British Film Institute

Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon is perhaps the best-known film never made. But what about others that never happened? What might a closer look at these reveal about the state of filmmaking? Such unmade films constitute the ‘dark matter’ of British director Michael Winterbottom’s book Dark Matter: Independent filmmaking in the 21st century. The invisible dark matter of the cosmos shapes our universe; without it many galaxies would fly apart. For Winterbottom, an examination of cinematic dark matter ‘might help to explain the wider landscape of British independent cinema’ this century.

... (read more)

Near the end of a candid 1966 documentary portrait of Pier Paolo Pasolini shot in 1966 (and shown last year on SBS), the French critic Jean-André Fieschi casually asks the Italian director whether art is for his a ‘matter of life and death’. Pasolini – who up to this point has been discoursing urbanely on class, culture, cinema and language like a true public intellectual – is floored by the question. ‘This changes the whole basis of our discussion,’ he declares, and goes on to confess that everything he has previously said is a mere mask hiding his actual, primal, angst-ridden feelings about life, death and survival. Unmasked as a trembling existentialist, Pasolini announces that the interview is over. And there Fieschi’s film abruptly ends.

... (read more)