Obsessions is a short season of films that revel in all-consuming human fascinations; the sacrifices and the rewards.
An environmentalist dedicates her life to a remote, uninhabited island. A reclusive archivist records thousands of hours of daily TV. A literary group spends decades poring over every word of a single book. Obsessions is a short season of films that revel in all-consuming human fascinations; the sacrifices and the rewards.
From Friday 17 March – read on to find out what’s in store.
Infinite Football / Corneliu Porumboui / 2020 / 70 mins
Directed by the great Corneliu Porumboiu (The Treasure, 12:08 East of Bucharest), Infinite Football follows the travails of his brother’s friend, Laurențiu, a former football player now consigned to the life of a low-level local bureaucrat in his small Romanian town. But Laurențiu has a dream, to revolutionise the rules of the beautiful game, and has come up with his own version, which Porumboiu seeks desperately to understand.
Delightfully deadpan, Infinite Football is a study of obsession borne out of thwarted dreams, introducing us to an unforgettable individual on a quixotic quest.
From Fri 17 Mar. Book now
Hilarious, heartbreaking and pleasingly subtle
Sight and Sound
Project Pipe Dreams / Manus Fraser / 46 mins
A rumour of an extraordinary internet purchase sets a filmmaker on a journey to discover what kind of person would ship a disused 3000-pipe organ halfway around the world? They find 84-year old Gilbert, a man of boundless wit and determination. A former Headmaster, who escaped apartheid South Africa, he has spent two decades on his epic mission to rebuild this beast. Captivated by Gilbert’s charm and absolute refusal to give in, they join him on his ultimate analogue odyssey.
Project Pipe Dreams is a tender, witty, and charismatic study of craft and human endeavour in a digital age, showing how one man strives to leave the world a better place than he found it… one pipe at a time.
Sat 18 Mar, 15:00. Followed by a Q&A with director Manus Fraser. Book now
The Joycean Society / Dora García / 2013 / 53mins
Utterly absorbing and fascinating, The Joycean Society settles in with a small but dedicated group of Joyce devotees who have been reading, cogitating and debating James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake together for thirty years. Dora Garcia’s gentle 2013 film is a real delicacy, a poised portrait of joy and wisdom arising from a shared obsession.
This film is paired with the short film Dear Araucaria
Dear Araucaria / Matt Houghton / 2015 / 10 mins
Better known by his pseudonym Araucaria, John Graham set the Guardian cryptic crossword for 55 years. In December 2012, crossword number 25,842 appeared in the paper with a series of clues that, once solved, revealed a personal message from Araucaria to his puzzle-solving followers.
Shifting between imagination and reality, and a puzzle in itself, Dear Araucaria unpicks crossword number 25,842 to journey into John’s world of clue-making.
From Sat 18 Mar. Book now
Geographies of Solitude / Jacquelyn Mills / 2022 / 103 mins
Geographies of Solitude is an immersion into the rich ecosystem of Sable Island, guided by naturalist and environmentalist Zoe Lucas who has lived over 40 years on this remote sliver of land in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Shot on 16mm and created using a scope of innovative eco-friendly filmmaking techniques, this feature-length experimental documentary is a playful and reverent collaboration with the natural world.
Much like a field book, the film tracks its protagonist’s labor to collect, clean and document marine litter that persistently washes up on the island shores.
From Sun 19 Mar. Book now
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project / Matt Wolf / 2019 / 87 mins
For thirty years, Marion Stokes secretly video-taped everything on TV, twenty-four hours a day. Aware of how easily history could be lost or rewritten, she felt compelled to record everything; to rescue fact from the compost heap of yesterday’s news.
Matt Wolf’s curious and compelling profile of the activist-hoarder crackles with footage from the 70,000 VHS tapes recovered after her death. But far from relegating her to the realms of paranoia, Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project opens up her archive, showing how the media shapes and reflects our lives, and how fine the line is between eccentricity and visionary.
From Sun 19 Mar. Book now
Weirdly exhilarating... enlightening and the stuff of madness
The New York Times