Wednesday 18th April, 7.00pm for 7:15 start


Our next film night will feature excerpts from two documentary films directed by Tristram Powell. Tristram will be introducing the evening along with the renowned art critic Bill Feaver, who also worked with him on I Build My Time.

Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp
Kurt Schwitters
Kurt Schwitters
at a previous Film Night event
Tristram Powell & Bill Feaver

Rebel Readymade (1966) - Features an interview with Marcel Duchamp and a preview of his exhibition at the Tate in 1966.

This BBC documentary about Marcel Duchamp was made in 1966, two years before Duchamp died. It coincided with the first major exhibition of his work in Europe. You have only to look him up on youtube to see how influential his ideas still are. Damien Hirst and the YBAs, installation art, in fact any contemporary art where the ideas are more important than what Duchamp called the “ retinal appeal” of painted art- he was there first. It’s all in the film, as is his abiding love of chess, which is a strategic battle between two minds, as well as having what he calls its own “ kinetic beauty”.

I Build My Time (1975) - Looks at the work of Kurt Schwitters with particular emphasis on his later period in Cumbria.

This film was also made for BBC-TV. The story is told by William Feaver, who, whilst living in Newcastle, got to know in detail about Schwitters’s wartime exile from Germany, his detention on the Isle of Man as an enemy alien and his final years in the Lake-District. Schwitters already had a reputation as a Dadaist and an inventor of new, and often playful, artistic projects. Like Duchamp he is an acknowledged influence on many contemporary artists, though when he died, in 1948, he was largely forgotten or dismissed. With the help of his nurse and companion Edith Thomas, “ Wantee”, William Feaver rediscovers his strange time in exile and how he made art from it.


Tristram Powell has had an extensive career making BBC arts documentaries. He worked with Melvyn Bragg in the early 70s, persuading many writers unfamiliar with TV to appear on BBC2. He also developed a number of drama docs on lesser known writers, such as Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Nadine Gordimer and Malcolm Lowry. His documentary on the Hollywood Blacklist was the first serious television analysis of the subject and included an interview with Arthur Miller. His feature film American Friends starred and was co-written with Michael Palin.

(His work is feature here -

Bill Feaver is a British art critic, curator, artist and lecturer. From 1975–1998 he was the chief art critic of the Observer, and from 1994 a visiting professor at Nottingham Trent University. His book The Pitmen Painters inspired the play of the same name by Lee Hall. While at Newcastle, Feaver became the art critic of the Newcastle Journal before being appointed successively to the Listener (1971-75) and the Financial Times (1974-75) before being joining the Observer. He won the Art Critic of the Year award in 1983.

(from Wikipedia - here)