

In the cool rinsed foothills of the Himalayas - at the fingertips of the sprawling, swarming inferno that is India ¨ there rests a community of Tibetan refugees. This is Dharamsala. Temporary residence of the Dalai Lama. Home to the Tibetan government in exile.
Read more...


 

 

   

TIFFANY WATT-SMITH SPEAKS:

Upside down...boy, you turn me...inside out...and, round and round...

One thing was agreed: no one quite knew what "hypertext" meant. On one rainy afternoon this November, Mike Figgis, Agnes Varda, Cat Le Couteur and Simon Pummel gathered at the National Film Theatre, under the auspices of Scriptfactory, t turn interactive narratives in digital film gently in Spotlight.
Read more...

 

 

   

HOLLYWOOD MUSCULINITY


Picture this: A close up shot of a huge bulging bicep pulls back to reveal its bearer wielding an impressively large tree trunk on his shoulder as he strides confidently towards his alpine lodge. This depiction of phallic mastery surely ranks as one of the campest 'straight' images in contemporary Hollywood cinema, for whilst this scene would not look out of place as the opening to some trashy gay porn flick.
Read more...

 

 






PFF report