Phil Solomon
Saturday 4 May, 2024 2:30 pm

Phil Solomon, Programme 1

Saturday 4 May, 2024 2:30 pm
Cost: £14
ICA Cinema,
The Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AH

Sonic Cinema and The Phil Solomon Project present part one of a three programme retrospective of Phil Solomon’s films.

Internationally acclaimed American filmmaker Phil Solomon (1954-2019) created a body of cinematic virtuosity and poetic resonance that profoundly expanded the found footage genre. Presented by Sonic Cinema and The Phil Solomon Project, the series has been curated by Mark McElhatten and will be introduced by Eve Heller.

This programme brings together some of Phil Solomon’s most abstract works with celluloid. Nocturne (1980/89) is an exploration of personal and historical parallels, connecting the filmmaker’s experiments in night photography, with lightning storms, and World War II night bombings. What’s Out Tonight Is Lost (1983) reflects on themes of loss and transition, inspired initially by a fading relationship but expanding to encompass broader notions of youth, family, and time. The film utilises tonal shifts to mirror emotional changes. The Secret Garden (1988) showcases Solomon’s intricate layering of visual imagery, continuing the tradition of Brakhage with a succession of rhythmic, formal, and associative images. The film delves into the passage from innocence to experience, invoking both terror and ecstasy. Remains to be Seen (1989/94) employs chemical and optical treatments to create a dreamlike atmosphere, featuring imagery that evokes both memories and transformations. Twilight Psalm II: Walking Distance (1999) pays tribute to artistic influences like Anselm Kiefer and Albert Pinkham Ryder while honouring Stan Brakhage. The film imagines a cinematic journey through time, evoking a sense of nostalgia and transformation.


Nocturne (1980/89, 10 min, 16mm, silent)

The Secret Garden (1988, 18 min, 16mm, silent)

Remains To Be Seen (1989/94, 17’30 min, 16mm)

Twilight Psalm II: Walking Distance (1999, 23min, 16mm)

Total running time: ca. 80 min.

With thanks to Eve Heller and Mark McElhatten. Very special thanks to Mark Toscano (Academy Film Archive).

Eve Heller initiated the founding of the Phil Solomon Project together with Mark McElhatten in the wake of Phil’s passing in 2019. The PSP is dedicated to sustaining the preservation, distribution, screening, exhibition, and publication of Phil Solomon’s artwork and thought.

Supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum London

Austrian Cultural Forum

Phil Solomon